An entrepreneur become a business person

It all starts with an idea.

Over time, your idea gathers momentum, causing a cascade of emotions in the process that very few non-entrepreneurs will ever get to experience. Anticipation, excitement and even terror are just some of the words that immediately come to mind; it’s a veritable (self-inflicted) emotional rollercoaster. But deep down you know, your idea will be a success.

My idea for Tourism Radio started in 2005 – probably before then actually, as I had been involved in the tourist industry for some time already. Today, my idea operates on three continents and works with some of the world’s leading brands; creating location-based audio experiences for their clients. I’ve been both financially and emotionally invested in the company for seven years.

But am I still an entrepreneur, or have I crossed over to the realm of a real businessman? A little bit of both I think.

via When does an entrepreneur become a business person? | ventureburn.

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Hope for small business

Anna Phosa's workers

Port Elizabeth small business owners were given a boost on Wednesday following a gathering where up and coming local entrepreneurs got the opportunity to grow their firms.

The Hope Factory, a hub for entrepreneurs in the city, hosted two events at North End in a bid to strengthen entrepreneurs’ capacity in growing and sustaining their enterprises.

Sipho Ntlangu, one of The Hope Hub entrepreneurs, said the programme had made a positive impact in terms of business growth.

The Hope Factory launched The Hope Hub a year ago with the purpose of helping small business owners to showcase their products.

“It also provided me with more exposure for business, as many people are now aware of the whereabouts of my business. There is a great potential to increase sales and to make profits,” said Ntlangu.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study, there are few South Africans who try their hand at entrepreneurship and only 2.6% survive through the three-and-a-half year mark.

“Some of the reasons for this failure rate include a lack of skills, limited access to markets, no seed capital, a lack of work experience and a lack of confidence.

via Hope for small business | The New Age Online.

Jessica Alba is all business

English: Jessica Alba in Paris presenting the ...

Some may know her as the Fantastic Four beauty of Hollywood.

But Jessica Alba has actually stepped up her game as an entrepreneur, juggling motherhood and her eco-friendly baby products business.

And today’s outfit certainly reflected the fact that she meant business.

As Jessica dropped off daughter Honor, four, at school en route to her Honest Company offices, she was seen in a white blazer teamed with ivory chinos and a pair of two-toned ivory and lilac suede buck shoes.

via Jessica Alba is all business as she does the school run in a blazer and bucks | Mail Online.

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Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for Entrepreneurs

Clifton House Regional office for Tenon; a lea...

Many people who start businesses, including me, have little or no experience and just jump in. Over the years, I have compared notes with many fellow entrepreneurs, and I have seen them make the same mistakes over and over again — I recognize them because I have made them all, too. Here is my list of the biggest rookie mistakes:

1. Keeping your rent as low as possible. The key to business is to keep expenses low, right? Wrong. Sometimes it is worth paying more rent if it will generate more customers, if it gives a better image and inspires confidence, if it helps attract the right employees or if it makes it easier to deal with suppliers. In retail, this one mistake can determine success or failure.

2. Hiring someone you know and trust. Competence is more important. While hiring friends and relatives can work, it severely limits the pool from which you choose, leaving out people who could be much more qualified. Friends and relatives can also carry baggage. They can also be very hard to manage, which leads to my ultimate advice: if you can’t fire ‘em, don’t hire ‘em.

3. Buying used equipment to keep expenses down. This, too, works sometimes, but it is often shortsighted. For example, buying a used truck with 100,000 miles on it will guarantee that you will spend valuable time and money fixing the truck when it should be out taking care of customers. Can you really afford downtime with any machine?

via The Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for Entrepreneurs – NYTimes.com.

Entrepreneurs need to persevere

Entrepreneur of the Century

The desire to succeed by South Africans has resulted in an entrepreneurial culture, which continues to grow at an encouraging rate that is vital to fuel economic development in the country in 2012 and beyond.

While people can learn the principles of entrepreneurship, I think it is very hard to train someone to be an entrepreneur. The steps and the risks needed to succeed in your own business cannot be taught. Ultimately, building a successful business and a legacy is about passion; having a vision and sticking to it.

Starting a business and finding the right concept and vision is a gruelling process.

via Entrepreneurs need to persevere.

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How to stimulate entrepreneurs

English: South Africa (orthographic projection)

In the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), which measures a country’s entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses, South Africa fell from 39 last year to 45 this year.

Nimo Naidoo, project manager of the Sanlam Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, said stimulating entrepreneurship was the key to igniting economic growth and job creation.

“This decline might be attributed to many various factors. But one of the major factors is the lack of a positive entrepreneurial culture in South Africa,” said Naidoo.

She said research had shown that South Africa’s society had a culture that neglected entrepreneurial activities, especially individuals who had failed in the past.

“The South African educational structure (primary to tertiary education) does not place enough emphasis on equipping learners with the correct knowledge and skill to become successful entrepreneurs,” she said.

According to the latest GEDI rankings of the 79 countries surveyed, South Africa has in the space of a year lost ground on nations such as Colombia and Peru, which have significantly smaller GDPs.

Naidoo said most economically competitive countries in the world had significantly higher levels of entrepreneurial activity.

She said the latest data gathered by Endeavor Brazil, which revealed that SMEs were responsible for 96% of the jobs in Brazil and represented 98% of all companies in the country.

Naidoo said promoting a culture of entrepreneurship was the responsibility of the public and private sector.

“It is essential that each party works together to create an environment within society that serves as a sustainable platform for a positive entrepreneurial culture to grow,” she said.

“Government also plays an important role in ensuring that policies and programmes are aligned with fostering entrepreneurial growth.”

via ‘No business culture in SA’ – Sowetan LIVE.

Top retailers avoid BEE partners

Shoprite (South Africa)

Politically connected empowerment’s usual suspects are missing out on a combined market capitalisation of more than R160 billion as they are shunned by top JSE-listed retailers, which have chosen to rather give stakes to their staff and support struggling black entrepreneurs.

A snapshot Business Report survey shows that since the broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) codes were passed into law eight years ago, at least seven major retailers, most of them among the top 40 largest JSE-listed blue chip companies, have not had empowerment partners.

Shareholder activist Theo Botha inspired the survey.

The companies with no black partners include furniture chains Lewis Group and JD Group, clothing retailers Foschini and Truworths, supermarket groups Pick n Pay and Shoprite and personal care chain Clicks.

This could be because the retailing chains do not feel obliged to chase targets set by the Broad-based BEE Act as they do not rely on state contracts for their survival.

The retail sector, unlike other industries, does not have a transformation charter that would have set targets to be achieved by a particular date.

Suzanne Ackerman Berman, Pick n Pay’s transformation director, said it had always been Pick n Pay’s philosophy that its employees should be owners in the business and, to this end, the company instituted an employee share ownership scheme soon after its inception in 1970.

At the end of February, the Pick n Pay employee share trust held 3.4 million shares in the company. The company recently set up a transformation committee and appointed a senior manager to oversee its broad-base BEE strategies.

The retailer focuses mainly on the preferential procurement and enterprise development elements set out in the Broad-based BEE Act of 2003.

“We believe that empowerment strategies focus on areas where we are able to effect the most change. More than 33 percent of our franchise stores are exclusively black-owned, creating new business entrepreneurs, transferring skills and creating jobs,” she said.

via Top retailers avoid BEE partners – Business News

Register your informal business

Sarah Mathebula, 32, of Diepsloot, runs a vegetable business in the informal settlement and it is her only source of income.

Mathebula, a mother of five, arrived in Diepsloot in 2001. With no education, she started selling sweets, saving every rand.

Diepsloot has an estimated population of more than 250000 and is notorious for street justice, crime, unemployment and poverty.

So for many residents like Mathebula the only way to survive is to start a business.

“I would love to get support from the government or the city authorities to expand my business and get a proper place to trade.”

Mathebula said the relationship between the many small businesses in the area and the new entrants – Somalis and Pakistani nationals – was now good.

She is one of the 400 members of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who have now been organised to achieve economic growth in the area.

Phineas Letsoalo, project coordinator of the Diepsloot Chamber of Business, said the organisation started in May last year and faced many challenges on its path.

His chamber will be part of the Sacci’s conference, gala dinner and exhibition, that will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday and Tuesday.

Sowetan, the print media partner of the conference, will give an opportunity to 50 SMMEs and entrepreneurs to attend the convention for free.

To secure a seat contact the convention secretariat on 011-676-3467 or e-mail: sacciconvention@globalconf.co.za and use the Reference SOWETAN. Offer closes today at 12pm.

“The first challenge was the political landscape. You will find that developmental projects go through a political office and often information is not accessible to entrepreneurs,” he said.

He said another big challenge was that businesses were not formalised and do not even have addresses.

This, he said, increase the risk for banks and investors who would identify business opportunity in Diepsloot.

“People do not even Iknow how to register their businesses and they use whatever land is available without going through proper channels. Corrupt officials then utilised this ignorance and solicit rent from these businesses,” he said.

Mathebula said the business community in informal settlements needed to be organised and his chamber has started to engage developmental agencies to assist entrepreneurs in Diepsloot.

via The means to survive – Sowetan LIVE.

Entrepreneurial solutions for a thirsty planet

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

Image via Wikipedia

WHEN you can stroll over to a tap whenever you like and help yourself to a glass of clear, cool water, it is hard to believe that one of the biggest business opportunities of the 21st century, and one of the best opportunities for business to give back to society, lies in supplying fresh water.

But global demand for water has grown six-fold over the past century, while the population has quadrupled. If this trend continues, our current resources and infrastructure will not be sufficient to supply enough water to meet demand. While the global water industry is diversified and, in terms of committed capital, ranks on a par with the oil, gas and electricity industries, it has not attracted much private investment. It’s time for entrepreneurs and business leaders to get involved, because finding creative solutions to these challenges will require not just great political leadership and innovative research, but a transformation of business itself.

The perception of plenty is only an illusion: most of the earth’s fresh water is frozen in the polar ice-caps, trapped in the soil or in deep, inaccessible underground lakes; only 1% of all fresh water is available for people to drink and use. For the most part, the water sources we rely on — lakes, rivers, reservoirs and underground — are renewed by rain and snowfall. Our use should be sustainable in theory, but in some cases, we have already crossed the line and are depleting these sources. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, more than 60% of the world’s population will lack fresh water for drinking and cooking.

If you are an entrepreneur hoping to make a difference in your community or society, this is a sector you should consider. With so many people in need, and different challenges facing every region, there are limitless possibilities for innovation: new and better means of supply, delivery, recycling and treatment. The related area of water conservation touches on every aspect of life, from how people brew their morning tea to how companies manufacture goods.

via BusinessDay – RICHARD BRANSON: Entrepreneurial solutions for a thirsty planet.