National Gazelles programme -Open for Applications

national gazellesDoes your business meet the following criteria?

  • Minimum two years actively in business (i.e. trading)
  • Minimum two full time employees (can include business owners)
  • Turnover of at least R1-m in last financial year
  • Evidence that you have a financial management system in place

If yes, than the government initiative called National Gazelles may just be the opportunity you need to take your business to the next level.

The National Gazelles is a national SME growth accelerator funded by Seda and the Department of Small Business Development. Currently in a three-year pilot, the programme aims to identify and support SMEs with growth potential across 10 priority industry sectors aligned with the National development Plan and Seda’s SME strategy. SMEs are identified through an annual call for applications, with selection done independently by private and public sector partners.
The programme aims to assist each business to operate as closely as possible to its maximum potential. Growth acceleration support is guided by a detailed business diagnostic and growth strategy, and includes a R1-million growth grant for equipment and capacity-building, facilitated access to finance, productivity and business advice, business skills development and more.
Become involved in this programme in three ways:
  1. Apply to become a Gazelle
  2. Nominate a company
  3. Join the mailing list if you will be eligible in the future.

ZipZap – Low cost portable credit card machine

One of the most frequent requests I receive from entrepreneurs is around low-cost point of sales options. ZipZap looks like a good option, and we asksed ZipZap some questions.

ZipZap

 

ZipZap looks like an excellent product. Our readers might not know about what ZipZap does. Please give us your elevator pitch?

ZipZap is a portable credit card machine – or mPOS as it’s known – that works wherever you do business. This means that you can take payment with a debit or credit card anywhere, any time. ZipZap works with your smartphone or tablet through a free app that links to a separate secure card reader, and you can have several ZipZap devices linked to one bank account. There are three different payment options on offer to best suit your pocket and cash flow, and the transaction fees are the cheapest on the market.

 

How does this benefit businesses in South Africa?

ZipZap’s philosophy is all about growing small businesses by giving them a mobile, cost-effective payment solution. After investing in a mPOS device businesses generally report a higher turnover because they no longer turn customers without cash away. They’re also able to reduce bad debt because they don’t have to chase after EFT payments, which ultimately results in better cash flow.

How is it different from products being offered by large banks?

Our products are similar, but what sets us apart is the lowest transaction fees, various payment options, and our latest offer – South Africa’s first free mPOS device for businesses who’s turnover exceeds R25 000 per month in MasterCard or Visa card swipes. You can bank with any South African bank and you do not need a merchant account – we will open one on your behalf and handle all the admin. We also believe that our caring and attentive view to customer service is a big differentiator for us.

Do you have any plans of partnering with larger financial institutions?

ZipZap offers a white label solution to any organisation or financial institution wanting to offer a mPOS solution to their customers. We can provide a complete mPOS solution that includes app development and deployment, card readers, transaction processing, technical support and a customer call centre; all off the back of our tried-and-tested technology and back-end services.

What would the ideal business look like to benefit from ZipZap?

ZipZap has thousands of happy customers that include markets, doctors, health and sports professionals, artisans, retailers, bakeries, hairdressers, beauty salons, micro-breweries, B&Bs, restaurants and many more. If you are a mobile business, don’t want to rely on a fixed point-of-sale terminal or would like a back-up for your traditional POS, ZipZap can benefit you.

Let’s talk money. What does it cost to get started with ZipZap? How is payment processing charged?

We offer three different payment options. All transaction fees are 2,75% (Ex VAT).

Free ZipZap

  • Free ZipZap (worth R1599 ex VAT) if your MasterCard and Visa card transactions exceed R25 000 per month
  • No activation fees
  • No monthly rental fees*
  • 24 month contract (month-to-month thereafter)

* If your MasterCard and Visa card transactions are lower than R25 000 in any month, you will be charged a rental fee of R150 for that month

Buy a ZipZap

  • Pay the once-off fee of R1 599.00 by credit card or via EFT
  • No monthly rental fees

Rent a ZipZap

  • R150 per month
  • No activation fees
  • 24 month contract charged in arrears (month-to-month thereafter)
  • No rental fee if your MasterCard and Visa card transactions exceed R25 000 in any month

If possible, could you provide us with a couple of companies that are using ZipZap?

ZipZap encourages customers to share their mPOS stories. Click here to read one of our many happy customer stories.

For more information visit www.zipzap.co.za

 

The rise of Artisan entrepreneurs in South Africa – and what it takes to succeed

Editors Note: This article written by Stephen Cohen of SAGE is an important one, talking about a trend that is increasingly not a trend – it is becoming part of our eveyday. The promise of artisan entrepreneur is a tempting one  – earn a living, grow a business and do what you love. But, as Cohen shows fullfilling this promise to yourself will require smarts, and hardwork.

The rise of Artisan entrepreneurs in South Africa – and what it takes to succeed

Around the world – from the trendy east of London to the hipster capital of Montreal’s Mile End – the so-called ‘flat white economy’ continues to rise. It comprises the thousands upon thousands of artisan entrepreneurs selling craft beers, ethically sourced coffee and organic, gourmet foods to consumers who crave healthy, sustainable and authentic eating experiences.

Artisan entrepreneurs started their rise after the 2008 recession. Just consider the fact that nearly one in five beers consumed in the US today is a craft brand, or that specialist coffee shops sales in the US have tripled to nearly $50 billion since 2002. And the trend has been picked up in South Africa, with more and more Small & Medium Businesses across the country serving customers with locally sourced ‘farm to table’ food and handcrafted products.

Township Entrepreneur Alliance Business hosts Township Business Innovation Seminar

The Township Entrepreneur Alliance (TEA) invites businesses to attend the Township Business Innovation Seminar in Tembisa. The event sounds interesting, and in fact is focussing on a major issue – business innovation. The details for the event are below:

Township Entrepreneur Alliance (TEA) would like to invite you to the 2nd annual Township Business Innovation Seminar that will be a much more in depth session that will help you to create your own products and innovate your business to the next level. This invite is for all start-ups, SMME, Aspiring Entrepreneurs, Professional, Academics and the community.

Township Entrepreneur Alliance

 

Activities on the day:
– Panel Discussion on how business can innovate
– Pitching Workshop + Competition with amazing give-aways
– 40 Stalls will be available to display your business
– Talks
– Live Business advisory
– Network Pods

Date:25 NOVEMBER 2016 (Friday)
Registration:11:00am – 12pm event begins
Entrance: FREE
Venue: Rabasotho Community Hall, Tembisa (Next to Tembisa Police Station & Tembisa Municipality) 180 Andrew Mapheto Drive, Tembisa
GPS Co-ordinates: -26.008593, 28.218679

For more info: 073 091 0370 (Junior) – 011 047 0707

Remember, opportunities to host a stall remain open.

TaxTim launches easy tax return completion tool for SMEs

TaxTim  has launched a company tax return tool, that offers small businesses a new option to handle all their tax affairs. Anyone, running a business – especially a small business, where the owner multitasks – knows that regulatory compliance is a major issue. This new offering offers a way to complete tax returns, and in so doing makes it just that much easier to focus on running the business. Remember, what Michael E. Geber said:

“A true business opportunity is the one that an entrepreneur invents to grow him or herself. Not to work in, but to work on.”

 

TaxTim

 

Below please find the press release from TaxTim:

Zapreneur – Cool South African Products

Zapreneur wants to provide a showcase of South African products.

The reason for doing this are:

  1. Smaller companies need a way to get messages out to customers about their products; and
  2. Consumers looking to buy high quality South African products do not have an easy place to find it.

Zapreneur provides the platform to find South African products.

We will provide to small businesses:

  1. Daily deals – Traditional daily deals websites receive a slice of each sale. On Zapreneur, businesses only pay a fixed fee to run deals. We will publish and promote the deal, but businesses remain responsible for processing payments.
  2. A space to showcase their products – This is not just a business listing, but you will have a space to showcase your products, and link to your website.
  3. Affordable marketing platform that supports small businesses.

If you are a South African business selling products or services and are  interested in taking up this offer, please fill out the form below and we will be contact in the next few days.

 

SAICA introduces affordable quality back-office support services

 

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants


The South African Institite of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) have introduced a programme called Enterprisation. Take note, this programme is different and provides support for provides SMEs with quality back-office support services that a small business owner would otherwise not be able to afford. These services include accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, business finance consulting, and company secretarial and registration. Go check out the site for more information by clicking here.

 

The SAICA statement is included below:

To reach the NDP’s entrepreneurship goals, we need to make the numbers count  

One of the major goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) is to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in South Africa by 2030.

In order to do this, the NDP recognises entrepreneurs as national assets who are essential for creating more wealth, more employment opportunities and greater prosperity for our nation. If the NDP performs the way the National Planning Commission (NPC) envisions, 90% of jobs created will be in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector come 2030.

Yet, South Africa’s inherent economical structural inequality will make reaching this goal more difficult than many may think.

While it is true that thousands of new businesses start up every year – some of which do grow into medium enterprises that employ more than a handful of people – it is also true that only one in five businesses survives longer than 18 months.

Chief among the reasons for this is that many business owners simply do not have the financial background they need to handle the financial aspects of their SME. Without this knowledge, making their business both profitable and sustainable is almost impossible.

Enterprisation helps start-ups reach financial sustainability

In 2013, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) recognised the role it could play in helping SMEs conquer the financial landscape.

To this end, it established an enterprise development and SME support hub called Enterprisation which, together with a unique graduate training programme, provides SMEs with quality back-office support services that a small business owner would otherwise not be able to afford. These services include accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, business finance consulting, and company secretarial and registration.

In providing this support, Enterprisation:

  • alleviates the pressure business owners experience if they do not have access to accurate and well-maintained monthly financial records;
  • contributes to the business’ overall going-concern through good business forecasting and budgeting;
  • ensures that business owners are in possession of accurate, up-to-date and complete financial records when applying to credit providers for funding; and
  • ensures that business owners understand the importance and benefits of doing timely tax submissions.

Businesses that are assisted in this manner remain accountable for the day-to-day financial operations of their business and, with the support of Enterprisation, these SMEs can subsequently grow into sustainable businesses that create jobs for others.

Job creation

In addition to SME support, Enterprisation also provides workplace readiness training and skills development to unemployed black accounting graduates and creates employment opportunities for these skilled graduates within the SME sector.

Thanks to the private-public partnerships that make it possible to do this work, the Enterprisation hub has, to date, successfully:

  • supported 121 SMEs in five of SA’s nine provinces;
  • worked with nine SME funds and incubators; and
  • trained 270 graduates through the Guarantee Trust training programme – an initiative that sees 95% of graduates placed in positions of employment upon leaving the programme.

Future initiatives include an exciting project with Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund where the Enterprisation team will assist five agribusiness co-ops in the Eastern Cape as well as a JP Morgan Grant project that will support 100 new SMEs and train 50 new accounting graduates over the next 18 months.

Enterprisation’s goal is to support the NDP by developing entrepreneurs and professionals through skills development that creates sustainable enterprises and employment opportunities. Partnering with Enterprisation also means you optimise your B-BBEE scorecard, while helping to alleviate poverty in South Africa