The announcement of the Business Partners Entrepreneurs Growth Centre follows the recent unveiling of the company’s entrepreneurship campaign – the square peg movement – which aims to champion entrepreneurship as an answer to South Africa’s economic growth and job creation challenges.
According to Christo Botes, Executive Director of Business Partners Limited, when entrepreneurs are asked to identify the problems they face, access to finance is commonly cited, and then, stated as equally important, is access to support services. “While finance remains a driving factor for starting a business, non-financial support such as access to information, business expertise and resources are listed as key needs for entrepreneurs to keep their businesses running, turning profits and creating jobs.
“The first few years of operation can be a vulnerable time for entrepreneurs, as this is when the business is finding a space in the marketplace and establishing a name for itself. It is a known fact that businesses within the first few years of existence have a high failure rate in South Africa. Guidance at this stage is therefore vital as support plays a crucial role ensuring the sustainability of the business.”
During the planning phase of the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre, Business Partners conducted a survey among its clients and local entrepreneurs to establish and analyse the support entrepreneurs require most. Botes says that the findings suggest that there is a great need for advice relating to business plans and cash flow management.
When respondents were questioned on the possible areas they require advice on, more than two thirds agreed that they require assistance on a range of areas from conducting market research, BEE, TAX, VAT and labour law compliance, to cash flow management and start-up cost management.
“Many entrepreneurs have industry-specific skills, but don’t necessarily have the training or experience to manage other aspects of the business, such as bookkeeping, administration or legal issues.
“With the launch of the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre, Business Partners Limited intends to bridge this gap by bringing the information needed to run a successful business to the entrepreneur, addressing the challenges that entrepreneurs face, and ultimately promote and develop entrepreneurship in South Africa,” says Botes.
Although the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre is based in Johannesburg, the services are available nationally via email and LinkedIn, as well as through an expert call centre. By contacting the centre, entrepreneurs will have access to trained business mentors who are equipped to provide educated information and advice.
Botes adds that the Growth Centre will complement Business Partners’ current mentor services that are currently on offer. “While mentorship focuses mainly on longer term solutions, which are usually specific problem areas of a business, the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre will address immediate short term needs, such as providing advice on writing and refining a business plan.”
The Entrepreneurs Growth Centre will provide advice on all aspects of running a business, which include day-to-day running requirements, tendering processes, employee and risk management, as well as information around the regulatory environment in a specific sector. The centre will also offer service provider assistance with regards to registering a business with CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) and SARS, the installation of financial systems, business valuations and growth strategies or turnarounds.
For more information on the Entrepreneur Growth Centre and its offerings, please visit our Entrepreneur Growth Centre page. To contact the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre, please call 0861 SMEFIN (0861 763346), or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.