Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) opens Jan 1

On January 1, 2017, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will begin accepting applications for the third round of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Programme is the Foundation’s 10-year, US$100 million commitment to training, mentoring and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
The application portal will be open until midnight (WAT), March 1, 2017. Entrepreneurs must complete the online application and selection is on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged.
Check back on the 1 January 2017 when the portal will open, and read the website to get a headstart. Click here. 

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
 

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:
Continue reading “TaxTim launches easy tax return completion tool for SMEs”

How Important Is It Really To Produce Content For Your Website?

 Just how important is it to produce fresh content for your website on a regular basis? It’s not just important, ladies and gents, it’s essential. Getting the perfect website designed by a web design company doesn’t mean much without perfectly written content. You have probably heard this a million times before, but we’re going to say it again: content is king! If you’re wondering why your website isn’t working for you, it’s probably because you’re not working for it. Simply having a website isn’t enough anymore. Having a website requires constant input. You will need to create informative, helpful and keyword-rich content to ensure that your website remains relevant and search engine friendly. You can have the flashiest website with all the bells and whistles and still have to deal with the frustration of your competitors ranking ahead of you in an online search result, if you have stale content. Ranking number one in an online search result with leading search engines such as Google, is the coveted prize for all online marketers.
Below are a few reasons why you should regularly update your website with fresh content:

  • A website that is frequently updated with articles, blog posts, video clips and similar, will be frequently indexed, which immediately improves your chances of ranking higher in a search engine result. Of course your content should be relevant, interesting and helpful to the reader.
  • More keyword rich content means you strike it rich with leading search engine’s algorithm charts. Of course keywords aren’t all that a search engine is looking for anymore. If you simply have pages and pages of keywords, your website is going to be viewed negatively and will most certainly lose its potential for a good ranking.
  • You can position yourself as an industry authority by posting helpful articles and guides on your products / services. “How to” articles are great for this, as are guides on how to use your products more efficiently and effectively. Providing your consumers with good quality content will also earn loyalty from your target audience.

What exactly makes content great? How do you know if your articles and posts are going to work for your website and get your business marketing to where it needs to be?
Below are a few tips on how to create great content:

  • Always be original. Never reproduce someone else’s content or copy and paste something else that you find online.
  • Your content headlines should grab attention and your content should keep it. Create strong headlines and use your keywords / key phrase in them.
  • Spur on action. What’s the point of a good article or blog post if the consumer doesn’t know what the next step is? Always include a call to action and make sure that it is clear / obvious. Instruct the consumer to email you, click through to your Facebook page or download a new article.
  • Get visual. Images are interesting. As humans, we are attracted to what looks good and that’s why images help to sell products so well online. If you are worried that you can’t take great pictures, don’t be. There are plenty of free online image resources that you can use.
  • Skip the waffling. No one wants to read pages and pages of content that end up being a yawn a minute. Keep the content interesting and concise.
  • Be thorough in your content and link all of your online platforms. What’s the point in having a website with great content that points your consumers to your Facebook page, LinkedIn page or Twitter page, and none of these pages have more content. Ensure that all of your profiles are properly filled out and that where the opportunity exists, updates and posts filled with fresh and interesting content are made regularly.
  • Make sure that your content is well written and presented neatly. Break up content into sections or paragraphs with powerful headings to ensure that you don’t lose your readers along the way. ghsggsgs

Is your website ranking on the first page of Google? If not, what are you waiting for! The time to start creating fresh and interesting content is now!
Article by Gert Hattingh from web design company, One Click Here.

Featured image courtesy of  Guudmorning!

Growing Hands entrepreneurship training

Growing Hands is providing entrepreneurship training over eight sessions of three hours are scheduled from March 2014 till the end of November 2014 for small businesses. The session are hosted at the University of Johannesburg and run from 9am to 1pm.
PLEASE NOTE: 2015 Training is now available. Click here.

Practical learning for everyone

The program is practical, there is NO cost of attending and vital skills in the running, managing and growing of small businesses, micro enterprises and social entrepreneurship can be developed.
Entrepreneurs create much needed jobs to sustain their families, the families of their employees in these difficult times. However, if mentorship can be provided and these entities grow then more business creation can take place.
Many of the presenters are well qualified and have volunteered their services as a contribution to Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development. So many organisations and businesses have contributed and donated freely to make the GROWING HANDS dream of helping small business and venture creation a reality.
This program open to anyone running a business or wanting to start a business… The home caterer, the consultant, the student, the businessman with a annual turnover of R 20 million, the Women’s Forum Management, the Cake designer, Spaza Shop owner, Soup Kitchen operator or the Nursery School Owner.
More details on the programme is available below:

2014 Entrepreneurship Training

2014-entrepreneur-development-flyer

About Growing Hands

GROWING-HANDS-FLYER

Programme

Details of the sessions are:
Session 1- Saturday, 29 March 2014
Starting a New Business from concept to reality. Presenter: Haroun Pochee B.Com C.A.(SA)
Session2- Saturday, 5 April 2014
Growing Your Business, Knowing yourself. Presenter: Rehana Moosajee
Session 3-Saturday, 24 May2014
Digital Marketing for Entrepreneurs Presenter: Haroun Pochee B.Com C.A.(SA)
Session 4-Saturday, 21June 2014
Sales and selling – Presenter: Jacques de Villiers
Session 5-Saturday, 30 August 2014
Business Plans to Finance your Business -Presenter: Jeremy Lang
Session 6 -Saturday, 27 September 2014
Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Business- Presenter: Troy Dyer
Session 7-Saturday, 25 October 2014
Labour Relations-CCM – Unfair labour practices- Presenters: Prof. Mohammed Rajah and panel
Session 8-Saturday, 29 November2014
An Introduction to Finance for Your Business Presenter: Kerrbyn Ramballie.
To register for the training please click here.
(Note: Some comments have been lost on this article when we moved from one server to the next. Sincerest apologies.)

Business Process Services and Off-Shoring Incentive

Business Process Services (BPS)

 
The South African government implemented a Business Process Outsourcing & Off-shoring (BPO&0) incentive programme as from July 2007. Between July 2007 and March 2010, the incentive resulted in the creation of at least 6,000 new jobs and attracted R303 million in direct investment.
As part of a process of improving South Africa’s position as an investment destination, a systematic review of the BPO & O incentive programme was undertaken with the private sector resulting in a revised BPS incentive.
Objectives
The BPS aims to attract investment and create employment in South Africa through off-shoring activities.
Benefits

  • A base incentive as a tax exempt grant paid over three years for each offshore job created and maintained.
  • A graduated bonus incentive paid as follows:
    • 20% bonus for more than 4000 but less than 8000 offshore jobs paid once off in a year in which the bonus is reached;
    • 30% bonus for more than 800 offshore jobs paid once off in the year in the year in which the bonus level is reached.

 
Eligible Enterprises

the dti will determine whether an applicant is eligible to benefit from the BPS incentive, based on the requirements that an applicant (legal entity):

  • must be performing BPS activities;
  • may be involved in starting a new operation or expanding an existing operation in order to perform BPS activities, which may be operated from more than one physical location in South Africa;
  • must, by the end of three years from the start of operation of the new project or the expansion, have created at least 50 new off-shore jobs in South Africa, as defined in the BPS Incentive Programme Guidelines;
  • must commence its commercial operations no later than six months from the date on which the BPS incentive grant was approved. Failure to reach this target date will lead to the cancellation or disqualification of the application, thus requiring the applicant to submit a revised application to submit a revised application to reapply for the grant; and
  • if in a joint venture arrangement, must have at least one of the parties registered in South Africa as a legal entity.

Learn More 

Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS)

Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS)

 
The Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS) is an incentive designed to grow and develop the automotive sector through investment in new and/ or replacement models and components that will increase plant production volumes, sustain employment and/ or strengthen the automotive value chain.
Objectives of incentive scheme
 

  • Strengthen and diversify the sector through investment in a new and/or replacement models and components.
  • Increase plant production volumes.
  • Sustain employment and/or strengthen the automotive value chain.

 
Benefits
 

  • The AIS provides for a taxable cash grant of (20%) of the value of qualifying investment in productive assets as approved by the dti.
  • An additional taxable cash grant of 5 or 10% may be available to projects that are found to be strategic by the dti.
  • An additional taxable cash grant of five to ten percent (5% – 10%) may be made available for projects that maintain their base year employment figure throughout the incentive period, and achieve at least two (2) of the following economic requirements:
    • Tooling;
    • Research and development in South Africa;
    • Employment creation;
    • Strengthening of the automotive value chain; and
    • Value addition.

     

  • To qualify for an additional grant of five to ten percent (5% – 10%), the project must demonstrate the following:
    • In respect of light motor vehicle manufacturer: a specified increase in unit production per plant ; and
    • In respect of component manufacturers: a specified increase in turnover and manufacturing of components that are currently not being manufactured in South Africa.

 
Eligible Enterprises
 

  • Light motor vehicle manufacturers that have achieved, or can demonstrate that they will achieve, a minimum of 50 000 annual units of production per plant, within a period of three (3) years; or
  • Component or deemed component manufacturers that are part of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) supply chain; or
  • Will achieve at least 25% of total entity turnover or R10 million by the end of the first full year of commercial production as part of a light motor vehicle manufacturer supply chain, locally and / or internationally.

 
Light Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
 

  • Should have achieved or can demonstrate that it will achieve, within three years, a minimum of 50 000 annual units of production per plant.
  • Should demonstrate that it will achieve within three years a minimum of 50 000 annual units of production per plant.

 
Component Manufacturers or Deemed Component Manufacturers
 

  • A component manufacturer that can prove that a contract is in place and/or a contract has been awarded and/or a letter of intent has been received for the manufacture of components to supply into the light motor vehicle manufacturer supply chain locally and/or internationally;
  • A component manufacturer that can prove that after this investment it will achieve at least 25% of total entity turnover or R10m annually by the end of the first full year of commercial production, as part of a light motor vehicle manufacturer supply chain locally and/or internationally.

Learn More