Innovation presents itself in many different forms - whether it's a physical product or perhaps something a little less tangible, like an app or a service - but they all hold one thing in common: it makes life a little bit easier. The newly launched First Business Wellness Association forms part of the latter, and aims to make life for SMEs a little easier by offering access to a network of necessary business services they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Neil Smith, creative thinker, brand strategist and chairperson of First Business Wellness talks about the initiative and his view of offering small and medium-sized business owners the opportunity to fast track sustainable growth.
Tell us about First Business Wellness...
Why First Business Wellness?
The First Business Wellness Association was formed with a view to fulfilling the critical need for an all-inclusive holistic service offering to the small and medium-sized business sector (SME). The Association’s vision is to enable SMEs achieve sustainable growth through the expertise of seasoned professionals across all business disciplines, primarily in the core areas of branding, strategy, finance, legal, public relations, technology and entrepreneurial funding.
Why Small and Medium Enterprises?
The magnitude of how small and medium businesses (SMEs) contribute to the South African economy is generally undervalued. The Banking Association of South Africa affirmed in a recent report that SMEs have been identified as productive drivers of inclusive economic growth in South Africa; providing employment to about 60% of the labour force. Their total economic output accounts for roughly 34% of GDP. South Africa has between 5.5 and 6 million SME business owners. These entrepreneurs are the warriors on the ground, tenaciously turning the wheels of economic growth. First Business Wellness is their gateway to sustainable growth.
First Business Wellness is passionate about enabling small and medium-sized enterprises achieve sustainable growth by offering an all-inclusive holistic and affordable service through the expertise of seasoned professionals across all business disciplines.
What have been the driving factors behind the association's creation?
Professionals and experts operate in silos
Most professionals and expertise are not available, accessible and affordable to small and medium enterprises and operate in silo environments. A brand strategist, lawyer, accountant, PR and others focus on their areas of expertise and cannot advise business owners on other critical success factors.
Most business incubators are trying to prepare entrepreneurs for business by offering training programmes in all the basic business aspects such as administration, legal issues, accounting, marketing, it etc. This is often overwhelming for the entrepreneur and they simply won't be able to wear all hats and be competitive in the marketplace.
The big questions entrepreneurs ask
"Why can’t I focus on what I am really good at and have access to all the professionals and expertise addressing all the critical business success factors of my business?"
What SMEs think of First Business Wellness
Hannelize Mouton [Marketing and Communications Executive, Cloof Wine Estate] "A truly holistic and innovative approach to align your business units using a group of professional, each an expert in their specific fields, operating as one system."
Annie Carter [CEO Photo Cushion On-line Business] "I felt overwhelmed by the many unanswered questions about my fast growing business. I was paralysed by it all, and had no idea where to go and who to see for the right advice. First Business Wellness is 'Day Spa' for my business. The 'All in one Package Deal'."
Anja Dedekind [Managing Director Solucare Cleaning Detergents] "After completing the First Business Wellness Check Up complimentary survey with one of your consultants, we have been able to identify all the critical success factors for our business in minutes.
"As an entrepreneurial enterprise, we have many challenges to face in a highly competitive market. We do not have the manpower or knowledge to invest in all the aspects of our business that needs attention. First Business Wellness offers a great opportunity to get affordable access to certified professionals whom we can trust."
Where do you hope to grow First Business Wellness from here?
We hope to create a higher level of awareness amongst all stakeholders including large corporates, professionals and experts in the South African economy that we should not only look at entrepreneurs and SMEs as risk factors, but rather focus on the opportunities of how to manage great initiatives holistically.
FBW hope to play a meaningful role in the South African economy by offering the SME sector exactly what they need for sustainability and exponential growth!
First Business Wellness offers SMEs an affordable and holistic service by addressing all critical business success factors to ensure exponential and sustainable growth. Our unique Risk Managed approach offers funding and lower risk / high return investment opportunities in SME's.
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