Opentenders, South Africa’s leading business social networking platform, presented its Small Business Toolkit at a Youth Entrepreneurship Seminar held in Soweto.

The purpose of which was to connect young would be, and existing entrepreneurs, with opportunities and encourage networking among themselves.

The comprehensive advice – in the form of a downloadable programme – is in direct response to the recent statistic that more than half of South Africa’s small businesses fail within the first two years of launching.

Approximately 200 aspiring young entrepreneurs (double the anticipated numbers), gathered at the Soweto Theatre to discuss issues relevant to their particular businesses, which the Opentenders Small Business Toolkit aims to solve.

A self-teaching mechanism, the ‘toolkit’, has been developed by South African entrepreneurs – Madoda Khuzwayo, Sivu Maqungo and Mnive Nhlabathi who have certainly learned from their experience as business pioneers operating within the confines of the South African business landscape. Together with the appropriate experts, they have now compiled over 5 000 pages of relevant information to teach entrepreneurs and small business owners the basics of starting and running a sustainable business.

The toolkit is divided into 10 chapters covering topics, including: how to register a business; draft a business plan; legal compliance; marketing plan; finance; as well as a myriad of templates that entrepreneurs can use. Mnive Nhlabathi, chief operating officer of Opentenders, says: “We have developed the information in this toolkit as a result of wanting to find and discover information that would help us as entrepreneurs. The majority of the information we found was USA based and focused. While useful to a point, it was not specifically geared to operating a business in South Africa.

“We hope to change this so that when South Africans search for assistance to grow their businesses or even start one, this toolkit, built by South Africans for South Africans, will come up first and therefore circumvent unnecessary time and misinformation and put potential successful business owners on the path to economic security much earlier in the process.”

With access to funding business opportunities for novice entrepreneurs who often lack a track-record, high on the list of agenda of issues/complaints/requirements from the delegates who attended the seminar, the fact that
Opentenders can provide opportunities in this direction through its proven associations with leading short-term funders, met with expressions of gratitude and acceptance. It is further confirmation that the message Opentenders is preaching, is reaching the right ears and finding purpose.

Thapelo Mokoena of Mosupa Thaba Trading & Projects, professed: “I have never attended anything like this before, it is life changing for me, I have since purchased the business tool kit and look forward to getting started and growing my business.” Whilst Vodacom, who co-sponsored the event expressed satisfaction with its representative commenting that “this is the audience we seek for our services and look forward to more collaborations with Opentenders.”

Furthering its ambit to reach more entrepreneurs and small business owners – both young and mature – on its mission to kick-start early entrepreneurial uptake in SA, Opentenders will host another seminar at Wits University on 30 June from 8am to 1pm as a prelude to a nationwide tour.