Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  14 Oct 2009

: BEE and Your Business


Recent Gauteng Business News

Big corporates generally have a good understanding of B-BBEE, while people in townships and rural areas have very little understanding of BEE issues and how the government’s policies can actually assist them when engaging in business. Beyond calling an expensive mobile or car a ‘BEE’ item (because only high flyers benefit from BEE and can afford such things) there is little tangible interaction with BEE as a business tool for betterment.

People considering going into business, and even those who have been in business for awhile, might wonder "How can BEE help me?’

Essentially the Codes do not specify direct help - even for black businesspeople. All they do is guide government and business in how they should operate to further the aims of black economic empowerment on a broad based level. In effect a marketing incentive is created where a compliant business is perceived to be better based on amongst other things their BEE status.

On the financial and start up aspect of a business, unfortunately you will not get a direct financial or automatic benefits from the B-BBEE act to help you start your business. You will have to design a business plan, obtain finance and other assistance from other agencies such as banks, just like any other prospective business owner would.

Starting the business, as a black person, with BEE at the forefront of your business model puts you are in a good position to benefit from BEE – albeit indirectly. For example many white owned business are looking for black partners and your partnership with an established business could be good for you in terms of access to an established infrastructure without a big investment of capital and will be good for the other business in the form of additional BEE points. Of course you must convince the company that you have the skills and ability to bring in extra business to justify offering you a partnership.

If, on the other hand, you already have a business, you are in a good position to get more business, because businesses do want and will want to do business with a predominantly black owned businesses as they will earn extra BEE points by purchasing from your business.

There is also a possibility of getting assistance, in starting up a small business, from other companies. If you have a good business plan, you could appeal to companies for assistance under their enterprise development programs. All companies will earn BEE points by assisting businesses that are black owned or have a high BEE score. There is a scarcity of suitable businesses that qualify under the enterprise development codes. If your business plan shows that assistance will give the business a genuine improvement, then businesses will be prepared to invest time, effort or money in the business.

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