The essence of any decision by aspiring, young South African business people will surely be: What benefit is there for the entrepreneur joining the Progress Project? What is in it for you and what can we do for you?
Entrepreneurs find it incredibly difficult to find any help of substance – they may receive the finance, but without mentorship, might lose their way. Or they might have fantastic ideas, sustainable business ideas that will inevitably result in organic business growth and increasing employment opportunities. There are many failings, despite the best will in the world from big business supplying funding.
The Progress Project believes that micro- and small-enterprise level businesses are the most viable method for overcoming harsh economic realities in the longer term. Large employment projects for infrastructure development, like those proposed by government, have only short-term benefits because once the project is over, the employment is over. That does not resolve the problem and only treats the symptoms.
On the other hand, if future business leaders are encouraged and given the means to start up businesses, some will inevitably fail, but some will also succeed and provide the vehicle for employment and financial independence.
The Progress Project intends to be the vehicle (or at least the prototype) to supply funding, experience, expertise, knowledge and ultimately, the model, for sustainable entrepreneurial development in the real, business world.
No entrepreneur is successful without application and generous amounts of hard work, but this project will provide access to a few other essentials too:
- we will protect your idea and keep all information disclosed in the process strictly confidential, including the necessary legal documents;
- we will assist with drawing up your business plan – it is best if the entrepreneur makes an initial attempt to draw it up are with as little assistance as possible because that helps to understand and formulate the idea and forward planning;
- we will supply or assist with sourcing funding in order to capitalise the business – this project is aimed at businesses requiring low start up capital between R5 000 and R50 000, but larger projects will be considered on merit.
- we will teach and provide ongoing coaching of business fundamentals, including aspects such as cash flow management and various compliance aspects;
- we will create a suitable online and hard copy presence for marketing purposes, including a website and business cards, forms and correspondence;
- we will assist with finding and securing an appropriate location for the new business, based on physical and financial requirements, target market, access to staffing, scope for growth and business type;
- we will assist with staff and inventory acquisition and retention, administrative requirements and business control systems, training.
How is the Progress Project able to supply this ongoing training and interest in a new business? Quite simple – we will invest in your business and no investor would not care for their investment. Would you invest in a business and then just neglect it? No. Once you invest in a business, you have an interest to make sure that it succeeds and that is what we will do for you!