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Being a small business owner in South Africa means facing a unique set of challenges, but also provides for a unique set of opportunities. And while archetypal business and leadership books like Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, form a good foundation for anyone aspiring to enter the space, it’s just as important to consult local sources of business content to understand the nuances of doing business within the South African context.

This list of online resources and reads covers a broad base of topics, and for any small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner looking to upskill and improve, they are a great place to start.

For crunching the numbers: SARS Resources for Small Businesses

Filing taxes as an individual can be a challenge, but if you’re an SME owner who recently entered the small business space, you’ll know that filing your taxes as a business is another process altogether. What many don’t realise is that SARS has an information hub dedicated to small businesses. On the platform you’ll find practical, useful information on how to apply for Tax Compliance Status (TCS) using eFiling, how to qualify for tax relief as a small business and how to make tax debt payment arrangements. Most of the resources are available in a number of South Africa’s official languages and SARS also issues a monthly newsletter dedicated to topics that relate to the SME sector.

An e-resource for entrepreneurs: SME Toolkit South Africa

Some online content hubs focus on specific areas of building a small business, like marketing or funding. The best kind of resource however, for time-poor entrepreneurs who need everything to be less than two clicks away, is a resource that provides a comprehensive overview of the sector. The SME Toolkit is an e-resource dedicated to helping entrepreneurs navigate the South African economic climate with its unique complexities. On the SME Toolkit platform, you’ll find informative content related to budgeting, how to recruit and hire your first employees, how to manage your time and your cashflow and how to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

A read for inspiration: Business & Life Lessons from a Black Dragon

If you’re an SME owner who knows the South African landscape well, you may have heard of Vusi Thembekwayo – an entrepreneur who has become known for his position amongst some of the country’s top venture capitalists and angel investors. In 2019, Thembekwayo earned himself the reputation of being a true “dragon” on business funding reality show, Dragon’s Den South Africa. In his book, Business & Life Lessons from a Black Dragon, Vusi shares valuable insights about his journey to becoming one of the youngest directors of a listed company and the CEO of a boutique investment firm. Vusi’s relatable style of writing and refreshing openness makes this the perfect read for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned SME owners who need a motivation boost. He also shares his nuggets of information via his podcast, VT Podcast – Ideas that Matter.

Worth a listen: The Money Show

As an SME owner, staying abreast of the latest news, views and trends related to the economy and business, is of vital importance. Sometimes, when the only spare time you have as an entrepreneur is while driving, the best thing to do is listen to a podcast. The Money Show, hosted by Bruce Whitfield makes for an interesting listen. Whitfield is an award-winning business journalist who covers a wide range of pressing issues and business news. On the show, Whitfield engages and debates with influential individuals and thought leaders across the business spectrum, from blue-chip company CEOs to emerging entrepreneurs. Some of his guests have included Anne Bernstein; founder of the Centre for Development and Enterprise, Pheteni Nkuna, Director of Employee Practice at Cliffe Decker Hofmeyr and Vutlhari Valoyi, co-founder and CEO of innovative ecommerce and delivery company, Zulzi.

So take some time out to fill your information bank with these useful resources – you won’t regret it!


About the Author: Ben Bierman

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Ben Bierman has been our Managing Director since 2015. He joined our company in 1990 and has risen through the ranks occupying various positions ranging from being a management accountant, Head of Information Technology and Chief Financial Officer. Ben is an avid reader, enjoys classical music and being in the outdoors including for hunting trips. He is our go-to-spokesperson for our SME Confidence Index, SME sector policy and trend matters, and business leadership articles.