Subjected to Funding or Seminars?

Contributor: Mr. Panache
Credits: Tumisu &

Call For Robust EDPs With Results

Often entrepreneurs starting or expanding businesses require funding. The article is meant to solicit general findings, sentiments and look into the current business funding status quo. This piece of writing is based also on our own experiences with the different funding houses, enterprise development organisations, government parastatals and entrepreneurs on many occasions.

For township businesses, the perfect business days have always been either on weekends when those giants with loyal clientele have closed doors or in the evening when these township businesses still remain open until late. Indeed, one might say these township businesses have succeeded in striving to capture the high ground and this agility can be owed to passion. People are digging into their pockets, tapping into investments, cashing up life savings and bringing in families for monetary support; just to sustain operations, which is more than it can be said about the so called “Business” dealing with “Eskom” and said to be representing entrepreneurs on the forefront.

As we have previously stated in our “Rules of Business” article on July 09, 2018; based on research, it becomes apparent and it does make sense that from time, considering also the cost perspective, complying with requirements of a business can be a nightmare. Preparing and submitting completed documents in order to comply with requirements as they may vary, takes longer and is costly at most times. I would like to believe that entrepreneurs are willing to sustain the uphill climb of having to pay so much towards regulations, dealing with corruption and not having access to sustainable markets. However, what would bring about huge change in their businesses is capital investments, especially for those who have sat through so much of presentations such as Seminars and Enterprise Development Programmes.

Seemingly, the trend is that those able to assist want to subject people to hours of seminars and enterprise development programmes. Our country, particularly South Africa, is now embracing education and learning that ever before; and besides we made it the norm for survival. This new perspective by citizens is commendable as an educated nation is self-sufficient and savvy, but whether you’re educated or not; we’re all hustlers. Either a nation is educated or experienced, thus, if only these individuals within these groups were to be properly assessed; it would appear that they have varying needs and stories to tell. People cannot be grouped in terms of skin colour, education or ethnicity to determine their experiences without proper engagements to understand where the entrepreneur has been or how much of what they are doing they know. People cannot be subjected to these events unless they are addressing aspects of development, which the entrepreneur has not been exposed to.

Blatantly put, not everyone needs to be an object in a programme, which they are going to constitute without deriving any substantial benefit. This is the much loved tactic by our both the big corporate entities and the government in SA. Entrepreneurs are well aware that investors do not inject capital into businesses whose founders have no experience for what they are doing and entrepreneurs with experience understand that very well. Cannot say much for entrepreneurs without experience as they may hugely benefit from the programmes and presentations. A balance in the paradigm is necessary to allow for investors to know whether one needs a programme or is ready to “Swim with the Sharks”. Those with experience can easily pick up on fallacies in much of presentations we find around today and can almost predict whether there’ll be success because they have sat through many like them.

Experts would tell you that entrepreneurial opportunities exist for those who can produce products or services desired by customers, but the truth only surfaces when they say promising entrepreneurial opportunities are more than just interesting ideas, which is often the exact thing entrepreneurs are exposed to in most of these seminars. Some entrepreneurs have to close business to attend to these events and they understand that value for customers is indeed one way of seizing available opportunities, while money will always be the foundation. Money, some have it and some do not; and these two factors do not get along in most instances.

Solid, healthy and sustainable relationships between those with monetary muscles, and those with ideas will need to be established. Through proper relationships with those who understand business, only then will people start allowing entrepreneurs to scale these established concerns and refer them down the right entrepreneurial or career paths. To comprehend the great contribution and tremendous potential of entrepreneurial ventures; think of their history, the true nature of their motivation and the life of these businesses since inception.

“Entrepreneurship is marked by diversity in that there is a great variety in the people and firms termed entrepreneurial”. With truth in the statement, we can only encourage decision makers and funding institutions not to fit every business into some narrow stereotype when deciding to financially support them. The NYDA and GEP would understand such sentiments and how they have always stereotyped entrepreneurs.