The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector is crucial to Africa’s growth, contributing more than 45% to employment and 33% to GDP. It is estimated that as much as 80% of new jobs in world economies are being created by SMMEs, making small business a key player in the future growth of our continent. However, SMEs in Africa face significant challenges. Studies indicate that more than 70% of SMEs lack access to medium-longer-term finance, creating an SME funding gap of more than US $140 billion in Africa alone.

Well performing local SME-focused financial institutions lack access to longer-term resources from depositors, capital markets or other potential funders hindering the provision of medium- and long-term SME finance. Financial institutions often lack adequate knowledge and systems to assess and monitor SME projects and compensate this by relying on excessive – but mostly unavailable – collateral.

Many entrepreneurs think the greatest hurdle to launching and developing a successful business lies in access to finance. But, there are ways to start home- based businesses with little or no funding.

Starting a business from home is a good way to save money on overheads such as rent, utilities, insurance and more. Having a business at home is tax deductible. Even first-time entrepreneurs find it easier to start a business from home, allowing to grow into a full-time venture. Start on a part-time basis and develop the business into a full-time homemade success.

You can be a pensioner, a teenager, a stay-at-home mom, be disabled or just be a regular person with a passion to achieve what you deserve.

We have outlined some of the basics of running a business from your kitchen table, garage, attic and spare bedroom. Use these basic tips to help you start your own business.

    A. Do what you love

In choosing things, people tend to stick to what they know and like, which also refers to starting your own business. Find something you love and feel good about doing, then figure out how to get paid for it. Liking what you do and knowing how to do it properly will make for a more prosperous business than if you don’t, so make sure you decide on the right business and choose something you love and are familiar with. While nurturing this business you will be spending plenty of time making it work.

     B.  Have the right attitude

Don’t get caught up with the idea that you will earn money quickly. Business success is created by hard work and dedication. You will reap the rewards later, and they will be worth the work and dedication. Remember this is your business; nurture it like you would your children. Patience and persistence are two key elements required.

      C. Create a plan to generate business

Hand out flyers, send out bulk emails, and send out press kits to local newspapers and corporate companies. Investigate advertising and utilise the power of word-of-mouth. Become active in local small business groups, get out and sell yourself and have opening/introductory specials, etc. These are some methods of how to become known. Marketing and advertising is costly, but is a good investment for the future of your business, although you must plan properly before spending money on this.

Keep an eye out for more tips on starting a business.

KBA Africa