More than two thirds of South Africa’s small business owners see economic volatility as their biggest challenge, according to research from Xero.
The research, conducted in partnership with World Wide Worx (WWW), is based on a survey of 411 small business owners. It reveals that 68% of small business owners find volatility a challenge. It also found that 35% of the country’s entrepreneurs are kept awake at night by cashflow worries, while 23% worry about future sales.
Despite economic uncertainty, South Africa’s small business owners remain optimistic about the challenges ahead: 40% predict company growth over the coming year, while 45% expect their organisation to stay the same size.
The rate of technology adoption is also increasing: 49% of South Africa’s small business owners say that technology is essential to the running of their business, while 74% use mobile apps for business daily.
Other key findings from the research include:
- 89% of small business owners are confident in managing their companies’ finances.
- 92% of small business owners have not missed a tax deadline.
- 89% say the small business department has not helped their business.
- 48% want the government to provide more funding.
- 43% think the government should grant tax breaks for their business.
- In 2017, small business plan to invest in marketing (36%), equipment (28%) and product development (22%).
“Small business owners face turbulent times ahead, but this country’s entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient,” says Darren Upson, EMEA Director Small Business, Xero. “In fact, 40% still expect to grow this year. It’s those businesses able to adapt to these challenging circumstances that will succeed regardless of economic volatility.”
Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO of MyGrowthFund and Iconoclast Knowledge Bureau, comments: “It’s been a difficult year for South Africa’s enterprise community, and I say that as a card-carrying member. As economic turmoil has intensified, the challenges facing businesses of all sizes have multiplied – with small businesses especially being affected. Technological nous, agility, and adaptability will be key to navigating the choppy waters of the next few years, and the country’s small businesses have them in droves.”
Upson believes the local small business community is determined to succeed and rise above the current economic climate.
“They have the necessary skills and ambition to do this,” he says. “It’s not altogether surprising that they’re not only looking to survive, but are actively pursuing growth.”
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Street art goes electric
Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.
The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.
The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.
D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.
D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.
“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”
As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.
Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”
Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”