[Anton Ressel] By 2050, it is estimated that the earth's human population will be 9.07 billion. 62% of the people will live in Africa, Southern Asia and Eastern Asia - numerically this is the same as if all the world's current population lived in just these three regions. In addition, another 3 billion will be spread across the rest of the world.
[Anton Ressel] As a business consultant with a special focus on the craft and small scale manufacturing sectors, I have come to recognise a number of shared traits amongst entrepreneurs and business owners engaged in the design and manufacture of products.
[Anton Ressel] So why is accessing finance such a challenge for most SA businesses? Non-profits and social enterprises seem to be taking particular strain.
[Anton Ressel] Do you market yourself as a 'green' business? OK, so you may use recycled materials in your products, limit electricity usage, even have different dustbins for glass, plastic and other, but does that entitle you to use words such as 'sustainable manufacturer' or 'environmentally-friendly' in your marketing spiel?
[Anton Ressel] It is well documented that famous entrepreneur Richard Branson had a string of unsuccessful ventures and outright failures on his journey to building the empire that is Virgin today. What makes his story so compelling is that he was able to recognise when to push on with a business concept or idea, and when to put it aside and start something else.
[Anton Ressel] Why is accessing finance such a challenge for most SA businesses? A recent snap survey by enterprise development specialists Fetola, showed that 93% of small businesses are uncertain about where and how to access finance.
[Anton Ressel] Recent studies show a worrying and very steep decline in the number of new businesses being started in South Africa. However, if one looks a bit deeper there is cause for optimism.
[Anton Ressel] Social media for business is exploding. Everywhere one turns, it seems there is another online marketing specialist extolling the absolute necessity of a comprehensive social media strategy. A Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, Pinterest page...the list of requirements goes on and on.