The Adopt-An-SME programme is ticking off all the right boxes when it comes to developing South Africa’s SME ecosystem, close to a year since its launch.
Championed by accounting firm, SME.Tax, fintech innovator SME Snapshot and consulting firm, Decusatio, the 12-month program supports a group of entrepreneurs to use technology and networks to growth their businesses.
“Our goal is to create an ecosystem of better managed small businesses. We are building reputable businesses that will be the benchmark of doing business in the SME landscape,” says Tyronne Nel, founder of SME Snapshot.
Marc Ashton, founder of Decusatio adds that one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses and Enterprise Development beneficiaries in South Africa is failure to break into the market and find those valuable first clients.
“We believe that by capacitating these SMEs with our team, we will help them elevate from just working in their businesses to working on their businesses,” says explains.
The programme provides strategic business content, tools and resources that enable SME owners to unlock the growth potential of their businesses.
“Before any work begins all business owners get put through an intensive Statutory, Regulatory and Financial appraisal. We also spend some time highlighting any deficiencies before getting into the solutions,” Ken Brown, director at SME.Tax highlights.
Tebelo Ramaboea founder of Capital Projects and Investment declares that the programme helped him turn around his struggling business.
“We have been so fortunate to get courses that are designed to upskill entrepreneurs in all spheres of business, starting from understanding the fundamentals of business 101, cash flows and sales,” Ramaboea explains.
Entrepreneurs also gain one-on-one mentoring sessions, monthly skills workshops as well as secretarial support to help get their business systems going. A resource that Andile Vilakazi, founder of Drone Eye Technology, says was invaluable for his business.
“Participating in the programme has expanded my horizon when it comes to running my business and understanding my role in it. The lessons are insightful from business ideation stage to getting a system going, where your business can continue to run even if you are not there,” Vilikazi says.
Drone Eye Technology is currently at the final stages in two different SME competitions - eKasiLabs lead by The Innovation HUB and Gauteng Accelerator Programme as well as the ‘Driving Force for Change’ support initiative by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries - the award ceremonies for both will take place on the 26th of November 2021.
“I strongly believe that the Adopt-An-SME programme played a vital part in pivoting Drone Eye Technology to where we are now. The knowledge and technology we have access to helps us focus on growing our business and not just running it,” Vilakazi exclaims.