Showing posts from August, 2017

Business Excellence Forum and Awards

The annual Business Excellence Forum and Awards is returning to South Africa for the third time and will be held at the Emperor's Palace, in Johannesburg from 9-10 November 2017.

The Business Excellence Forum & Awards is a networking event that provides attendees the unique opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs, exchange ideas and learn from top industry leaders. Attendees can look forward to a two day workshop together with a line-up of high profile international & South African keynote speakers.

They include:
The Bucket List Guy, Travis Bell. Former South African cricketer & the World Cup winning coach of the Indian cricket team Gary Kirsten. #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and the creator of Unlock The Game, Ari Galper Motivational Speaker Ian Thomas Sales expert Barry Mitchell The speakers mentioned above will be sharing their business strategies and learnings ranging from increasing sales, leaderships, trust based selling and team building tha…

Franchising: a safe bet in a tough economic climate?

Dumisani Bengu, Head: Franchise Africa, Barclays Africa

With South Africa’s economy seeing consecutive negative growth that has placed it in the grips of a technical – but very real – recession, it will come as no surprise that there are adverse implications for business growth as customers keep on cutting their spending and tightening that much-written-about belt.

One industry that has successfully fought these headwinds is franchising. It has proven in many countries, to be resilient even in the face of extensive macroeconomic difficulties.

This is borne out by the fact that the sector - which grew by 10 percent even at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 - has continued to grow every year.  Year-to-date, Absa’s franchise book has  shown 15 percent growth on loans over the same period last year. This illustrates a remarkably healthy appetite for franchising and pursuing opportunities in the various industries that comprise the overall sector.

What typically sa…

National mental arithmetic and maths championship held in Sandton a great success

The recent mental arithmetic and maths championships held at the Sandton Convention Centre and hosted by A⁺Students was a resounding success according to A⁺Students CEO Marlene Mouton.

“We had close to 700 students from around the country competing in our annual championships and 158 students were chosen to compete at the PAMA Global Championships which we will be hosting as well on 28th December” said Mouton.

Mouton went further to explain that a total of 17 different countries from the world compete in the annual PAMA Global maths and mental arithmetic championships and as Chairman of PAMA South Africa it is a real honour to showcase South Africa as well our students who will be competing at the global event showing that we do not have to stand back for any other country.

“Our children worked exceptionally hard for this year’s championships as places that were up for grabs for the global championships added the extra motivation. To see young pre and primary school children grasp th…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Signarama

With over 15 years of proven growth, Signarama is the only true national signage company in the country and the most established brand in the industry. Signarama stores across southern Africa serve as brand building and visibility experts in their local business communities, delivering full-service sign and branding solutions.

In addition to the opportunities that exist in larger metropolitan areas, the franchisor plans to further expand the brand by targeting areas where there is a need for signage and where the local market is underserviced.

Over the years, sign production has evolved from services limited in terms of personalised custom work to an era with improved computerised technology and software. Understanding the importance of brand awareness and the effect it has on the bottom line, Signarama brings cost-effective signage and branding solutions to the market.

In line with the full-service sign store concept originated by its founders, all Signarama ou…

3@1 Franchising Group burgeoning

Homegrown franchise brand 3@1 Business Centre Franchising has produced a solid franchise model by which it has produced more than 70 local franchises and now has secured a Memorandum of Agreement on setting up 3@1 stores in the South East of London. This franchisee has the option of becoming the area franchisee for the region. Other new developments confirmed for 2017 is the start of 26 conversions of the POSTDOTNET group in Zambia starting with Lusaka, Mandahill Mall which has just opened its doors. Also, opening two new stores in Kampala, Uganda and we aim to open several new stores in Namibia later this year.

In July Theresa Maher joined the 3@1 group as Regional Director working from Johannesburg.
Offering extensive experience as an entrepreneur and franchisee, together with experience in the corporate sector.

Theresa will contribute real-world, hands-on business know-how to assist the 3@1 team to deliver growth, profitability and operations excellence.

New 3@1 Business Centre st…

Alternative funding solutions can bridge gaps for SMEs

SMEs have been identified as drivers of inclusive growth and development in South Africa, providing employment for up to 60% of our labour force and contributing over 30% of GDP. It is, therefore, concerning that, according to Bloomberg, eight out of ten businesses fail within the first 18 months and the remaining 20% of those find it increasingly difficult to survive due to the current constrained South African economy.

According to Charles Meyerowitz, co-founder and CEO of speciality asset backed financier Lamna, SMEs can go through various stages financially during their growth and development. “These stages form part of a business’s natural life cycle – as they develop from a small enterprise, where capital is generated either from family, friends or personal savings; through to mature businesses making use of more established sources of finance for growth”.

According to Meyerowitz, each stage of a business comes with its own set of challenges in terms of funding. “The developme…

Opportunities ripe for female entrepreneurs to shatter glass ceiling

The entrepreneurial gender gap is slowly closing in many countries, and in these countries women as likely as men to start a small business. In hot pursuit of such gender parity is South Africa, where seven women are engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship for every ten male entrepreneurs, according to the recently released 2016/2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Speaking in light of National Women’s Month, Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that it is important for both the public and private sectors to band together in order to create an environment where women entrepreneurs feel well-supported in terms of business growth and development. “According to some of the top female entrepreneurs in South Africa, and finalists of the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, although there are highly capable and talented female entrepreneurs in the country, the landscape could be more conducive,”…

Women empowerment starts at home

Franchises can empower women in many ways and contribute to community development, but franchisors will do well to take note of the fact that women empowerment must also happen at the home of the franchise, says Richard Mukheibir, Managing Director of Cash Converters. He has seen women take on the challenge to become franchise owners in the past two decades, turning the theory that women are not tough enough to own a business in the second-hand category on its head.

“Working to change the male-dominated environment to make space for women and empower them in the business world, we were also aware that our own staff, at head office, was predominantly male. If we wanted to empower women outside the business, we also had to empower them from the inside. We had to attract women to our business and help them to thrive.”

And thrive they did. Various studies of women in business have found that they are loyal, conscientious, full of initiative, display a high standard of workmanship and deliv…

Transformation a top priority for franchising

The Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) believes the franchise sector, which contributes 11.6 percent to the country’s GDP and employs close to 400 000 people through its 757 franchise systems and their 35 111 franchise outlets, can play a key role in creating new businesses to grow the economy through innovative venture creations. To this end, the Franchise Association runs an active Transformation, Stakeholders and Funding committee made up of franchisors, funders and government institutions represented by the Department of Small Business Development and its agency sefa to explore new ways to facilitate transformation, empower entrepreneurs and small businesses in bridging inequality whilst creating prosperity and employment.

In view of the National Development Plan’s target of 11 million jobs to be created by 2030, with 90% of those jobs expected to be created by small and expanding formats, solutions to the employment challenge need to be tackled as a matter of urgency. S…

Which SA sectors are ripe with opportunity for local SMEs?

Following two consecutive declines in GDP, sending the South African economy into a technical recession in early June 2017, current sentiment about economic growth prospects remains strained. Despite this negative sentiment, there are sectors within the economy that present a number of opportunities for small and medium enterprises – and could contribute to the economic growth that the country is desperately seeking.

This is according to Siphethe Dumeko, Chief Financial Officer at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that the past few months have proven difficult for many small and medium enterprise (SME) owners. “We have seen evidence of this reflecting in the increase in net credit losses in our financial results for the year ended 31 March 2017.”

SMEs play a crucial role, not only in job creation, but also in enabling diversification through the creation of new sectors and markets that play a key role in driving growth. Dumeko says that, irrespective of the pro…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Mica

Mica is a leading independent hardware group founded by a collective of store owners with the ambition to bring a community hardware store to every town. Mica combines the buying power of the group with the expertise of its individual store owners to deliver an extensive value for money offering.

In 2004 a corporate company acquired the Mica brand and proceeded to establish corporate-owned stores to complement the trading member platform, but today Mica is once again a member-owned brand where the person who owns the store, runs the store.

Mica’s voluntary trading partner business model allows for ease of buying without infringing the entrepreneurial flair of its store owners. While Mica enjoys a high level of spontaneous awareness amongst consumers, the success of the brand is attributed to owner-managed stores.

Mica’s range of exclusive brands spans an extensive selection of categories and their array of product choices also serves to differentiate Mica store…

Improving gender diversity key for success in uncertain times

Gender diversity is vital for business success in an environment of increasing uncertainty. As the country celebrates women during August, Kgomotso Ramoenyane, Executive General Manager of Human Resources at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can benefit significantly from improving gender diversity in their companies because of the complementary skills, different perspectives and ideas women bring.  

She says that only 28% of senior management roles in South Africa are held by women, according to the 2017 Grant Thornton Women in business: New perspectives on risk and reward report. While this is up from 23% in 2016, it is still considerably lower than other regions like Eastern Europe, where 38% of senior positions are held by women.

However, Ramoenyane says South African businesses shouldn’t get distracted by comparisons but should rather focus on understanding the significant value a business derives from increasing gende…

The rise of women in franchising

Over the last ten years, the franchising industry has seen a trend of more women taking up opportunities in franchising and this is expected to further increase over the next five years.
According to the International Franchise Association (IFA) there are more than 25% of women operating franchises in the world and that doesn’t include another 17% of the population where men and women operate franchises together as partners.

Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB Business says, “Women have the ability to use their time, energy and resources effectively to meet and achieve business goals. This trait, in my view, is the cornerstone for successful women in franchising.  In a country like South Africa, the growing involvement of women in franchising is vital, considering that women make up the majority of our population.”

Cronje shares four successful franchise industries that women are dominating in:

Education – More women are attracted to this space because they are not only looking for…

Women march ahead in franchising

The face of franchising has become much more welcoming to women in the two decades since the Cash Converters brand was launched in Southern Africa, says Managing Director Richard Mukheibir. Today about a third of Cash Converters franchisees are women, some owning two stores.

“Back in 1994 when I launched the brand with my business partner Peter Forshaw, the face of franchising was overwhelmingly male,” says Mukheibir. “Just as in other business fields, we are seeing more women in franchising today. This is increasing all the time and three of the five Cash Converters stores opened in June and early July 2017 have female co-owners. ” Two decades ago, the face of the second-hand goods business was probably also quite off-putting to women, he says.

“As well as being pretty much completely male, this industry often had a drab, even unsavoury image,” he says. “We believe that our streamlined, modern stores help convince women that this is now a business where they are welcome and to which …

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Doves Group

Doves Group, initially named Dove Funeral Services, was established in 1883 as a funeral directing organisation in Durban. Today, with a national network of more than 160 branches spanning all nine provinces, Doves Group is one of the largest funeral directing companies in southern Africa and a major role player in the progressive development of the funeral industry.

Doves Group is an authorised financial services provider with its funeral insurance underwritten by Union Life. Doves Group aims to be the leading funeral brand in South Africa, to provide innovative funeral-related services and products to all South African communities, and to exploit the full extent of the funeral value chain for the benefit of all stakeholders while delivering a service that is a celebration of life.

Doves Group provides insurance, funeral services and related products. Their extensive range of services includes burial services, memorials, cremations, embalming, caring for the d…

Powerful Women & Property

Every year on 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day. We pay homage to the women of our nation and we all celebrate what women are doing be it in their jobs, in politics, in the media, in our education institutions, in our communities and in our homes. “We must acknowledge and applaud the women of South Africa who take a stand, and who continue the fight against all the issues which seek to bring women down, who push against inequality and discrimination, we celebrate these women on this day”, says Tihara Baker, Relationship Manager of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

We commend the brave and fearless who strive every day to build strong family units, and who work to put food on the table. We met some of these dynamic women and gain some insight into their professional and personal lives and their property preferences.

Xoliswa  Daku, CEO  of  Daku  Group
Xoliswa  Daku  is the  CEO  of  Daku  Group  of  Companies  which  focuses on property development, investments and facilities manage…

Innovation vital for SME survival in SA

2017 has so far been a turbulent year for South Africa, with the country’s GDP contracting by 0.7% during the first quarter, pushing the local economy into a technical recession. This impacted negatively on consumer confidence and although this can have a detrimental effect on the trading conditions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), if SME owners tap into their entrepreneurial prowess and innovate, they can find opportunity despite the doom and gloom. 

This is according to Anton Roelofse, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that the household consumption growth rate fell 2.3% in the first three months of this year, with expenditure on food, restaurants, recreation, transport and clothing declining. “As such, small businesses within these sectors are being negatively impacted as consumers have less disposable income to spend on their products and services,” says Roelofse.

However, Roelofse points out that following the global rece…