Listen to your customers instead of assuming things

It’s not rocket science, but it is about unglamorous (no overseas shopping trips) hard work, listening to your customers instead of assuming things on their behalf, and understanding the business environment, preferably not as a failed tenderpreneur yourself.

via BusinessDay – Job-creation nonsense

Funders welcome proposed tax incentive for angel investors

However, the draft law proposes to open the incentive so that all taxpaying entities can benefit from deductions, and to remove the R750000-a-year threshold for deductions. It also proposes to lift the turnover threshold of those small businesses that can qualify for investments from a venture capital company from R10m to R20m, and from R100m to R300m for a junior mining company. It also proposes to allow investors to take controlling stakes in the qualifying venture capital fund they invest in.

via BusinessDay – Funders welcome proposed tax incentive for angel investors

Anglo to create 25000 jobs

Anglo American (AGL), one of the world’s five largest resources groups, on Thursday said it was committed to creating and sustaining 25,000 jobs by 2015. This it would do through up to 1,500 new businesses.

Speaking at Anglo American’s local procurement and enterprise development trade fair, Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll said Anglo’s enterprise development arm, Zimele, has already invested some 467 million rand in 845 local businesses, which together employ about 16,000 people, and generate a turnover of more than 1.8 billion rand.

She also said Anglo’s commitment to developing new businesses supported the country’s vision of creating economic opportunities for black South Africans.

Anglo’s procurement spend with black empowered business in the past 10 years has increased from 911 million rand to 21 billion rand.

This makes up more than 40% of the group’s total available procurement spend to historically disadvantaged South Africans.

Department of Mineral Resources deputy minister Godfrey Oliphant said a recent study showed that South Africa’s youth would rather be entrepreneurs than be employed.

“It could be argued that lack of employment has encouraged the youth to look for alternative means to support themselves,” Oliphant said.

He said over 70% of the youth, particularly the black youth, consider running their own businesses, but they recognised that they needed experience.

He encouraged big business to get youth more involved in entrepreneurship. – I-Net Bridge

via Anglo to create 25,000 jobs –

Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Development workshop

The Center for Management & Professional Development (CMPD) at the University of Dubai (UD), a prestigious university in the UAE established by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has concluded the “Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Development” workshop for 19 women entrepreneurs who successfully trained on business management skills.

A ceremony felicitating the participants was held recently at the Dubai Chamber with three of the participants receiving awards for the best business plans. The three-month training is part of Joint Venture for Finance & Entrepreneurship (JVFE), which was established in January 2005 as a joint venture between UD and the Citi Foundation.  The JVFE aims at addressing the entrepreneurial qualifications of women through specialized and focused workshops.

via University of Dubai concludes Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Development workshop | Al Bawaba

Amazon bigwigs to jet into Cape Town for Grand Opening

The world’s most famous online retailer,, is gearing up for a big launch in Cape Town, with bigwigs flying into the country from the States.

Among the executives will be Marc Onetto, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Service. Onetto will be joined in August by members of the press for what Amazon are calling a “Grand Opening”. The VP will view a “new facility”, which is essentially the company’s upgraded call centre that was set up last year.

The centre, which has been operational since October 2010, came with the promise of 600 new jobs in its first year, along with an extra 400 seasonal jobs annually. Call centre support is provided primarily in English and German to Amazon’s American and Central European customer bases.

Amazon also operates a development hub in Cape Town, which has been running since 2005. The team plays a key role in the building and management of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

According to the Development Centre’s site,” EC2 is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers”. The service also claims to provide “developers with complete control of their computing resources and lets them run on Amazon’s proven computing environment”.

South Africa’s time-zone proximity to Europe was cited as one the major factors in choosing to have a Customer Service Centre in the country, along with a lower staff turnover rate than in other regions, such as India, which are more well known for housing customer service centres.

Prior to the centre’s becoming operational, Brent Jaye, director of Amazon’s North American customer service division spoke about the online retail giant’s decision to situate the facility in the Western Cape and Cape Town in particular.

“…Cape Town is widely regarded for its hospitality, and we are excited about drawing upon this customer-centric talent pool,” he said at the time.

The Western Cape is becoming a choice destination both for development centres and customer service centres like Amazon’s. Previous big name entrants to the province include Google, with its startup lab Umbono and Tata Communications which opened its Cape Town data centre, in March 2010.

via Amazon bigwigs to jet into Cape Town for ‘Grand Opening’

Small business owners – seize the opportunity to grow

Companies still get to pick the business owners they want to help. More black business owners must seize the opportunity to grow their business and move into the private sector if they are to become serious players in the economy.

More than anything, SA needs real entrepreneurs, not more BEE fat cats.

via BusinessDay – STEPHEN TIMM: Small business

CPA now allows more than 10% cancellation fee

Cellphone operators in South Africa are successfully persuading the government to make changes in the recently introduced Consumer Protection Act, particularly on the cancellation of contracts, The New Age can reveal.

The new law had been criticised by some sectors due to the powers it gives consumers. Operators in particular felt that the proposed regulation on cancellation fees of contracts, which was pegged at 10% of the contract value, didn’t make business sense for them.

via Government backs down on contracts | The New Age Online

Tax filing season opens 1 July 2011

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced that tax return filing season for individuals will start on Friday, July 1, and will run until Friday, November 25, for taxpayers who use eFiling.

via Tax filing season opens –

For assistance with your taxes, contact Accountkeeper

Massmart partners with local entrepreneurs

Pattison added: “While black economic empowerment (BEE) is a strong focus of Massmart’s strategy… this initiative is also about building small businesses through this new opportunity.”

Allon Raiz, the chief executive of Raizcorp, said that the partnership was an opportunity for more local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to connect with Massmart and benefit from its retail distribution network.

“Here we have one of Africa’s retail giants using its procurement power to stimulate local SME development and growth,” Raiz said.

via Massmart partners with local entrepreneurs –

Calling all aspirant SMMEs

Masia said 100 of the most promising entrepreneurs from across the province will be selected for a course to help them draw up business plans that will improve their chances of qualifying for funding from the programme’s partners, who include Khula Enterprise Finance and Nedbank.

“Once the finalists’ business plans have been completed, the Business LaunchPad funding partners will give them priority consideration. Those who are accepted will receive additional prizes such as laptops, software and mentorship,” Masia said.

He said the competition will also reward the most promising female, youth and disabled entrepreneurs, as well as the most innovative job-creation proposals.

via Calling all aspirant SMMEs | The New Age Online