How to create 11 million jobs in South Africa…

Sivu Maqungo, CEO of OPENTENDERS

Give entrepreneurs the tools to start businesses and create opportunities for them, not just hand them funding says, CEO of OPENTENDERS, Sivu Maqungo

OPENTENDERS recently unlocked free access to its unique business-to-business social networking site. Today the company has launched another product in its bid to assist South Africa achieve its 2030 National Development Plan goals. The ‘OPENTENDERS Small Business Toolkit’ is a downloadable software programme that is an affordable, and simple practical guide to starting and sustaining a business.

Although the Minister of Small Business Development has declared that 30% of all Government procurement opportunities would be set-aside for SMMEs, the lack of business knowledge in this sector is a serious retardation to growth factor.  The rate at which businesses start and then fail as a result of a shortage of knowledge, non-compliance, or cash flow issues etc is staggering. Recognising that it isn’t just a question of not be able to access funding or, when funding is granted, it’s what to do with it that is at the crux of the business failure rate, OPENTENDERS has compiled a business toolkit with 12 comprehensive chapters aimed at bridging the divide between the current reality and the 2030 NDP vision.

Recently, an Endeavour Insights report tabled that South Africa needed to create 11 million sustainable jobs in order to achieve its 2030 NDP target. The majority of these employment opportunities would need to come from micro and small to medium enterprises.  All well and good - but exactly how does one start and run a successful business in South Africa, deal with red tape, regulations and requirements (some not even heard of), funding and financing and then, keep the business afloat?

From selecting a name, registering the company, opening up a bank account, registering for SARS, UIF, to marketing, financing and human resources (the biggest section), the programme provides easily understandable and implementable information and instructions, on how to start a business.  Once downloaded and installed, the programme can be used offline and at the time discretion of the user.  It also has the benefit of being automatically updated as and when legislation and regulations change.  All that is required is a connection to the Internet and it instinctively checks for updates.

“Over the past six months since we launched the OPENTENDERS platform, we have been inundated with queries – some very simple and others more complex – on how to obtain information that could help our members grow their businesses and even start new ones.  This prompted research into what was available in a condensed and plain language format,” commented Sivu Maqungo, CEO of OPENTENDERS.

COO, Mnive Nhlabathi who will be overseeing the training aspect of the OPENTENDERS business remarked: “Options seemed to be limited to multiple and lengthy textbooks and expensive post graduate business courses.  Very little has been aimed at the entrepreneur from whom the majority of the 2030 desired 11 million jobs will need to come.”  

The Small Business Toolkit was developed as a result of a collaborative effort between OPENTENDERS and several industry experts. The aim was to create a resource in an easily understandable format. This toolkit is aimed at demystifying the business realm for entrepreneurs, assisting them to become good business people and for existing businesses, to become greater (compliant and sustainable).

By opening up the OPENTENDERS platform to more people, and innovating with products such as this, (the OT Small Business Toolkit), OPENTENDERS plays a vital role in assuring the growth of entrepreneurship in South Africa. It further acts as a catalyst to sustainable economic success as it is committed to helping businesses grow.


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Issue 58