Showing posts from August, 2016

Success mantra for women entrepreneurs

If you are a woman entrepreneur with plans to start your own business, or to grow an existing business, getting mentorship from existing entrepreneurs or membership of an entrepreneurship support group could be an important step in realising your business goals.

As a first step, believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed. At GroFin, we support a number of highly successful female entrepreneurs and it is our experience that being a woman has never hindered an entrepreneur’s ability to run a profitable business. Having said that, we would also caution that women do face challenges unique to their gender which may influence their decisions when starting or growing their business.

So, our GroFin Kenya investment officers spoke to two of the successful businesswomen that GroFin supports, in order to help other women entrepreneurs get their advice right from the horse’s mouth.

Pamela Muyeshi, the owner of Amaica, a restaurant specialising in authentic Kenyan cuisine, and Ruth Kwalanda,…

Is Africa witnessing a new breed of women entrepreneurs?

The old story of low-skilled women entrepreneurs in the informal sector may be about to be rewritten by a fresh wave of tech-savvy and well educated women entrepreneurs. On the occasion of Women’s Month in South Africa, GroFin would like to celebrate such women and their contribution to Africa’s growth story. 

If the past is any indication, women entrepreneurs have not had an easy time of it. And, African women have had it even harder. According to figures from the World Bank, while worldwide, at least 30 percent of women in the non-agricultural labour force are self-employed in the informal sector; in Africa, this figure is as high as 63 percent.

But is this about to change? The World Bank study also points out that today, increasingly, women are making major strides in educational attainment at primary and secondary levels, pointing to an emerging breed of women who can become knowledge-based entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

With global financial institutions like the World Bank dedicatin…

Gender gap in entrepreneurship gradually receding, but still exists, says SME financier

Female entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly significant role in the South African economy, with financing figures from local small and medium enterprise (SME) risk financier, Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), showing an encouraging cultural and empowerment shift in the country.

41% of BUSINESS/PARTNERS clients are female-owned SMEs – where at least 25% of the business is owned by women, and in which the female entrepreneur is actively involved. Further encouraging is that of the R310 million invested in female entrepreneurs in the 2016 financial year, the majority went to businesses in the traditionally male-dominated industries of manufacturing and retail.

Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that recent investments also show that women are going into formerly male-dominated industries such as engineering. Additionally, sectors where female entrepreneurs have already established a sizeable presence, such as tourism, education and the bea…

Are women better investors than men?

There is a longstanding misconception that investing, and the world of finance in general, is a man’s game. If you think about finance-related films - The Big Short, The Wolf of Wall Street, and the 1987 Michael Douglas classic Wall Street – could you name a female investor character? The unfortunate reality is that the investment world is generally perceived as a male dominated one.

This is the view of Jenna Hartley, Investor Consultant at 10X Investments, who says that, interestingly enough, global research shows that there is a large uptake in female investors. “In a recent Blackrock survey[2], it indicated that there is almost no difference between male and female investor numbers.”

Hartley believes, however, that the difference is the female approach to investing - a difference that might prove to be more effective over the long-term.

Asking the right questions

In her experience, Hartley says that the first thing that you notice about female investors is that they are more willin…

FNB voted Top Business Bank for the fourth year running

First National Bank (FNB) has once again been voted as South Africa’s top business bank in the 2016 Sunday Times Top Brand Survey for the fourth year running.

The winning brands are voted for by consumers and business decision-makers who rank them as being the best in their category in a nationwide survey.

“We are honoured to receive the Sunday Times Top Brands award for the fourth consecutive year. This accolade validates our commitment to continually deliver quality products and services to our customers. Because we understand entrepreneurship and the hurdles that businesses face during tough economic times, we are well positioned to deliver innovative and cost effective solutions, helping them to grow and remain sustainable,” says CEO of FNB Business, Michael Vacy-Lyle.

Changes in technology and the regulatory environment are constantly disrupting the financial services industry, challenging banks to think outside the box to identify the most efficient solutions that resonate with c…

Celebrating Women's Month - Interview with Zaza Motha

As we continue to celebrate Women’s Month this August, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa had the privilege to chat to some of SA’s most influential woman, and gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level by delving into their property insights and preferences.

This week we focus on Zaza Motha, an Award-winning journalist & founder of POUT

Q]     What impact do you think woman's right to vote had on our country?
A]     I will speak from my personal experience on this issue. The impact has been tremendous. I was made aware of the right to vote in 1994. This was a few years after my mom was killed when I was seven, towards the end of apartheid. She was shot in front of her six kids and that left a lot of scars but filled me with a fire to tell the world my story…hence my decision to become a journalist. The right to vote for all women, has afforded me the opportunities that I'm enjoying today. I'm now a journalist with a business because o…

Celebrating Women's Month - Interview with Rosella Dingle

Engel & Völkers Southern Africa had the privilege to chat to some of SA’s most influential woman. This Woman’s month we are interested in gaining some insight into their lives on both a professional and a personal level by delving into their property insights and preferences.
Today we focus on Rosella R Dingle, CEO of Rainbow Junction Development Company (Pty) Ltd

Q]    What impact do you think woman's right to vote had on our country?
A]    In SA the impact is naturally as big an impact as any country, where women are at least half the population, without which any decisions can surely only be half as relevant. In SA with our particular history of gender inequality, this relevance is even more meaningful.

Q]    What is your motto in life?
A]    These mottos are continually being updated by new and more relevant ones, but my current favourites are: “People don't remember what you said, or what you did, but how you made them feel” (Maya Angelou), and this coupled with anoth…

Networking tips from top SA female entrepreneurs

As we celebrate Women’s Month, the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS has revealed a record number of entries received from female entrepreneurs - growing by more than 38% from 2015.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that this is extremely encouraging given the latest 2015-2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South African report showed that only six women were engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship for every 10 males in 2015, down from eight women in 2014. “We are lucky to have a wealth of undiscovered talent within our country that, given the right support, will flourish,” comments Mjadu.

She goes on to say that this can be done by identifying the challenges that female South African entrepreneurs are regularly faced with and creating effective ways in which they can be overcome. “One challenge which was brought to light by the 2015 Female En…

Five things entrepreneurs can do after hours to aid self-development

It has become commonly accepted that entrepreneurs spend more time working after hours than conventional employees who work the standard 9-to-5 job. The fact that the small and medium business sector contributes approximately R530 billion to the South African economy through working beyond the standard business hours – according to a global survey by Sage in 2015 – is proof that entrepreneurs are not afraid to put in the extra hours

David Morobe, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that while such dedication to a business is somewhat inherent to entrepreneurs, they need to strive to strike a balance between work and personal time in order to ensure sustainable success in their business.

The survey revealed that 26% of South African business owners have taken less than five days holiday a year, and 44% have opted to choose their work over family time. “While dedicating large amounts of extra hours to a business can be vital for future succ…

Education and excellence keys to success for women in business

It has been 60 years since the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings. Since then a tremendous amount of positive change has occurred in South Africa - both politically and more specifically in the sphere of gender politics. As a country, we have been lauded for our progressive constitution, but women are still under-represented in leadership positions. A survey released by Grant Thornton in 2016 showed that leadership positions held by women decreased from 27% in 2015 to 26% in 2016.

This is according to Makole Mupita, co-founder and Executive Director of Mahlako a Phahla Investments -  a women-led company focused within the energy and infrastructure sectors. Speaking at a recent Women’s Month event held in De Aar in the Northern Cape by Solar Capital - who recently launched the largest solar farm in the Southern Hemisphere, Mupita shared her views on how to encourage the increase of women in business and women entrepreneurs.

In her speech, Mupita reinforced her belief that an att…

Available positions at Sparkling Auto Care Centre Hazyview

The following positions are available at Sparkling Auto Care Centre Hazyview:

Spray Painting/Flatters & Polishers
Std 10/Gr 12                                                                            An appropriate MERSETA qualification in spray painting or panel beatingFluent in Afrikaans & English (Read & Write)Spray Painter do be able to do color mixing and matching 2/3 years experience in the automotive appearance industryGood communication and problem solving skillsA valid driver’s license                             Financial Administrator
Std 10/Gr 122/3 years debtors and creditors experience2/3 years stock control experience2/3 years bank reconciliations/vat reports Fluent in Afrikaans & English (Read & Write)Computer Literate including Pastel/OMNI AccountsExcellent administrative capabilitiesProfessionalismLiaison with high profile companies on national levelGood interpersonal skillsA valid driver’s license.Branch Managers/Managers
Std 10/Gr 12At least 2-…

Reaction to election outcome will be watched by ratings agency, says Old Mutual Investment Group

The local elections and their much anticipated results are generally regarded as the most important since South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, considering the real risk of the ANC losing significant support and causing uncertainty on the outcome of the next general election. With regard to the economy, the immediate outcome of the results are unlikely to prove a direct decisive factor in the potential downgrade decision by ratings agencies later this year. However, the ruling party’s reaction to the outcome and the policies it might adopt as a result, could influence the next rating reviews before the end of the year.

This is according to Rian le Roux, Chief Economics at Old Mutual Investment Group, who reiterates the fact that the issues highlighted by the ratings agencies include the need for the National Development Plan implementation and growth enhancing reform and fiscal discipline. “The outcome of the election will provide the rating agencies with an indication o…

ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE: The final verdict

While most active fund managers argue that their skills enable them to outperform the market return, the majority of research proves what passive managers have known all along – that even though it may be possible for a fund to outperform the market, it is generally not probable.

In the finance industry, the term “investment universe” refers to a specific group of investments that share certain characteristics. This universe can be defined as large as ‘all listed shares in the world’, or as narrow as ‘the top 40 shares listed on the JSE’. It can also refer to a particular country, industry or sector, or to a particular ‘factor’ that underlines a group of investments, such as size or valuation.

According to Steven Nathan, CEO of 10X Investments, such demarcations are important, as they enable us to evaluate the performance (skill) of a manager investing in securities from that universe. “By identifying all the securities within a universe, it is possible to calculate a benchmark return…

How to evaluate your current retirement annuity

A retirement annuity (or RA) is a pension fund for individuals, and one of the ways to save for retirement. In principle, it is a voluntary, tax-efficient savings tool to help you achieve a comfortable retirement. However, if you are not vigilant in your choice of RA and the related costs, it can easily become an inflexible money trap that delivers low returns, high fees and stiff penalties.

This is according to Tracy Jensen, Chief Product Architect at 10X Investments, who says that the problem does not lie with the RA itself. “This is just the legal “wrapper” that affords you certain tax benefits. The overall return on your investment depends on how your money is invested, the associated costs, and any penalties associated with your choice of service provider. If you are concerned about the state of your current RA, it might be time to evaluate your choice.”

According to Jensen, investors need to at least be asking the following questions about their current RA’s:

1.     Is this a trad…

New Consumer Protection Initiative: A Licence to Sell

The real estate industry has completely evolved, from anyone being allowed to sell property or sign contracts in previous years, to it now being a professional occupation and one can definitely understand why. “Without training or ensuring one stays up to date with the latest legislations, clients are left vulnerable for facing possible major losses and legal issues” cautioned Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

By having a professional managing transactions, it eliminates many problems or disputes which can arise, which is why the EAAB instituted certain criteria before you are 'licenced to sell'. As in any trade, a managing board to ensure the adherence of a code of conduct needs to be set in place, to make sure consumers receive nothing but expert and professional service. The EAAB (Estate Agency Affairs Board) was established in 1976 and since then regulates the estate agency profession. The EAAB in essence, acts as a watch-dog and protector of c…