The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) set up the Business Referral and Information Network (Brain) to supply information services to small businesses.
Brain was conceived to add value to small businesses set up by historically disadvantaged people.
The network is affiliated to business support centres across the country.
Staff at the national information centre can call on consultants who have access to a vast number of centres. They maintain they can answer almost every question small entrepreneurs pose.
Consultants are available to help you over the phone, by fax, by e-mail and by post. You can also visit the walk-in centres.
Questions may take between one day and three weeks to be answered. The centre enters your queries on the client database and consultants will follow up to ensure you received all the information you wanted.
The centre further provides stock information - such as samples of business plans - on its website. The website's business information is continually expanded and updated.
It also lists government incentives for small businesses, other support agencies and links to other businesses.
The network can be contacted at: Brain National SMME Information Centre, Namac, Building 23, CSIR Campus, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria; or at PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001. Phone: 012-349-0100; Fax: 012-349-2850; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or www.brain.org.za.
l Info gleaned from www.safrica. info/doing-business.