2 years ago

Opportunity Issue 97

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  • Sacci
  • Esg
  • Jse
  • Economy
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  • Africa
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  • Regoapele
  • Sustainable
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Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector. In this issue, SACCI’s call is for everyone to work towards the common purpose of getting our economy on a sound footing again.


INTERVIEW KATLEGO KENOSHI CEO OF REGOAPELE CAPITAL Katlego Kenoshi is the CEO of Regoapele Capital where she is responsible for the setting of the company’s strategic direction and casting its vision, in addition to the overall functioning, leading and management of the business. With an amazing team of solutionists, she passionately helps entrepreneurs build their businesses from the ground up, develops and executes ESD and SED solutions, and creates partner ecosystems to drive transformative development and inclusive prosperity. Before taking up this role, Katlego headed operations at Regoapele Capital and was responsible for the delivery of all aspects of operations, compliance, systems and processes in respect of financial advisory and intermediary services. Prior to this, she ran Regoapele (Pty) Ltd, a business development services (BDS) firm providing company formation and secretarial services, outsourced SME solutions and capital-raising services. While studying towards her junior degree, Katlego cut her teeth at MTN where she managed key accounts and gained invaluable business insight and experience. After obtaining her Bachelor of Commerce degree in economics, she bolstered her education with further studies in investment analysis and portfolio management before transitioning to the financial services industry. When Katlego’s first business venture – a catering and event-styling, hiring and staffing business – landed Sun International as a client, this gave her the impetus to leap fully into entrepreneurial life. She has since developed several businesses, and her current multifaceted role sees her drawing on her collective professional and entrepreneurial experience and skillset to aid and support SMEs, and bridge the divide between corporates and the world of the entrepreneur. CEO Katlego Kenoshi celebrates the launch of the Lydenburg Business Hub What are the main challenges faced by businesses in this environment? A great challenge in our space is dealing with change. Large corporate businesses are faced with having to reconfigure their procurement and open up to new suppliers. Apprehension creates the impediment of access to markets. Small businesses are faced with having to reveal their processes and financials, or lack thereof. This reveals gaps and shortcomings that result in them being steered to make changes, and that often makes them feel exposed. Change for many, in many aspects of life, is often met with resistance. Having to facilitate change in our environment is quite stretching. Yet motivating. It is entirely through our partnership approach and in sincerely seeking our clients’ best interest that we have been able to navigate this challenge and make advances. Have you found ways to help small businesses gain access to funding? Access to finance is an enabler of enterprise and yet indeed a great challenge for SMEs. The future of business calls for financial systems that work for SMEs, more so here in the South Africa, and it requires leveraging the developmental impact of key stakeholders in a collaborative manner. Instead of dwelling on the challenges – the lack of financial management skills, collateral, good credit history, etc – with the end in mind, we focus on the solutions. And our solutions work. Our very simple model has the basic building blocks of skills development and dedicated support, and it is set to make it possible for SMEs with little or no trading history, credit record, experience or assets/security to gain access to risk capital. We work alongside business owners to ensure that their businesses shape up. Often it means building that track record together through handholding. Our way enables economic and financial inclusion on the back 10 |

of risk-mitigating development, upskilling, business support and asset-building. It also allows these businesses to build a track record, credit references and a capital base that make it possible for them to access the more traditional sources of finance to facilitate further expansion. The fact that we back small businesses completely on a risk basis is partly what sets us apart, but it also demands “skin-in-the-game” on the part of entrepreneurs. What are the most popular training programmes for SMMEs and suppliers? In our experience, the most relevant training and development interventions are business simulation, operations optimisation, business financial management, personal effectiveness and personal finance. Particular to the mining environment, safety becomes paramount. Please share with us some of the challenges you have faced as a business, and how you have developed strategies to overcome them. The enterprise and supplier development space has become highly contested. This has made it more difficult to root out the unscrupulous ones and onerous for corporates to find the right partner. For this reason, we have been low-key so as to shut out the noise and focus on our purpose and course. Our focus is at the grassroots, putting much sweat and intellectual capital into the businesses we help develop as an active and long-haul partner and that is how real impact will be made. Our focus is always based on looking at answering the question that is not being asked: “What will our partners need, and where will our SME clients be three, five and 10 years post-development? Will they be fit for the future?” _____________ Building a business is a process. It requires time, intense involvement and concerted collaboration. ___ __ ___ ____ Regoapele Capital works with funders such as the Masisizane Fund to enable SMMEs to buy equipment SUCCESS STORIES Sicediwe Six years ago, Mrs Mary Mkhabela was working at Checkers selling boerewors. She was not employed by Checkers but had negotiated for Checkers to give her working space so she that could sell her goods and earn an income. She was identified as the right calibre individual for business development and was given an opportunity to render metal-breaking services, and thus became the only black woman-owned SMME rendering this service in South Africa. She employed a staff compliment of 16 male yellow-plant operators and two office administrators. Through one initiative and one entrepreneur, 19 jobs in that locality were created. Regoapele Capital secured R9-million worth of funding for her to purchase the equipment she needed. Rekgodile Logistics Regoapele Capital assisted a group of taxi owners in forming a bulk logistics services business by working with Bidvest Bank to secure the funding to purchase trucks from MAN Truck. The business provides logistics services, hauling chrome from mines and smelters. Through this intervention, the business owners were trained in understanding cross-border transportation, hiring of staff in line with labour laws, negotiating facilities for fuel accounts, route planning, invoicing on time, keeping books and records, and keeping compliant with trade and statutory requirements. ESD Fund Regoapele Capital has created an eco-system for sustainable ESD with partners who provide opportunities, partners who finance those opportunities, OEM partners and a broad range of other partners on the various elements of our business development initiatives, to deliver a holistic and comprehensive solution for ESD. We facilitate access to finance for SMEs. We assure the suitability of the various options and that they enable positive cashflow for SMEs and growth. This created the desire to establish our own SME fund to bolster our cause by being providers of finance that is responsive to SME needs. To this end, we have worked with Glencore, ABSA and the European Union through the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) to establish a R60-million ESD Fund. Our fund’s structure is novel, as all stakeholders contribute a key aspect to the ecosystem. This development has been a significant milestone for us and has underlined the importance of having the right partners who are on board for the right reasons. | 11

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