SAICA Small Business Survey

One does not usually associate auditors with small business. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is however changing this view, and has been a consistent source of proposals to improve the lives of small business in South Africa. In 2014, they conducted a survey and they argue that they have had an impact in translating these findings into government policy. They are doing the 2015 survey, and need you to participate.
The survey is described as follows:

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), with the support of the new Department of Small Business Development and other stakeholders, are conducting research into Small and Medium sized businesses (SMEs) in order to ask them about the business environment in which they operate, as well as their needs.
The objective behind the research is to use the results to lobby government to create conditions in which SMEs will thrive, as well as to create new products and services for Small and Medium Practices to provide a seamless offering to SMEs.

To participate in the survey, please visit the SAICA survey by clicking here.

Opportunity Roundup 1 – 16 March 2015

Zapreneur turned 4 years old in February. Over this time Zapreneur has grown as a website, and as a community of entrepreneurs. This is a community that reads both public policy articles, but wants to take action. Today, we are piloting a simple summary of opportunities for entrepreneurs that are appearing on Zapeneur and elsewhere.

List of opportunities

  1. GIST Tech-I Competition – International competition targeted at science and technology entrepreneurs. Read More on Zapreneur. |  Go directly to the GIST Tech-I Competition Page.
  2. Payments Dragon Den – Do you have an idea that will transform the payments industry? Being a successful entry results in presenting to an audience of industry leaders. Read More on Zapreneur | Go to the Payments Dragon Den website. 
  3. Shuttleworth Fellow: This is an awesome opportunity to focus on your ideas, and turn them into action. Fellows benefit from a fellowship grant and from co-investment project funding. Read more on Zapreneur | Go to Shuttlewoth Foundation website.
  4. Seed Academy Roots Programme: Seed Academy continues to innovate. The new Roots Programme develops entrepreneurs of small and micro businesses.  Read More
  5. DTI Furniture Design Competition: The DTI has launched a competition for furniture designers, including opportunities for students and companies. Read more on Zapreneur | Go directly to the DTI Website
  6. Getting Started Seminar: A seminar (at a cost of R 275) will be hosted by Rick Ed. Download the flyer by clicking here for further details [PDF]


By Haroun Pochee.  B.Com CA (SA) – Growing Hands Entrepreneur Development
Are we on a real life rollercoaster ride of fast paced change, unexpected twists, turns and breathless anxiety?
Whether it is in our business environment, political happenings, managing the myriad of power cuts, the extreme fluctuations in exchange rates and markets the ride is not an exhilarating one and our best laid plans can easily be derailed and crashed into an abyss beyond our control.
This can be gut wrenching and factors beyond yours and my control influence the way we react and plot the course of action.  It is definitely not a theme park ride but a real life experience.
We are definitely living in volatile times!
Who would have thought that the oil price would crash in such a short period of time? Who would have thought that the European economy would be in such dire straits? Who would have thought that with such a small representation in the South African parliament, the Economic Freedom Front would make such an impact on the domestic political front?
The impact and consequences of such a drastic change on our business and financial affairs have yet to be assessed and digested by the experts. It leaves the business community with uncertainty in inconsistency.
David Morobe, a regional director of Business Partners emphasized one of the challenges in his keynote address at the 2015 Growing Hands Entrepreneur Start-Up program recently. He said;
“Unemployment is a global issue. Global youth unemployment is a crises and is predicted to keep rising. The South African situation is dire. Four million seven hundred thousand people out of an estimated eighteen million people are unemployed.”
He cited that in South Africa entrepreneurship offers the country a chance for growth, job creation and wealth creation. Yet entrepreneurship did not seem to be a desirable choice for young people. Morobe emphasised; “We must build a society that appreciates the role of entrepreneurs.” International there is a lot of support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur development. Business Partners have started the “Square Peg Movement” which is intended to promote “entrepreneurship as a noble career.” The idea being that the movement could develop people who see the world for what it could be, who could go against the tide and find the best of themselves with joy and spirit and who care for the spirit and well being of our communities and their upliftment.
He inspired with his conclusion; “True success can be defined as – Not what we know but what we do with what we know. Everything starts with an idea and we are all creative in one way or another”
He gave aspirant entrepreneurs who find themselves challenged by the rollercoaster ride HOPE to see the world from their perspective, for what it could be and who are swimming against the odds of challenges in trying to create opportunities for themselves, their families or their loved ones.
There are lessons for all of us:

  • We have to encourage entrepreneurial activity.
  • Support, mentor and fund ventures even if they are small and self sustaining.
  • Be prepared and accept that there could be failure.
  • Our plans, like the times we live in, need to be flexible and should allow us to tailor or amend should any of the matrix change fundamentally.
  • We have to be better prepared to adapt to trend changes and adopt principles of change management.
  • Expand our business and personal networks seeking opportunities for improving and expanding business prospects.
  • Invest in our personal development to up-skill ourselves and improve our preparedness for any threats that may arise.
  • We cannot be paralysed by procrastination and indecision. Leaving a situation unaddressed for too long without decisiveness can be fatal.
  • Understand our individual leadership personality and role.

Working on our challenges, sharing our concerns and making our action plans come to fruition will help us prepare ourselves to overcome the head winds of the rollercoaster of economic uncertainty.
Growing  Hands is a NPO, providing Entrepreneur Development programs. Visit Growing  Hands Facebook page for more information on our programs, our volunteers and our presenters.

Seed Academy Launches Roots Programme

Seed Academy, the school for entrepreneurs has broadened its training offering from a focus on start ups to developing entrepreneurs of small and micro businesses.
Says Lara Rosmarin, CEO of Seed Academy, “Job creation is at the forefront of the government’s mandate. We are helping government achieve their objective by empowering entrepreneurs in both rural and urban areas. We believe that our new programme, Roots, will help to change the socio-economic landscape in South Africa by alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment.”
The course which is run over two days can be customised in different languages. It aims to provide micro and small businesses with knowledge of key business principles and offers insight into what is required to establish and operate a successful business.
The interactive programme requires participants to complete relevant tasks culminating with each entrepreneur presenting their business concept to the group. Helpful feedback is provided. Post programme support includes accessing Seed Academy’s experts and all entrepreneurs are contacted after three months to track progress.
If your business is passionate about entrepreneurship and the benefits it brings to the lives of South Africans and the economy, choose a grassroots entrepreneur and join Seed Academy’s Roots Programme launch. The entrepreneur will get will get one full day training in entrepreneurship free and you will be able to find out about more about the value of becoming involved in training entrepreneurs.
The Roots programme is funded by corporates which use enterprise and supplier development funds to acquire BBBEE points.
The free one day training for grassroots entrepreneurs
Date: Wednesday, 25 March
Time: 9 am – 5pm
Venue: Seed Engine, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton
The two day course outline:

  1. Business basics
  2. Accounting basics
  3. Business capability and skills
  4. Operations, processes and business flows
  5. Statutory and legal requirements
  6. Labour matters
  7. Finance
  8. Budgeting, margins, profitability and cash management
  9. Taxation
  10. Sales and marketing
  11. Customer services

The launch
Date: Wednesday, 25 March
Time: 8 am – 9 am
Venue: Seed Engine, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton
Seed Academy, earlier this year announced more than R2,4 million of entrepreneurial training in both Cape Town and Johannesburg for early stage tech entrepreneurs. Applications are open with courses starting regularly.
To attend the breakfast, to apply for training or complete the start up survey go to or ENDS

2015 Furniture Design Competition

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a Furniture Design Competition.


The key objectives of the design competition are:

  • To attract designers into the industry, thus creating a pool of designers to serve the industry.
  • To promote product development and differentiation.

The competition will concurrently address the following objectives:

  • To elevate the image of the Furniture Manufacturing Industry in South Africa, and position the local industry and enhance its competitiveness locally and abroad through new product development and product differentiation.
  • To grow the industry’s competitiveness.
  • To re-position the South African Furniture Industry.

Competition Categories

Category A: Final Year Tertiary Students
The 2014 Furniture design competition focused on the students and targeted all tertiary students. Due to different levels of skills the students would have acquired it is difficult for the students to compete at the same level. The current competition will only be limited to the final year students.
There will be five finalists from the category who will exhibit at the Design Indaba and three winners who will get prizes as indicated in the section below.
Competition Category B: Established/Professional Designers
As mentioned in the introduction there is a shortage of designers and there is a need to attract and promote talent in this space. The competition will be opened to this category in order to promote design amongst the established designers to be profiled and be able to place them in the forefront in furniture design.
The competition is designed in such a way that it will promote entrepreneurs and professionals in the furniture design to take their career forward and improve the design skills in terms and meeting the customer requirements.
South Africans are very proud of their culture and promoting the local designers would be key and the competition would drive the theme of using local materials.
Competition Theme
The proposed theme for 2015/16 competition is “Future Public Spaces“. Public services offered by the government such as airports, health institutions, municipalities, and other government departments that interact with the public in one way or the other. The competition theme seeks to provide seating/waiting solutions for public institutions. The theme for this year’s competition therefore, asks for user friendly and comfortable furniture designs that can be produced locally and has local material. The competition will provide a solution to various public spaces that will be manufactured locally and promote industrial growth in the furniture manufacturing sector.
The existing infrastructure in the public spaces is aging and the government has plans to build and renovate these public spaces. This is the time to start re-designing these many public spaces. This is the time when South Africa must decide the vectors that will serve the lives of people for 20, or even 50 years. The ideal designs for furniture used in such public spaces are important, and there is need to design new values that are in harmony with the changes in society.
Essential points for public furniture are safety, peace of mind, and ease of use, but another important aspect is diversity and coexistence. So with this theme of “Public Space”, we are looking for designs with the core concept of “furniture suitable for the coexistence of a variety of people”, rather than designs for specific people or conventional categories. Given the diversity of requirement of furniture in different public waiting areas the competition has been opened to both established and student designers. The competition is also aimed at benefiting the industry and influencing the products manufactured in the industry, by using the design skills.
The five finalists’ products and the companies they worked with will be profiled by the dti. R50 000 worth of prizes will be split amongst the three finalists in Category A as follows.
1st – Designer Profile in a magazine, and Solid Works Advanced Training worth R25 000
2nd – Designer Profile & Solid Works Basic worth R15 000
3rd – Designer Profile and Design tools worth R10 000
More details are available on the DTI website by clicking here. Entries close on the 31 August 2015.

Shuttleworth Fellowship

The Shuttleworth Foundation offers fellowships to individuals to implement their innovative idea for social change. We are most interested in exceptional ideas at the intersection between technology, knowledge and learning, with openness being the key requirement.
The Foundation funds people from all over the world regardless of gender, age, nationality or experience. They are looking for a complete picture of you and your idea.
The foundation explains the fellowship as follows:

Over the years we have reviewed (and funded) many, many proposals and fellowship applications. In the current incarnation of the Foundation we support individuals to implement their idea for social change. Prospective applicants often ask us to narrow down the parameters for applications and be more specific about what we’re looking for. We are not planning on doing that, as we want to be surprised and intrigued by applicants, no matter how unconventional the idea may be.

The closing date for application is 1 April 2015.

Payments Dragon Den

Are you working on the next big thing set to change the payments’ industry? Is your product or programme going to be a game changer for how people move, manage and spend their money?
This is the opportunity to showcase your work to a qualified audience of senior buyers. Join us to launch your product to European programme managers, retailers, transport operators, local government authorities, banks, MNOs, corporates and gambling operators.
We have been running the Payments Dragons Den at our London PayExpo show for three consecutive years. Previous winners have been fast-tracked into the FinTech programme, meet and closed new clients and expanded into new markets!

About the Dragons’ Den

The Payments’ Dragons’ Den will be your chance to present your product or programme and withstand the questioning of our judges and the audience.
This is an exciting, energetic format for showcasing your product to an audience of industry thought leaders. Not only will you be able to hear questions and feedback from the industry but you are also in an arena which enables you to directly answer these.
A fantastic opportunity to ‘test the water’ with your product and stir up some early buyer interest.
Closing date for applications is the Friday 10 April 2015

GIST Tech-I Competition – Science and technology entrepreneurs

The GIST Tech-I Competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. Aspiring innovators submit their ideas and startups online in an application consisting of an executive summary and promotional video. Their applications are then reviewed by experts and voted on by the global voting public in order to determine the finalists. Thirty finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), this year in sub-Saharan Africa, to showcase their ventures and to receive intensive training. Tech-I winners, selected by experts at the GES, win mini-grants, and receive one-on-one mentorship and training.
Since 2011, innovators from over 86 countries have showcased their science and technology ventures to the world through GIST Tech-I Competitions. Thousands of expert reviews have taken place and the online voting public has cast over 1 million votes in support of these talented young innovators, selecting finalists representing Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East.
Now is your turn to participate and share your amazing ideas with the world! GIST Tech-I 2015 application opens February 17!
The deadline for applications is Friday 20 March 2015 at 12:00pm EDT.
The winner will receive up to $70 000 (R840 000) in funding for their idea or startup, with the top prize of $ 15 000-00.