On a daily basis I get numerous inquiries from our #WomenInBusiness website regarding help/guidance needed for business ideas. http://www.womeninbusiness.org.za
One of the issues that is raised consistently is the fact that the enquirer is ‘not making money’ and they need help with marketing their product. In discussions with the entrepreneur I generally discover that they have taken the focus of their core business and diversified into a number of other unrelated products/services. This diversification is particularly onerous when the range of products/services is from health care, through to construction to catering. Such a wide variety of offerings can only be detrimental to the entity. No entrepreneur, especially a small emerging business, can cope with this kind of diversification. Through the interactions and mentoring process it becomes clear that the entrepreneur in question has been given unsound advice by friends and family. They have often invested large sums of money registering a company. They have not taken into consideration the onerous reporting procedures required of a company nor the accountancy costs. The entrepreneur is under the impression that if they are a registered company they can obtain finance and are eligible for tenders. Then they offer every single service they can think of without proper planning, testing the market, assessing their customers, no business plan or financial plan. No vision or mission. When questioned as to why they are not trading as a sole trader business, which is less onerous, they are ill informed as to the benefits of being a small business to start off with.
It is so sad that many aspiring entrepreneurs do not seek advice from reputable organisations or service providers. In the long run it would have saved them large amounts of money, time and disappointment.
On our website is a link whereby members of the public are able to contact us and we will assist and start the mentoring for free (limited number of sessions). We will also direct genuine entrepreneurs to reputable service providers who can assist them in their entrepreneurial journey.
Today I set out on an event that I have never participated in before. Purely because I have always had something else on at the time. However this weekend was the right weekend and I set out on the Capital Climb event in Pietermaritzburg. 15 kms of grueling testing of the legs on a pure uphill climb to World’s View and a pure downhill back to Voortrekker School. The event was a test of determination. The hill climb started on the tar road, led into a dirt road and then a slippy track which was extremely steep. Once at the top we could not see the view due to the mist, but just the sheer delight in having conquered the muscle stretching climb to the top was enough.
This event made me think of how entrepreneurs have to climb many hills of various challenges in order to make it to the top of their game. If you give up you have achieved nothing, but if you keep going and continually encourage yourself you can do anything you set your mind to. The event required training and preparation, as does a business. You have to be mentally and physically fit to be in business. You need to ensure you have all the necessary knowledge to ensure your success. BUT you cannot have immediate success without having to slowly find your way to the top. Quick success leads to quick failures. Rather slow and sure to be able to manage and plan the business path.
Today’s event taught me a lot about tenacity. In one’s own life, private and business, this tenacity will go a long way to ensuring success. Don’t give up because you can do it.
Today I am feeling my age and my body agrees. Two days participating in the #Mandela Legacy events has taken its toll, BUT it has been such fun and I have loved every minute of it. Yesterday I participated in the 8 kms Trail Run from the #Mandela Capture site up through the hills and back down again. Beautiful private farmlands that we were privileged to be able to walk through. Today was the #Mandela Marathon. I participated in the 21 kms. A hard hot walk, but well worth the effort. Continue reading “#Mandela Legacy lives on”
Reading through news sites, twitter and other social media there is a common theme of corruption and fraud. Lack of integrity seems to becoming a social norm. I ask, with tears in my eyes, how can humans be so dishonest, unethical and lack basic social skills that they take, indiscriminately from other humans. Often those who take, have more than they can use, yet they continue to take and marginalize those who do not have and dis-empower the poor even more.
Our very own watch dog who collects funds for the government, South African Revenue Services (SARS) has done exactly what we as tax payers are not supposed to do. How can they be telling us, the tax paying public to be honest, when they themselves are not honest?
“SARS GUILTY OF BREAKING ITS OWN LAWS
The Auditor General found that the SA Revenue Service in 2017 flouted the Income Tax Act by overstating its compliance figures in public documents. The findings, in an AG report dated March 2017, came to light yesterday during public hearings in Pretoria for the Nugent inquiry. Tax compliance refers to making payments to the revenue service in full and on time in line with relevant legislation. SARS apparently stated that its compliance level was at 91.14%, which according to the Auditor General is not true. The commission of inquiry, appointed by president Cyril Ramaphosa, is probing the state of corporate governance, revenue shortfalls and allegations of misconduct at SARS. (Fin24)”
This is nothing short of disgusting. Heads need to roll and with immediate effect. It’s time government servants were made to pay and pay dearly for their greed and lack of integrity. Lead by example!
I read this paragraph and it just made my blood pressure rise.
WOMEN WOEFULLY SHORT ON BOARD REPRESENTATION
Female representation at senior management and executive levels in South Africa is still, on average, only 20%. This is according to the REMchannel report by PwC that also showed that 61% of the women are remunerated below the median of the sample, compared to just 39% of men. By contrast, 63% of men are remunerated above the median, compared to just 37% of the women in the sample. The survey looked at remuneration data for more than 550 participating organisations and just over 4 000 senior managers and executives. Globally, there is renewed focus on the pay disparities between men and women, the report says. It argues that corporate South Africa still needs to focus on ensuring that the number of women at senior management and executive level is increased, in addition to addressing gender pay inequalities. (Fin24)
The reason for my ‘moment’! Why are we not appointing people to positions for which they are qualified and skilled? Why does it have to be about #gender and even #race for that matter. We must stop being stereotypical and allow people to be appointed for what they can do for an employer/company to improve productivity and service delivery. The job description carries criteria and key performance areas. So whomever you have in the position should be paid for their performance not on what body parts they were born with!!
In South Africa we have a Department of Women. Why? What is this department doing for our entrepreneurial women? In fact what is this department doing for our women in general? Absolutely nothing. Minister Bathabile Dlamini its time you did what you are being paid an astronomical amount for!
Leadership is an action, not a position. Donald McGannon
Ted Talk “Every kid needs a champion” was shared on social media. I don’t usually open up video’s as I find them tiresome and tedious and often vocally laborious. But something made me listen to Rita Pierson. She was down to earth, real and right. Every child needs a champion. Every child needs someone to believe in them. So does every woman. This made me reflect on why #WomenInBusiness was formed. We are not a glorified business organisation that caters to sponsors and successful women. We have survived for 13 years (founded July 2005) without major sponsorship, without huge amounts of money, without glamour and glitz. We have survived through sheer dedication and voluntary support by our members to one another. We have stood alone and not been dictated to by sponsors or donars because we feel that we represent and support our small enterprise entrepreneurs. Why have we survived? Because we have been champions for one another. We can reach out at any time on numerous platforms and find someone to talk to even if its only virtually.
The networks that have been established over the last 13 years are extensive. We do not necessarily have to have functions and events to prove our existence. We exist to support our members – via social media and face to face. We don’t charge anyone to join our social media platforms. Interaction and sharing of ideas and information is encouraged. No one is on an ego building power hunting journey. We just do what we do because we are champions for one another. Just like Rita Pierson says in her Ted talk, every kid needs a champion, so does every woman need a champion.
Today was bold, beautiful and sunny. The complete opposite to the weather yesterday. It’s almost as if I changed countries given the extreme difference in weather conditions in the past 24 hours.
10 kms #SPAR ladies. The hype, excitement and energy was truly encouraging. I was very pleased that there were no water sachets. Participants were given a bottle of branded water at the start and were specifically asked to dispose of the bottles in a rubbish bin. Sadly a number of participants threw their bottles down when they had dispensed with them, some even throwing down bottles that were unopened or partly drunk. What is it with the human race that we just ‘throw’ stuff away without thinking? Continue reading “SPAR Ladies Race 19.08.2018”
I woke up in the early hours of this morning to the sounds of soft soaking rains on the roof. The sound of rain on a corrugated iron roof is calming and therapeutic. I turned over and drifted off into a sound, content and peaceful sleep to be rudely awoken by my alarm. It was time to get up and get going to the Dargle Trails Festival. I switched off my alarm, listened to the rain and decided it would be too wet and dangerous to walk today. So I turned over and decided I would go back to sleep!
A nagging thought crept into my consciousnesses. Continue reading “Dargle Trails Festival 18.08.2018”
The Mama Mia movies (both of them) have been inspirational in encouraging women to take a chance on what they feel passionate about. Get into swing of the lyrics.
Both Mama Mia movies highlight the challenges that women face in making decisions about themselves and being in control of their own destinies. The strength and tenacity of women is underestimated and when you watch a movie like the Mama Mia series you realise how much strength we actually have. Taking a chance on your own life, as a woman, an entrepreneur, a mom, a wife/girlfriend/partner is so very important. If you don’t take that chance, that opportunity how will you ever know what your life could have become. So do away with the could have, should have, didn’t syndrome and take a chance on yourself.
I had the privilege of address the Pietermaritzburg Community Chest Women’s breakfast function on Wednesday 7th August. The skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and love that was clearly evident in the room gave us all goosebumps and encouragement. This video footage is a portion of my address to the delegates.
This is the first time that I find myself agreeing with Winnie Madikizela Mandela. The Women’s League is a political mouth piece and pawn in the hands of the government. Budgets are allocated. Parties and functions held. The box is ticked. The relevant self designated VIP’s stay in fancy hotels with extravagant food whilst 45% of our population cannot afford bread and water.
If we are going to have a Women’s Portfolio in government let it be a real platform for the marginalised women of South Africa. These bread winners and social reform entrepreneurs who are keeping small and micro economies alive need representation and support not mouth pieces.