Big chance for small business

STANDARD Bank has launched a product aimed at helping small businesses during their formative stages.

This follows recent revelations that close to 500,000 small enterprises folded over the past five years, mainly because of a lack of management skills.

BizLaunch was unveiled yesterday in Johannesburg by Clive Pintusewitz, Standard Bank's director of small enterprise development.

The new package, aimed at businesses within their first year, will enable small businesses to keep track of their cash, pay suppliers, deposit funds into a business bank account and get basic advice - all for just R90 a month.

Businesses that have been operating informally can also get BizLaunch, even if they have been in existence for over a year.

Other impediments that lead to closure include access to funding and markets, and cash flow management.

"We know that there is a big issue with small businesses and we want to see them grow. What we have done is to look at the needs of those businesses and packaged a solution that brings a lot of support (to) those businesses," Pintusewitz said.

BizLaunch offers unlimited transactional banking. They are targeting 80000 businesses in the current financial year.

"We have partnered with Softline Pastel, who are the leading accounting software to offer MyBusiness Online, which is a solution built specially for start-up businesses. What we have seen is that one of the reasons businesses fail is because they cannot track their finances and cannot manage invoices and payments," he said.

"In our interaction with our clients we have learnt that small businesses fail because they do not get revenue. The second is managing your cost and stock. Also, when they have ordered the stock and the customers take time to pay, it creates a cash-flow problem."

BizLaunch will be available at all Standard Bank branches.

Pintusewitz said for those who do not have access to a computer there was a mobile version if they have a smartphone, and soon an offline version will be available.

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