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Let’s start a business

Graphic designer Tezi Sitshongaye knows the tyranny of slaving for the corporate dollar; she has also survived the roller coaster existence of the freelancer. Now she wonders if there is another way, a way to build something that is hers, a way to be part of the solution.

Here, Tezi borrows from a Facebook post she saw that suggests it is not that hard to start a business in South Africa. We at will try to fill in the blanks. Any help or input will be gratefully accepted (more questions welcome too, send to [email protected]).

Basic ingredients: Identity document, email address, bank account, guts

For the sauce: smart phone, computer, business bank account, staying power

(TIP: Click on the weird red pop-up information block to get rid of it)
Money can be paid via EFT (bank details on website).
CIPC will provide you with business documents and will do BBBEE certification for you for free.
Their website contains lots of other information about the various aspects of setting up and running a business.

  • Go to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and do a tax clearance for free.

  • Go to a bank and open a business bank account (FNB, R500; Absa, have a R250 option).

  • Go to your nearest branch of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), ask them to do a business plan for you (for free). Ask about other training they offer that might be relevant.

  • Register on the government’s central supplier database, for free.
  • Go to your municipality and ask them to register you on their database as a supplier, for free.

  • (If it is 3 months or more before you turn 35) Go to your nearest branch of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and see what assistance you can access. For example, if you meet certain criteria, you could attend their Business Management Training Programme, or access grant funding, or apply for equipment of up to the value of R50 000, for free.

Ed’s note: A little research shows that there are so many resources, agencies and funding bodies in SA to serve the entrepreneur and small business person. It is not so clear how they join up and how efficient the whole machine is. We are going to try to find out.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time…

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