Free support will soon be available to Johannesburg entrepreneurs with the launch of the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre in Johannesburg. The facility will provide free support and service assistance to local entrepreneurs.
Business Partners Limited (BPL), a risk finance company for SMEs, is behind the facility, and the services offered are the result of a survey conducted among its clients and local entrepreneurs, looking at the kinds of support that entrepreneurs require the most. The findings suggested that there is a great need for advice relating to business plans and cash flow 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,” said BPL executive director, Christo Botes.
The survey also revealed that more than two thirds of respondents said they require assistance on areas like conducting market research, BEE, TAX, VAT and labour law compliance, to cash flow management and start-up cost management.
“Guidance at this stage is therefore vital as support plays a crucial role ensuring the sustainability of the business”
Growth centre services
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 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,” said Botes.
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.
“Guidance at this stage is therefore vital as support plays a crucial role ensuring the sustainability of the business.”
Entrepreneurs will have access to trained business mentors who are equipped to provide educated information and advice. BPL says that the Growth Centre will complement their mentor services that are currently on offer.
Although Johannesburg based, the centre’s services will be available nationally. Entrepreneurs outside Johannesburg will be able to get help through email and the call centre, as well as through their social media platforms.
Botes adds that the Growth Centre will complement Business Partners’ current mentor services that are currently on offer.