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We're Business Partners Limited, one of the leading business financiers for viable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the world. We provide business finance ranging from R500 000 to R50 million to established entrepreneurs with a viable formal business.
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Small business solution to sustainable growth and development in Africa
Several economic analysts and financial sector experts have identified Africa as the next frontier for growth and development. Currently, the continent has the youngest population in the world, with a median age of 18.8 years as of 2022. This, coupled with the fact that several of its markets are nearing maturity, signifies a golden opportunity for businesses to take the lead in stimulating economic growth. Powered by this momentum, African small businesses are the key to provide solutions to address some of the continent's most pressing challenges. 2 Jun 2023 Read more

Deeds office delays got you down? Here's how to expedite your business property registration
Lockdown restrictions and periodic office closures during the pandemic hampered the administrative capabilities of several key governmental departments, including the Deeds Office. Just as we were experiencing some improvements, the advent of Stage 6 load shedding has resulted in another backlog in the processing of property registrations, many of which involve commercial properties. With some careful planning and preparation, however, business owners can play a proactive role in expediting the process. 1 Jun 2023 Read more

Climate change: What risk does it pose to SA small businesses?
Countries all over the world are witnessing the measurable realities of climate change in the form of increased water scarcity, changing rainfall patterns, extreme droughts and intensified natural disasters such as floods. Great emphasis has been placed on the role of governments, policymakers and leaders of big business in driving the sustainability agenda. But there is much that can be done at a grassroots level, starting with small businesses as the building blocks of socioeconomic development. 31 May 2023 Read more

The impact that load shedding is having on small businesses and their employees
The cost of load shedding in South Africa has exceeded an estimated R1.2tn - notwithstanding the losses accumulated during the current financial year. Some of this financial impact has been shouldered by the thousands of small businesses which are the backbone of the economy. The real cost of load shedding, however, goes beyond just rands and cents - the energy crisis continues to have a profoundly negative impact on the overall morale and productivity levels of the country's employees. 30 May 2023 Read more

Why South Africa needs more small businesses
While small businesses may very well be the unsung heroes of the South African economy, their contribution to national development is unmistakable. Creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship is therefore not only good for business but it is also necessary to build a more equitable and prosperous economy. 8 May 2023 Read more

3 mindset shifts that will help you deal with rejection as a business owner
Did you know that J.K Rowling, world-renowned author of the Harry Potter series was rejected 12 times before a publisher agreed to publish her work? Or that Steven Spielberg was rejected several times by the University of Southern California before being successfully admitted as a cinematic arts student? 5 May 2023 Read more

SA small business confidence takes a knock as the energy crisis intensifies
The escalation of the energy crisis in South Africa, which has brought with it the onset of indefinite stage 6 loadshedding, has had an eroding effect on business confidence. Across all indicators, the confidence of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has plummeted once more after following an upward trajectory in the lead up to the end of 2022. Hopes of making a comeback will rely on the ability of small businesses to divert to alternative sources of energy. 4 May 2023 Read more

Business Partners Limited launches a R400m Energy Fund for SMEs
According to data published by the South African Reserve Bank, the accumulative loss of stage six load shedding amounts to between R204mn to R900m per day. A proportion of these losses are incurred by the thousands of small businesses who simply do not have the resources to install backup sources of energy to continue operations during power cuts. In a bid to provide business owners with much needed relief and finance to invest in viable alternatives, Business Partners Limited has today launched a R400m Energy Fund for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 21 Apr 2023 Read more

How to bolster your small business against the impact of energy price hikes
The recent decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to authorise an almost 19% price hike on electricity has been met with fierce criticism from several fronts, including the small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. 3 Apr 2023 Read more

How to boost the development of South Africa's SME sector: lessons from other emerging markets
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of economic development in emerging markets like India, South Africa, Kenya and Colombia, where these enterprises contribute up to 40% of national GDP. Recent years have seen the SME sector in these nations develop at different speeds, with countries like Brazil joining economic powerhouses like the UK and America in topping the list of countries with the largest new business growth. In these inspiring examples are key learning opportunities for South African small businesses. 31 Mar 2023 Read more

Expert advice: How South African businesswomen can thrive
Supporting and financing women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions is central to achieving the broader objective of fostering a more diverse and inclusive business environment. In a country like South Africa, where small businesses have been found to be one of the strongest drivers of GDP growth, the need to support women entrepreneurs aligns with the greater call for economic development. 29 Mar 2023 Read more

Women entrepreneurship on the steady rise in SA but access to funding is still lagging
The South African Women Entrepreneurs Job Creators Survey found that women gravitate towards industries whose development supports job creation. The financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs as active contributors to the South African economy is therefore one of the most important building blocks of a more equitable and economically active society. Collective and systematic efforts towards making this vision a reality is beginning to produce promising results, with more South African women becoming business owners. 8 Mar 2023 Read more

3 digital tools to futureproof your SME
Technological advancement has, within a very short period of time, opened up new windows of opportunity for small businesses to improve several key metrics including productivity, operational costs, efficiency, and time management. 7 Mar 2023 Read more

A simple guide on how to register a business in South Africa
Market research. Business plan. Financing plan. Location. Business name. If you've ticked all of these boxes, the next natural step you'll need to take during your entrepreneurial journey is to register your business. 6 Mar 2023 Read more

Small businesses urged to 'go solar' following the 2023 Budget Speech
If anything, the 2023 Budget Speech revealed it was that devising a targeted plan to solve South Africa's ongoing energy crisis remains the government's top priority. The immediate future will see a concerted and collective focus on bringing together the public and private sectors in a bid to fuel the clean-energy transition and end loadshedding. For small businesses looking to ride this wave on the path to post-pandemic recovery, the key is to "go solar". 3 Mar 2023 Read more

SME wish list ahead of the 2023 National Budget Speech
Last year saw local small businesses emerge from the pandemic years tentative but 'cautiously optimistic' about the prospects of economic recovery. Unfortunately, however, several socio-economic factors have served to erode business confidence and thwart efforts to rebuild an already struggling sector. 21 Feb 2023 Read more

3 top small business trends and opportunities to tap into in 2023
All things considered, 2022 was a year of recovery for the thousands of South African small businesses who weathered the turbulence of the pandemic, including several systemic economic hurdles. 15 Feb 2023 Read more

The year ahead: what will 2023 hold for South Africa's small businesses?
As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, our country's economic outlook in 2023 remains lacklustre. 14 Feb 2023 Read more

A look at the trends that will drive the development of the SA SME sector in 2023
Last year was a turbulent period for South Africa's small business sector. With it came all the trappings of a business survival bootcamp: rising petrol costs, supply chain instabilities, high inflation, interest rate hikes, unreliable electricity supply, and a political horizon marked by uncertainty. For the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who were put through their paces and came out on top, 2023 holds its fair share of obstacles and opportunities, many of which exist within the realm of technological innovation. 13 Feb 2023 Read more

5 new year's resolutions for South African small business owners and entrepreneurs
The start of the year presents an ideal opportunity for reflection - a chance to pause and regroup before jumping head-first into the hustle and bustle of another year. This is the opinion of Jeremy Lang, chief investment officer at Business Partners Limited. 10 Feb 2023 Read more

Small business sales strategies to counteract the stress of the new year
For many, the new year brings with it a chance to start afresh, but with new goals comes new stresses too. And what is more, the new year also kicks off with 'Janu-worry', the month that customers claim to feel the biggest pinch, and this goes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) too. By the time February comes along, things start to improve, so it really is the best month to find one's stride. 9 Feb 2023 Read more

9 questions to ask to improve your chances of getting business finance
To anyone doubting the availability of finance for South African business owners, consider this: Business Partners Limited has provided business loans totalling R19.5bn in over 71,600 transactions with business owners since its start in 1981, totalling R19.5bn worth of finance. 17 Jan 2023 Read more

The year ahead: what will 2023 hold for South Africa's small businesses?
As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, our country's economic outlook remains lacklustre. For SMEs, the best way to prepare for the year ahead is to remain agile - be ready for "plan A" but keep "plan B" (and C) in your pocket so that viable alternatives remain close at hand should you need them. In short, SMEs are urged to buckle up for a bumpy ride. And as always, stay true to the reputation of the proudly South African brand of entrepreneurship, which has proven to be decidedly resilient. 16 Jan 2023 Read more

Responsible lending as a step up for SMEs
For many South African entrepreneurs, credit provides an effective way of financing an SME (small and medium enterprise) through its early stages or into its next phase of growth. But while traditional forms of credit may appear to be the intuitive "go-to" for small business owners, bank loans tend to be notoriously difficult to secure. 13 Jan 2023 Read more

Finish strong: 4 ways to prepare your small business for 2023
For many South African small businesses, 2022 has been a year of unprecedented change, as businesses and consumers adapt to life after the worst of Covid-19. 12 Jan 2023 Read more

Three of the biggest small business festive fails and how to avoid them
It has been predicted worldwide that this year's festive period will be a 'summer like no other'. It will be the first year in over two years where lockdown restrictions are completely lifted, and social gatherings are no longer discouraged in almost all countries around the world. For South Africans, the warmer weather has arrived, and shoppers are keen to embrace the outdoors. And of course, the festive season also means family time, which gives many an extra reason to shop. 9 Dec 2022 Read more

Practical ways SMEs in hospitality can navigate ongoing water restrictions
The water crisis that is currently affecting several parts of the country including Johannesburg and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will have an inevitable knock-on effect on small businesses whose operations rely heavily on the consistent supply of clean water. 7 Dec 2022 Read more

SMEs and credit scores: What to know about maintaining your business's creditworthiness
With Business Partners Limited's quarterly SME Index regularly listing funding as one of the key challenges faced by small business owners, most entrepreneurs will at some point most likely have to put in an application for small business funding or a line of credit. While you might be well aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with creditors in your personal capacity, it's important to know that a small business' credit score can be just as much of a 'make or break' factor when it comes to maintaining its financial viability in the long run. 7 Dec 2022 Read more

Loadshedding and SMEs: 3 ways to mitigate the impact of power cuts on your business
When the first scheduled blackouts were rolled out in 2007, it was believed to be a solution to a temporary problem especially when the country avoided loadshedding from 2009. More than a decade later and experts predict that loadshedding is going to be part of the South African socio-economic reality for far longer than anyone could have anticipated. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

Practical ways SMEs in hospitality can navigate ongoing water restrictions
The water crisis that is currently affecting several parts of the country including Johannesburg, Gqeberha and Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will have an inevitable knock-on effect on small businesses whose operations rely heavily on the consistent supply of clean water. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

3 effective ways for entrepreneurs to combat stress and prevent burnout
A number of studies and reports aired on popular media platforms continue to highlight the importance of issues such as workplace stress, the negative impact of long working hours and the prevalence of burnout amongst South African entrepreneurs. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

Advice for entrepreneurs: what you need to know about securing financing for commercial property
Several advantages make owning commercial or business property a viable prospect for small businesses. These include the benefit of asset appreciation, enjoying full control over interior design and renovations, security of tenure and avoiding above-inflation rent hikes. As a first port of call, small and medium enterprise (SME) owners need to be aware of the various steps in securing finance for commercial property and to be as prepared as possible to put forward a strong application. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

Lessons on building a local brand from the ground up
Before the onset of Covid-19, trend forecasters predicted that South Africa's pet care economy would soon outpace other emerging markets. No sooner had this trend taken root when the pandemic reached South African shores, catalysing a dramatic upsurge in pet ownership and giving the industry newfound impetus to the tune of R7bn in annual revenue. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

Black Friday fever: Here's how SMEs can leverage the hype
Black Friday - to be held on Friday, 25 November 2022 - has progressed over the past decade to take its place amongst the leading shopping events on the South African retail calendar. While Covid-19 put a dampener on consumer spend during 2020, sales rebounded the year after, with research by Payfast putting the average basket size at just over R1200. 16 Nov 2022 Read more

Loadshedding, petrol and interest rate hikes hit SME confidence levels
South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) confidence levels took a dip in second quarter of 2022. This is according to the recently released Q2 2022 SME Confidence Index conducted by specialist SME financier, Business Partners Ltd, which reveals that SME confidence that the South African economy will be conducive to business growth in the next 12 months declined during Q2 of 2022, a stark contrast to the first quarter. 26 Oct 2022 Read more

Expert advice on how to grow a family business in South Africa
Family businesses make up a significant portion of SMEs in South Africa. While statistical data on the contribution of family businesses to GDP is not widely available, their centrality to economic growth is illustrated by the fact that approximately 60% of companies listed on the JSE were founded or are currently run by family units. Despite a unique set of challenges, family-run businesses can take decisive steps towards triggering a positive and sustainable growth path. 25 Oct 2022 Read more

Tackling competition: What SMEs can learn from Amazon's imminent disruption of SA's marketplace
Leaked documents detailing the forthcoming launch of 'Project Fela' - a new marketplace with its own membership programme owned by Amazon - has prompted much industry speculation and debate around the role that competition plays in sector development. In this key example of the disruptive entry of an international player into the local market, lie valuable lessons for small businesses, particularly those who compete directly with large corporates, have aggressive growth strategies, or simply want to understand how to manage their competitors more effectively. 24 Oct 2022 Read more

3 small business ideas that exist within the SA transport industry value chain
October is Transport Month in South Africa - a time dedicated to raising awareness around road safety and the economic importance of the sector and looking at how local and global developments are driving change in the industry. 21 Oct 2022 Read more

SMEs encouraged to tap into trends that drive job creation and growth
In South Africa, small businesses serve as powerful engines of economic growth, job creation and societal innovation. With small and medium enterprises (SMEs) providing an estimated 60% of all employment opportunities in the country, their potential to provide social upliftment and development is unlimited. As policy makers, businesspeople and civil society put measures in place to work towards economic recovery, small business entrepreneurship must be at the centre of public discourse as one of the key opportunities to solve South Africa's most pressing economic and social challenges. 12 Oct 2022 Read more

3 super practical ways to combat stress and prevent burnout as an entrepreneur
A number of studies and reports aired on popular media platforms such as Carte Blanche continue to highlight the importance of issues such as workplace stress, the negative impact of long working hours and the prevalence of burnout amongst South African entrepreneurs. 11 Oct 2022 Read more

The 4 most common traits of successful entrepreneurs - with examples
From the outset it needs to be said that there simply is no formula for the 'perfect entrepreneur'. A writer for Business News Daily put it perfectly: "while no natural-born skill is a prerequisite (for becoming a successful entrepreneur), some characteristics are good predictors." 10 Oct 2022 Read more

The 3 most common mistakes SME owners can make and how to avoid them
While the entrepreneurial journey can be riveting and full of promise, entrepreneurs in any sector will inevitably encounter some challenges as they progress towards achieving their goals. 10 Oct 2022 Read more

4 tips to guide you on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur
For some, the prospect of taking a risk and stepping out into the sometimes complex maze that is the South African SME sector, is too daunting. And for others, it is a golden opportunity that is not to be missed. If you fall into the latter category and are raring to go, consider these four ways to set yourself up for entrepreneurial success. 6 Oct 2022 Read more

A 4-point guide on what it takes to build a successful business on the African continent
Several economists have referred to Africa as the 'next global growth market.' A number of findings support this claim - according to the World Bank, six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world are in African countries. Furthermore, over the past decade, Africa's GDP grew at twice the rate than the preceding two decades. 22 Sep 2022 Read more

4 signs you're ready to turn your side hustle into a formalised SME
The prospect of making the transition from a 'side hustler' to the owner of a fully-fledged business may have serious appeal, but it's important for entrepreneurs to resist the temptation to buy into romanticised notions of what it means to own your own business before you leap into the formal SME territory. 21 Sep 2022 Read more

How to make your business bloom
Five simple strategies for SMEs to attract more business in spring  20 Sep 2022 Read more

Challenges and solutions: How to support women entrepreneurs in South Africa
The plight of South African women who historically have faced economic exclusion, has been well-documented, and although much progress has been made by women entrepreneurs over the last decade, a number of challenges persist. As the public and private sectors work together towards the goal of building a more inclusive economy, their collective goal should encompass creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs. 8 Sep 2022 Read more

Make your business bloom: 5 simple strategies for SMEs to attract more business in spring
Historically, spring is a busy time for small businesses, who have an unmatched opportunity to capitalise on the energy and positivity of the warmer months. This spring will be particularly unique - it will be the first warm season in over two years that South Africans can enjoy without needing to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions. 6 Sep 2022 Read more

Registration, labour and tax: The most important compliance requirements for new small businesses
Apart from a small and medium enterprise (SME) owner's many responsibilities - maintaining healthy cashflow, maximising profitability, securing customers and hiring the right recruits, to name a few - there are also a number of legal parameters to consider. 26 Aug 2022 Read more

4 simple cashflow management strategies for small businesses
Cashflow ranks high amongst the top concerns for small businesses in South Africa. And because business comes down to rands and cents, balancing the inflow of revenue with the outflow of expenses, and ensuring that your business remains liquid enough to deal with unexpected events, can be a make-or-break factor. 25 Aug 2022 Read more

SA SME confidence levels rise in Q1:2022 signalling a better 2022, will recent loadshedding put a damper on this in Q2?
The confidence that South African small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners have that the South African economy will be conducive to business growth in the next 12 months is at its highest level in a decade. This is according to the Q1 2022 SME Index conducted by specialist SME financier, Business Partners Limited. 25 Aug 2022 Read more

3 changes to make to be a better SME leader
As the leader of a small and medium enterprise (SME), your responsibilities include providing your team with a sense of direction, setting an example, creating cohesiveness amongst employees and crafting a culture that supports, appreciates and nurtures people. 23 Aug 2022 Read more

Tax for small businesses: what you need to know as an SME owner
Understanding how South Africa's taxation system works for small businesses is an important part of being a successful entrepreneur. Various incentive schemes offered by the state in an attempt to support the SME sector can provide significant tax relief and help you save money. 23 Aug 2022 Read more

The 4 questions every entrepreneur should ask themselves before making their next big investment
Every entrepreneur will at some point in their journey find themselves at the daunting crossroads of whether or not to invest more money into initiating the next phase of their business' growth. 23 Aug 2022 Read more

Cybercrime on the rise in SA: How to protect your business, customers and employees
The plight of prominent corporates falling prey to cyberattacks continues to make headlines throughout the country. Large businesses, however, are not the only victims of cybercrime, with research by Accenture revealing that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. It is therefore imperative for South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to implement risk management measures to guard against the threat of cybercrime. 18 Aug 2022 Read more

Start your own business with the right foundation in place to ensure sustainability
Aspiring entrepreneurs urged to enter business plan competition. 17 Aug 2022 Read more

Nurturing a savings culture critical to the success of SMEs
South African small businesses are caught in several socioeconomic crosswinds - record-high petrol prices, electricity load shedding, and significant inflationary pressures. In the wake of the pandemic, what has become clear is that a small and medium enterprise's (SME) savings culture (or lack thereof) can dictate its ability to survive economic hardship. While much focus is placed on the importance of personal saving, SME owners also need to be encouraged to develop healthy saving habits within their businesses. 16 Aug 2022 Read more

Green building: A golden opportunity for South African SMEs
The demand for 'green', or environmentally sound buildings has been driven strongly by the global shift towards sustainable development as well as various push and pull factors. Unstable power supply and the opportunity to save on utilities are just two of the reasons businesses are planning to go green, however, the core issue of a high-cost outlay on these ventures remains. 15 Aug 2022 Read more

Three low-investment business ideas for first-time South African women entrepreneurs
Despite a number of unique challenges, increasingly women are making their mark in South Africa's competitive small business arena. And the fact that sub-Saharan Africa currently has the highest growth rate in female-run businesses in the world, is exciting news for future entrepreneurs. 12 Aug 2022 Read more