By Zamayirha Peter for ACTIVATE! Change Drivers
Lack of compliance is one of the key business killers for many promising businesses that are owned by young people.
Youth network ACTIVATE! Change Drivers often receive opportunities for young business owners to benefit from through its Youth Economic Participation (YEP) sector. The sector serves to implement and assist many of the network’s business owners with financial assistance to help grow their businesses.
Early this year a stakeholder of the network known as Mutualism collaborated with the YEP sector to empower South African youth through asset-backed finance to the collective value of R250 000, however nearly 90% of the networks business owners failed to meet the requirements to qualify due to administrative short backs that have not been covered in their business. These include but are not limited to not having business or personal bank statements, a business plan, and invoices and quotes for their assets.
The winning duo
Missing out on an opportunity for funding and other support has a negative effect on the morale of many entrepreneurs. It can set back the enthusiasm of business owners to keep pursuing their dreams, however, this was not the case for a business by the name of Brutag Solutions, owned by Bruce Gwese together with his partner Lebone Monakhisi who is the director of the company. The duo qualified and were awarded their prizes after they received support in the form of a workshop that was held by the network support coordinator in partnership with Mutualism.
Reflecting on the win they said, “We were very keen on receiving the assets because the business really needed them. And they have indeed been very helpful in running the business. Customers are now also getting more value for their money”
How they dodged the system
Brutag Solutions Internet café makes money through printing and making copies. Some of their clients also do bulk printing, they also do scanning, emailing, laminating, and selling envelopes and pocket sleeves. For them, compliance was critical in the function of the business.
“Given that we were already in the process of securing other assets for the business, compliance was always a requirement if the business was to manage to secure any type of loan. Furthermore, given that the business can turnover up to R400,000 annually, it was necessary to be compliant for tax reasons”, Lebone remarks.
“If I could advise a small business starting out, I would say treat your business admin as bigger companies treat theirs. Find out what they do and see how you can apply it to your small business because when you take your business seriously, it also gives others permission to it seriously too. Your excellence will open doors before you”, Bruce adds.
The dangers of business non-compliance
Reflecting on noncompliance, network support coordinator Nathacia Olivier said this was a missed opportunity by many activators that could have been avoided.
Mutualism provides sustainable financing options to all South African entrepreneurs. They offer asset-backed loans to small businesses based in Gauteng or Western Cape to help them purchase equipment for small businesses, and they repay the equipment over time. This method helps them achieve their sustainable mission by giving businesses a chance to be successful without the risk of a setback.
To help ensure that they never have to reclaim an asset, they offer consulting support to all entrepreneurs too.
Mutualism assisting South African entrepreneurs stood a chance to receive the equipment and the support they need to grow their businesses sustainably.
“This opportunity fits well with the needs of the network and the requirements for them to qualify was not too much and not a lot of red-tapping involved”, Olivier added.
Entrepreneurs needed to be:
This opportunity was an open call to:
- Based in Gauteng or the Western Cape
- Be in need of physical equipment for your business
- Need R30 000 to R150 000 Investment Size
- All Industries & Races
- Females & Youth encouraged
- Township Businesses encouraged
- No collateral needed
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network support coordinator Nathacia says more is coming for entrepreneurs who need to plan and be plugged in. “What lies ahead for business owners in the A! Network is unlimited anything can happen at any time hence all they need to be compliant so that they don’t get to miss any opportunities that might come up from any of our stakeholders or potential investors. “
“Activators are always welcome to touch base with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
for any business-related matters/support/assistance during working hours of the week”, she adds.
To Connect with Bruce and Lebone email them at: email@example.com
About the network:
ACTIVATE! Is a multi-sectoral youth development network with a national footprint of youth leaders in every province.
The organization provides youth leaders with the tools to connect, exchange ideas, and be empowered to take an active role in bringing about change in their communities. A total of 4325 young people from throughout South Africa have participated in ACTIVATE!’s leadership development programs.
Young people who join the network are known as Activators, they share a purpose, commitment, and responsibility to create a better, more just South Africa for the benefit of everyone, including themselves. Activators also leave a footprint in their immediate communities as active change drivers.