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Opportunities ripe for female entrepreneurs to shatter glass ceiling

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The entrepreneurial gender gap is slowly closing in many countries, and in these countries women as likely as men to start a small business. In hot pursuit of such gender parity is South Africa, where seven women are engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship for every ten male entrepreneurs, according to the recently released 2016/2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Speaking in light of National Women’s Month, Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that it is important for both the public and private sectors to band together in order to create an environment where women entrepreneurs feel well-supported in terms of business growth and development. “According to some of the top female entrepreneurs in South Africa, and finalists of the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, although there are highly capable and talented female entrepreneurs in the country, the landscape could be more conducive,”…

Women empowerment starts at home

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Franchises can empower women in many ways and contribute to community development, but franchisors will do well to take note of the fact that women empowerment must also happen at the home of the franchise, says Richard Mukheibir, Managing Director of Cash Converters. He has seen women take on the challenge to become franchise owners in the past two decades, turning the theory that women are not tough enough to own a business in the second-hand category on its head.

“Working to change the male-dominated environment to make space for women and empower them in the business world, we were also aware that our own staff, at head office, was predominantly male. If we wanted to empower women outside the business, we also had to empower them from the inside. We had to attract women to our business and help them to thrive.”

And thrive they did. Various studies of women in business have found that they are loyal, conscientious, full of initiative, display a high standard of workmanship and deliv…

Transformation a top priority for franchising

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The Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) believes the franchise sector, which contributes 11.6 percent to the country’s GDP and employs close to 400 000 people through its 757 franchise systems and their 35 111 franchise outlets, can play a key role in creating new businesses to grow the economy through innovative venture creations. To this end, the Franchise Association runs an active Transformation, Stakeholders and Funding committee made up of franchisors, funders and government institutions represented by the Department of Small Business Development and its agency sefa to explore new ways to facilitate transformation, empower entrepreneurs and small businesses in bridging inequality whilst creating prosperity and employment.

In view of the National Development Plan’s target of 11 million jobs to be created by 2030, with 90% of those jobs expected to be created by small and expanding formats, solutions to the employment challenge need to be tackled as a matter of urgency. S…

Which SA sectors are ripe with opportunity for local SMEs?

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Following two consecutive declines in GDP, sending the South African economy into a technical recession in early June 2017, current sentiment about economic growth prospects remains strained. Despite this negative sentiment, there are sectors within the economy that present a number of opportunities for small and medium enterprises – and could contribute to the economic growth that the country is desperately seeking.

This is according to Siphethe Dumeko, Chief Financial Officer at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that the past few months have proven difficult for many small and medium enterprise (SME) owners. “We have seen evidence of this reflecting in the increase in net credit losses in our financial results for the year ended 31 March 2017.”

SMEs play a crucial role, not only in job creation, but also in enabling diversification through the creation of new sectors and markets that play a key role in driving growth. Dumeko says that, irrespective of the pro…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Mica

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BACKGROUND
Mica is a leading independent hardware group founded by a collective of store owners with the ambition to bring a community hardware store to every town. Mica combines the buying power of the group with the expertise of its individual store owners to deliver an extensive value for money offering.

In 2004 a corporate company acquired the Mica brand and proceeded to establish corporate-owned stores to complement the trading member platform, but today Mica is once again a member-owned brand where the person who owns the store, runs the store.

THE CONCEPT
Mica’s voluntary trading partner business model allows for ease of buying without infringing the entrepreneurial flair of its store owners. While Mica enjoys a high level of spontaneous awareness amongst consumers, the success of the brand is attributed to owner-managed stores.

Mica’s range of exclusive brands spans an extensive selection of categories and their array of product choices also serves to differentiate Mica store…