Could the development of entrepreneurial skills be the missing link in creating lasting sustainable small businesses in South Africa?
Most small business owners would agree that growing their business is their greatest desire and biggest struggle at the same time.
A great brand could be damaged if it is not backed up by a well-operated business − your brand talks the talk, but your business operations walk the walk.
Entrepreneurial skills development is crucial in improving your business operations. As stated by McKinsey & Company in a recent research study, ‘The nine traits of future-ready companies’: ‘Accelerating learning is one of the most important organizational factors in business growth, and a crucial step to being future-ready.’
In this article we will explore the power of entrepreneurial skills development in the growth of your small business. Research conducted by the Seed Academy indicated that despite possessing a post-matric qualification, many entrepreneurs require education specific to the practicalities of running a business, such as marketing support and business planning.
At The Hope Factory, we have determined that structured entrepreneurial skills development makes a measurable impact on the success of a small-business owner.
Two specific and identified skills gaps
Research indicates that there are common skills gaps evident in most business owners: strong financial skills, in particular, in addition to innovative marketing skills. These link strongly to two of the greatest struggles in business growth, namely access to funding and access to markets. You often only realise what you do not know when you start learning new things. And that is exactly what skills development is all about − as you start acquiring new knowledge about a particular subject, you might realise how little you know. Obtaining new knowledge has to be followed by practical application within your business and life in order to experience the power of entrepreneurial skills development.
A deeper dive into financial and marketing skills development
According to the ‘Understanding the SMME landscape report’, improved financial skills will build companies that are better managed and help you maintain up-to-date financial records, understand how to manage your cash flow, articulate your funding need, and finally develop the trading history and track record necessary to secure funding.
Furthermore: talking into marketing skills. In a recent article, ‘10 marketing skills you should be investing in for your business’, it was stated that ‘To give your business the best chance of success, you need to invest in marketing skills. For a simple reason: marketing provides visibility for your products and converts customers.’
In closing, we highlight the importance of developing your entrepreneurial skills.
Mr Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, stated that ‘Entrepreneurial education and skills development whether formal or informal, applied or observational, is imperative in building the competencies and capabilities of the SMME sector, entrepreneurs and cooperatives.’
We encourage you to make a commitment to yourself and your business and to invest time in your entrepreneurial skills by for example joining a training and mentoring programme at The Hope Factory, SAICA Enterprise Development, or like institutions.
Was this content food for thought? Drop us a quick review and keep a look-out for next month’s issue where we will be looking at the keys to building a customer-centric culture. To start the ball rolling, check out this month’s tech tool that not only opens the door to skills development but specifically show you how to improve your customer service.
Top tech tool
This month’s tech tool is a very cost-effective online resource that can help you take the first step in your skills development journey. Do you know Udemy? ‘The leading global marketplace for learning and instruction’ offers the world’s largest selection of online courses at an affordable rate.
For example, you can improve your customer service ability by signing up for the following course:
https://www.udemy.com/course/customer-how-to-build-a-customer-service-strategy/. This course includes:
- 29 minutes’ on-demand video
- Three downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- A certificate of completion
Check out this course and 9 955 others relating to customer service on https://www.udemy.com/.
- That’s the wrap for May. If you found this piece useful, be sure to let us know:
- Tell us about your TOP TECH TOOL that can benefit small business.
- Tell us about your small business that can help our readers as part of the SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT.
- Any other feedback.
Small business spotlight
In this month’s spotlight, we are showcasing a business called Qalisa Hub.
Qalisa Hub is focused on ‘building entrepreneurs ground-up with a focus on start-up and early-stage township entrepreneurs’. It particularly aims to bridge the gap between idea and commercial viability.
Qalisa Hub was founded by qualified and vastly experienced chartered accountants, start-up investors and entrepreneurs Hiten Keshave and Sanjay Soni, who have a desire to ‘pay forward’ their experiences and beliefs to the many emerging township entrepreneurs.
If you are a township entrepreneur and need support in developing your entrepreneurship skills, check out https://qalisahub.com/ to find out more about Qalisa Hub.
And remember that SAICA attains to create and maintain a profession of empowered members like Hiten and Sanjay to ‘support the development of the South African economy’. Through our Nation Building Division we aim to promote and enhance the value of the profession for and through our members, thus aiding the national drive for transformation, employment and growth that will ensure social and economic development. The Hope Factory and SAICA Enterprise Development are both entities of SAICA’s Nation Building Division.
Jolandi Snyders, Senior Business Development Manager,
The Hope Factory