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ENTREPRENEURS: Entrepreneurial Success is Celebrated As Seven SMEs Graduate from Growthpoint’s Property Point Enterprise Development Programme


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Seven thriving small businesses were celebrated this week as they graduated from the demanding two-year enterprise development incubation programme offered by Property Point: a Growthpoint Initiative.

These companies, which all offer skills and services for the property industry, are: TNS Paints owned by Dimakatso Shirinda; Ndimenhle Trading and Projects owned by Reggy Tshukudu; Ndzilo Fire Protection owned by Henchard Njoni and Themba Ndlovu; EF Security owned by Happy Visser; Mayacon owned by Obakeng Moloisane, Ryan Masoga and Morwesi Kgwete; Likhanyile Trading Enterprise owned by Bongiwe Baleni; and TSK Construction owned by Thato Setati and Thuso Koboyatau.

Norbert Sasse, CEO of Growthpoint Properties, congratulated the companies on graduating from the intense Property Point incubation programme, saying it was a testament to the entrepreneurs’ determination and character.

At the graduation ceremony Sasse told graduates - who embody a shared passion for business, a value of collaboration and the drive to succeed - that everyone has to start somewhere, and even when you start out small, the sky is the limit.

Growthpoint itself started out small, with nine properties worth R100 million and a market capitalisation of R30 million in 2001. Today, 14 years later, Growthpoint is the largest listed South African property company, and a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 477 properties in South Africa, 51 properties in Australia through its investment in Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and a 50% interest in the properties at V and A Waterfront, Cape Town. Its combined assets are now valued at nearly R100 billion and its market capitalisation is R70 billion.

Sasse says: “It is incredibly rewarding to see the progress of our Property Point class of graduates. Enterprise development is a key focus area for Growthpoint and accounts for the biggest portion of our corporate social investment. With it we strive to be leaders in transformation, job creation, sustainability and contribute to the much-needed stimulation of the South African economy. We’re focused on doing the right thing.”

He adds: “We’re also collaborating with partners in the property industry to really drive enterprise development forward, such as Property Point’s recent collaboration with Attacq, and invite more of the property industry to work together for meaningful, positive impacts that help develop a healthy, vibrant SME sector that can unlock real opportunities in the property industry.”

Rewarding excellence, Growthpoint gave two outstanding graduates a boost for their business.

TSK Construction was awarded R70,000 for its business, based on its performance. The entrepreneurs behind this successful, growing company, Thato Setati and Thuso Koboyatau, say: “We want to be a sustainable company known for our quality service and customer relations. It’s hard work, but totally worth it.”

Likhanyile Trading Enterprise, a construction and renovation company, won R50,000 for its business, which is being grown by entrepreneur Bongiwe Baleni, who says: “Being a woman in a male dominated environment can be challenging, but I’m proof that it can be done.”

In addition, Growthpoint returned the equivalent of their Property Point enrolment fees to all graduating businesses, with R5,000 worth of Growthpoint shares for each graduate company.

Shawn Theunissen, head of Property Point and head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Growthpoint Properties, explains that Property Point was conceived to go beyond compliance in supporting small business, and to truly uplift and transform.

Theunissen explains Property Point is different because it links procurement and SMEs. Its objective is to unlock direct procurement opportunities in Growthpoint, and across the greater property industry. Its incubation programme offers business development support, it also gives businesses access to finance by helping them become more bankable and assists with access to markets through business linkages.”

Since its inception in 2008, Property Point has made big positive impacts. 981 sustainable full-time jobs have been created directly by Property Point beneficiaries. It has unlocked over R248.6 million worth of procurement opportunities both with Growthpoint and the rest of the property industry. Plus 1,883 entrepreneurs have attended training, networking sessions and workshops, in addition to the 96 beneficiary companies that have been supported on the Property Point incubation programme.

Theunissen says, “The success of Property Point is the success of our partners, both within Growthpoint and externally, like The Business Place and Attacq.”

The seven graduating business have themselves notched up some impressive impacts. They generated R45.3 million in revenue in the 2014/15 financial year, and averaged a 54.4% annual growth rate in the past two years. Their operating profits increased 12.5%, and 39 fulltime sustainable jobs were created, of which 70% were created after engaging with Property Point. This class of graduates together received 2,620 hours of training and coaching.

Keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony, singer and songwriter Miss Lira, inspired the graduates revealing the entrepreneurial vision behind her own brand and her skill as a businesswoman. She identified an opportunity in the South African music industry and by fulfilling it, is building her vision.

She encouraged the Property Point graduates to be disciplined, accountable, and take responsibility, as well as to get educated and organised and take control.

“My business has become an extension of making our dreams come true. We sometimes forget that businesses are built by people with passions, ambitions and dreams. I encourage you to remember to build a business that is there to serve human beings, and not the other way around,” says Miss Lira, adding, “It is beautiful what Property Point is doing, it is essentially paying it forward.”

Theunissen notes, “With its entrepreneurial approach, it is fitting that Growthpoint is not only committed to enterprise development and transformation, but truly motivated to helping more businesses thrive and contribute positively to the South African economy.”

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