There could be hope on the horizon for entrepreneurs with the recent introduction of the Small Business Development Ministry – IF the Ministry addresses recurring challenges that entrepreneurs face in the business landscape, says Eleanor Scott, Executive Mentor at enterprise development organisation The Hope Factory.
Of significance to entrepreneurs is the issueof late payment, particularly from government institutions. Entrepreneurs who have done the ‘hard work’ to do business with government often have to wait for payment to be processed through reams of red tape.
“The ministry could definitely assist entrepreneurs by making it mandatory to pay promptly within 15 days of invoice,” hopes Scott.
Other challenges Scott hopes the Ministry will apply it mind to include compliance issues relating to tax, the new companies act and labour laws.
Many South African entrepreneurs strive to build their businesses for more than just their own personal gain: they desire to offer employment to others.“However, compliance with labour law makes them think twice as they cannot afford to end up in the labour courts,” says Scott.
The Ministry could assist by offering exemptions or extensions, and finding improved, effective methods of communicating requirements to entrepreneurs before they are penalised for non-compliance.
Many entrepreneurslack financial understanding and implementation in their businesses, which is the most common reason that businesses fail, says Scott, based on her 20-year experience developing entrepreneurs.
The Ministry could support the work of organisations like The Hope Factory who place a premium on financial excellence for all businesses on our programmes. “Entrepreneurs need support. They should be in business for themselves, but never by themselves.”
It is encouraging that this new SMME Ministry has been created and has a vital role to play in overcoming some of the challenges, especially considering that South Africa has been described as having the most red tape amongst the BRICs and fellow African states, as far as starting a growing a business is concerned.
For more information on Enterprise Development contact The Hope Factory.