SAICA offering discounted back office services

SAICA and J.P. Morgan sets out to help 100 SMEs reach new heights. Through the Enterprisation J.P. Morgan flagship project, 100 Gauteng SMEs will be selected to receive partially subsidised back office accounting support and financial training for a period of 18 months. The aim is to help them become sustainable businesses, and also to drive economic growth.

he key objective of the J.P. Morgan Enterprisation flagship project is to help SMEs reach the level of sustainability that allows them to drive economic growth and create employment. For this reason, SMEs accepted into this project will be measured against four key goals: compliance, revenue growth, profitability and employability.
To apply to be a part of the project, SMEs must:

  • be owned by a SA citizen
  • be successfully operating for a minimum of three years
  • have an annual turnover of between R500 000 and R10 million
  • be at least 51% black owned
  • operate only in South Africa
  • have valid tax clearance
  • have a valid BEE certificate/affidavit
  • be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and have valid CIPC documentation
  • have an active business bank account
  • employ a minimum of two people (excluding directors and owners)
  • not have an accountant at present
  • not currently be a client of SAICA’s enterprise development entities
  • be willing to attend SAICA-hosted training and workshops.

SMEs that operate in the top-performing industries in South Africa – namely ICT, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, transport & logistics, manufacturing, media and entertainment, and education – will be given preference for entry onto the project’s shortlist.
How to apply?
Business owners who would like their SMEs to be considered for the J.P. Morgan Enterprisation flagship project should note that the application consists of two steps: an initial online application and, should your SME be shortlisted, a 15-minute pitch presentation to a panel of judges who will select the 100 SMEs that will take part in the project.
To submit your application, visit, click on the Enterprisation J.P. Morgan project banner, and fill in the online application form.
Please note that online applications close at midnight on 15 January 2017. SMEs shortlisted for the project will be contacted by 18 January 2017 to set up a presentation to the panel during February.

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week, IDC Auditorium, Johannesburg

11 November 2016

Photo of: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu,
Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,
President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Mr Jonathan Ortmans,
Leaders of business, labour and community,
Development partners,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to address you this afternoon on the occasion of the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This event is informed by an understanding that sustainable development is people-driven.
It is informed by an understanding that countries that do not invest in entrepreneurial development hinder their own growth potential and limit the prosperity of their people. It is informed by an understanding that it is Africa’s innovative and resilient entrepreneurs that will solve the continent’s socio economic challenges and determine its destiny.
From this, the City of Gold to Dar Es Salaam, from Musina to Marrakesh, from Lephalale to Lagos, our continent salutes the women and men, the young and the elderly, who are reasserting Africa’s status as a centre for entrepreneurship.
During Global Entrepreneurship Week and beyond, we must recognise and celebrate you because you are the engines of economic growth and agents for development.
You are Africa’s merchants of hope.
We look up to you to collaborate beyond borders to pursue opportunities that will create employment for our people.
We are grateful to Africa’s global partners who are enthusiastic and committed to cultivating and supporting Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We applaud the members and leadership of the Global Entrepreneurship Network for travelling far to be with us today and for joining us on our journey towards an entrepreneurial generation.
We are also pleased, humbled and honoured that you have chosen South Africa to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2017.
The events planned for Global Entrepreneurship Week allow us not only to share encouraging stories – and cautionary tales – from small business owners.
It is also a marketplace for new ideas.
It is a place to see opportunities, and to act on them.
It is a unique business fair bringing together policy makers, experts, investors and entrepreneurs.
This week is about the realisation of human potential.
It is as much about the individual entrepreneur as it is about the society that produces them.
It is also about the society that they – through their endeavours – will ultimately produce.
The participants in these events are motivated by a desire to succeed.
They are equally driven by a passion to defeat the scourge of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We all know that small businesses contribute considerably to job creation and economic growth in several developing economies.
Our National Development Plan enjoins all social partners in our country to work together to create fertile conditions to grow small enterprises.
The Department of Small Business Development, working with other stakeholders in our developmental state, is championing SMME development.
It is active on the frontline, promoting localisation, preferential procurement, mentoring and incubation of entrepreneurs.
It is an advocate for better financing, training and support of entrepreneurs.
It is the sworn enemy of the regulatory obstacles and bureaucratic ineffeciency that stand in the way of promising new enterprises.
It is leading the government-wide effort to create an environment that fully supports small businesses.
The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on South Africa highlights several of the challenges we face.
The report attributes South Africa’s weak job-creating capacity in part to our failure to adequately support enterprise development.
It highlights our country’s stubbornly low levels of entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurial intentions when compared to many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report notes that entrepreneurs in South Africa are almost four times more likely to anticipate making no contribution to job creation besides self-employment for the entrepreneurs themselves.
Black Africans still make up the majority of South Africa’s early-stage entrepreneurs.
But their participation has sharply declined.
The GEM Report notes that:
“In 2013 and 2014, approximately 85% of South Africa’s early-stage entrepreneurs were Black Africans. In 2015 this figure has declined by a fifth, to 68%.”
Constraints to entrepreneurship in South Africa are said to derive from inept government bureaucracy, inadequate entrepreneurship education and training at schools and social norms.
The GEM Report also says that South Africa’s national culture seems to discourage entrepreneurial risk-taking.
This observation masks a deeper reality: under apartheid, over many decades, the entrepreneurial instincts of South Africa’s majority were deliberately and cynically suppressed.
Unless we acknowledge and confront this reality, we will continue to undermine the effort to foster an entrepreneurial culture.
Blacks were stripped of land and assets, denied rights to establish businesses and deprived of opportunities to develop skills.
Like wealth and privilege, entrepreneurial capacity is often passed down through the family from generation to generation.
I was myself once a business person, and I couldn’t help noticing how many of my white counterparts had been exposed from an early age to the language and logic of business.
Many of them came from families where dinner table conversation often turned to sales, profit and financing, about new enterprises and failed ventures.
Not only did these people have the advantage of a better education, access to resources and ready-made networks; they also left home with many of the ingredients of an entrepreneurial mindset.
That is the deficiency we have only just begun to address.
We have significantly improved access to both school and higher education.
We have instituted employment equity and black empowerment programmes that have created a significant middle class that is starting to accumulate assets and savings.
We have reduced asset poverty through the provision of subsidised housing and the redistribution of land.
But there is a great deal we still need to do, specifically within the foundational phase of schooling.
Just as we confront the legacy of our past, we need to address one of the economic challenges of the present.
The structure of our economy has established high barriers to entry.
The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Mr David Lipton, recently spoke about a huge part of South Africa’s labour force that ‘is left on the outside looking in’.
He said:
“The formal economy is not absorbing them, nor are they able to strike out on their own.
“There is a crucial structural issue at play here: those included and successful in the advanced economy – large businesses, banks and unionised workers – maintain entry barriers against their potential competitors – small and medium-sized enterprises and the unemployed.
“In situations like this, the government should represent the interests of the excluded. However, some policies, regulations or actions only raise higher barriers.’
Indeed, a number of sectors of our economy are dominated by a few big players, costs of entry are high, and anti-competitive behaviour is widespread.
As government, we have recognised that we may unwittingly reinforce this market dominance through bureaucratic inefficiency and costly regulatory requirements.
However, we have made important progress in strengthening the competition authorities, using government’s purchasing power to promote emerging businesses, and refining the BEE codes of good practice to emphasise enterprise development.
While there is much in the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem from which we can draw inspiration – and from which we derive great hope – I have intentionally dwelled slightly more on the key constraints and obstacles.
I have done so to challenge all of us to work together to change the status quo and to allow small business to flourish.
I have done so to appeal to big business to partner with small business to grow an inclusive economy and give our youth work experience.
Leaders of established business must mentor more and invest more in young talent.
We must work together to urgently introduce those reforms that will foster a more enabling environment for SMME development.
We must find innovative ways to work and provide the necessary support to young women in particular to get involved in sustainable opportunity-driven enterprises.
Together, we must make sure, that by 2030, we have created a South Africa where, in the word of the National Development Plan:
We are traders.
We are inventors.
We are workers.
We create companies.
We set up stalls.
We are studious.
We are gardeners.
We feel a call to serve.
We make things.
Out of our homes we create objects of value.
We invest and reap good returns for our efforts.
We travel to trade beyond our borders,
carrying our values with us.
We respect ability, competence and talent.
Now our economy is growing.
Our prosperity is increasing.
We are energised by our resourcefulness.
I wish you all a successful Global Entrepreneurship Week.
From here, we must agree that entrepreneurship will occupy the centre of our national discourse.
To defeat poverty, unemployment and inequality, entrepreneurship must be part of the daily conversations in our homes, around the dinner table, in community halls and classrooms, and on radio stations.
This is a country and a continent alive with possibility.
We are looking to the entrepreneurs of Africa to unleash the potential of our people and realise that potential.
I thank you.
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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 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

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.
Continue reading “The rise of Artisan entrepreneurs in South Africa – and what it takes to succeed”

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.”

Below please find the press release from TaxTim:
Continue reading “TaxTim launches easy tax return completion tool for SMEs”

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.
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

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