When one considers that the economic output of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa is estimated at 52% of the gross domestic product (GDP), entrepreneurial development is key to furthering economic growth and development, says David Morobe, executive general manager at Business Partners Limited.
"Small and medium owner-managed businesses are the driving force of South Africa's economy and nurturing entrepreneurial talent will help emerging businesses succeed faster," he says.
With this in mind, the 10th annual SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs aims to assist young and ambitious individuals (aged 18 – 35 years old) who want to start their own businesses.
The annual competition, which launched on June 16, 2019, consists of three phases, starting with a full-day workshop where entrants will be taught the intricacies of developing a comprehensive business plan.
The workshops, which will be hosted in different regions across South Africa, will cover all the essential elements of starting a business, including business management, marketing, financial management and legal requirements.
Morobe says it is very important that these hopeful entrepreneurs are able to lay a strong foundation from the start when considering owning and running their own business.
"This is one of the reasons why we run the SME Toolkit Business Plan Competition for Young Aspiring Entrepreneurs each year. The ability to develop a comprehensive business plan is the best way to improve an entrepreneur's chances of success outside of the competition," he explains.
Following the regional workshops, the participants will draft their own business plan and enter it as part of the second phase of the competition.
From these plans, regional winners will be chosen who will receive a mentorship support voucher to the value of R10 000 each at regional award ceremonies and go through as finalists to the third phase of the competition.
Drawing from the skills and expertise of an experienced mentor is a great way to grow a start-up business, says Morobe.
"A mentor can play any number of roles - sometimes that of strategic adviser, technical expert or business consultant, and sometimes all of them at once."
The competition will culminate in an awards ceremony that will take place in Johannesburg where a national winner will be announced and awarded a further R20 000 mentorship voucher, R30 000 cash and a goodie bag comprising of various sponsored prizes.
Enter the SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs here. The closing date to enter is 17:00 on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
The workshops will take place between August 12 and 23, 2019 in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town as well as Polokwane, Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth and East London if more than 10 entries are received.
The regional award events will take place between October 21 and 31 and the National award ceremony is on November 26 2019 in Johannesburg.