Why FNB and SASFIN?

Speed, Simplicity and Community are the core values that inform how we approach what we do here at the People’s Fund. It is for this reason that we require our entrepreneurs to use FNB or Sasfin when seeking funding for their purchase orders with us.

In this article, we will look at the benefits of using FNB, other options you have and what the future looks like. 

Why FNB?

Simplicity! Simplicity! Simplicity!

Simply put, when we fund entrepreneurs we need access (transactor rights) to their bank account to execute transactions. FNB allows us to do this in the most efficient way possible, meaning that entreps (entrepreneurs) get their money faster and can get to the business of delivering on their purchase orders.

For the longest time, FNB has been the only major bank to allow us to get the access we require remotely, whereas, with other banks, we would need to physically enter the bank with the entrep to get the required transactor rights. As you can imagine, this creates numerous problems

  1. Travel – we fund entreps all over South Africa and would need to constantly be on the road to get the required transactor rights
  2. Expenses – the cost of all the travel would likely result in more costs for our entreps as well as ourselves
  3. Time – we pride ourselves on funding entreps in the fastest time possible. Time spent traveling = Longer time waiting for funding 
  4. Ease of use – FNB’s online banking functionality has allowed us to have all of our entreps’ account on one profile so that we can manage the hundreds of projects we fund in a more efficient manner

We fund quite a number of new entrepreneurs on a weekly basis and having senior personnel going to a branch for each project would take away from us doing the work required to build this awesome platform for you.

Is Sasfin An Option?

Good news is that you do have another option, and that comes in the form of Sasfin. We are currently building a relationship with them to mirror what we have with FNB and build out other cool features to speed up the process further. This will allow us to always provide you with the most efficient option to get your purchase orders funded on time. 

If you don’t bank with either FNB or Sasfin, we will require you to open an account with either of them – however we will do the donkey work on your behalf and ensure that the process is quick and seamless. 

Look to the Future

At the People’s Fund, we always strive to innovate and improve – we are looking to build relationships with all the major banks so that we can enjoy the same type of relationship that we currently enjoy with FNB and Sasfin. The moment we achieve this, we will inform all existing and new entreps of the changes.

If you happen to be a big shot at one of the other banks and you’re reading this, give us a shout! 😉

Now that we have that on lock, you can apply for funding here – https://thepeople.co.za/purchase-orders/

Our application only takes 5 minutes and you can get funded in 2 – 5 days. Avoid tedious paperwork so you can focus on delivering POs and growing your business. We have a dedicated team who will walk you through all the steps once you’ve applied which will help put your mind at ease.

It’s time to get funded today. 

Is Your Business Social Media Savvy?

Is your business fully online?

The Covid-19 pandemic and everything related to it caught many business owners by surprise and, even worse, caused some businesses to fold – but 2021 is a different year and we are amid an uptake in vaccine distribution. In this article, we look at the different social media platforms and their popularity in the South African market.

Staying on your customers’ minds

As we know, Marketing is very crucial for any business. Businesses that survived through 2020 were the ones that remained in their customers’ minds even during lockdown. 2021 is no different in the sense that there are still lockdown restrictions. This should not stop you from marketing however, all marketing strategies may not lead to outright sales, but sales will happen eventually if you’re consistent enough. 

Social Media Is Your Best Friend

Studies show that “nearly 50% of the world’s population use social media. That’s over 3 billion users worldwide.” More importantly, South Africans are online living their best lives, so your business should be too.

According to World Wide Worx, there are approximately 38.2 million people online in South Africa, with an explosion in the use of social media platforms being driven by a similar surge in the use of mobile apps.

This is evident in South Africa’s tally of over 100 million mobile connections – translation, there are more mobile connections than people of 169% (population just under 60 million people.)

Which Social Media Platform Best Suits Your Business

Whilst it is important to be front of mind for potential customers, it is also critical to be tactical in knowing your audience and where to find them online. Therefore, finding out which social platform best suits your business’s needs is vital, whilst also looking at the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on South Africans’ social media behaviour and the effects on social media platforms. 

Here is a look at the most popular social media platforms:

PlatformUsers
Facebook27 million
YouTube24 million
Instagram10 million
Twitter9.3 million
TikTok9 million
LinkedIn8.4 million
SnapChat7 million

Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the country, with an estimated 27 million local users – 18 million of these users are exclusively mobile. However, despite having the largest base, messaging platform WhatsApp and video platform YouTube are the most used*

Around 93% of internet users make use of these platforms each month – though Facebook is also widely used, at 87%.

Over the past year, SnapChat saw significant growth across all age profiles, with the platform’s user base growing as much as 25%. It now has seven million users in South Africa.

Instagram saw its active users climb from 4.3 million to 7.1 million

TikTok, meanwhile, is the fastest growing platform in the country, jumping from five million to nine million users over the last year. This platform has a younger demographic.

Twitter’s growth in South Africa, compared to other platforms, has been relatively stagnant, up only 4% from last year to 9.3 million users.

YouTube has a reported base of 24 million people in South Africa, with World Wide Worx’s data showing around 16 million active viewers.

LinkedIn saw its numbers increase from 7.5 million to 8.4 million users.

To finish off, Social Media will play a big role in marketing your business now especially in a society forever changed by the global pandemic. More and More people are online – get your business online too.

*Source – http://www.worldwideworx.com/

Relationships are the Key to Entrepreneurship

As a business owner, ever sat back and thought are my business relationships as good as I think they are?

Relationships are important in life. They make us feel safe and help us deal with stress. Relationships aren’t only important in your personal life, though. As a business owner, professional relationships are the lifeblood of your business. New customers, retaining current customers and managing your reputation are just some of the benefits of relationship building.

In this article, we look at the importance of building good relationships as an entrepreneur or small business owner, and not falling into the trap of thinking the service or product that you have to sell is solely what will lead to your success.

Time Spent Connecting Is Time Well Spent

Whether you’re a new small business owner or a seasoned pro, you can never put enough time towards building and sustaining a network of engaged contacts that you can call on. 

A simple “sho skhokho, ugrand?” goes a long way and time spent networking will be valuable to your business. There are numerous platforms for this such as Linkedin, Facebook Groups and private forums to mention a few.   

Customer Relationship Management

This seems logical but first and foremost, you should be building relationships with customers. 

Customers enjoy having a seemingly personal relationship with a business. They will probably also be more likely to talk to you if they have a problem, rather than telling everyone they know (or turning to HelloPeter with a one-star review) if they have an experience they perceive as negative.

On average, most of a company’s business comes from existing customers and repeat customers are extremely profitable. How can you keep those customers? Build a relationship with them! The quickest way to lose customers is through the failure to cultivate and nurture relationships with customers. 

The most effective way to build a relationship with a customer: talk to them and ask for feedback.

 Employees Also Need Love

They say “to win in the marketplace, you’ve got to first win in the workplace” 

There is no single formula to achieve this (you can find systems that work for you) but basic steps include:

Welcome employee input – listen to their ideas let them know you value their feedback. 

Protect them – A trait of successful leadership is that you protect your team. If you do this, they’ll feel comfortable coming to you with problems rather than leaving issues unresolved (or leaving the business altogether).

Open communication – a free-flowing and non-judgemental line of communication encourages employees to raise issues.

Benefits:

Employee retention & engagement – employees who feel engaged at work are less likely to look for new employment. Lower turnover in staff saves you money and creates a productive work environment.

Relationships are a vital piece to your business and they will open countless doors along with new opportunities if you manage them the right way. However, It’s not all about the benefits – sometimes your business relationships won’t turn a profit or bring in foot traffic. The trick is in finding the value in the different relationships and taking the time to genuinely invest in them. 

Is Your Business Registered?

Quick question: Is your business registered? It seems like a strange question, but we receive plenty of enquiries for funding from entrepreneurs who have not registered their businesses.

Before we get into the how, let’s look at the why. 

Why should I register my company? 

Here are a few advantages to registering your business in South Africa:

  • The company receives official CIPC certification
  • Business name protection
  • Gain credibility and trust
  • Protect your intellectual property
  • Tax Incentives
  • Become eligible for governmental assistance

What types of companies can register? 

You can choose to register your company as one of the following:

1. Non-profit companies: A company incorporated for public benefit or other object relating to one or more cultural or social activities, or communal or group interests.

2. Profit companies: A business/organisation whose primary goal is making money, this includes anything from retail stores to restaurants to insurance companies to real estate companies.

3. Personal liability companies: Company directors and past directors are jointly liable for any debts and liabilities arising during their periods in office. The company name ends with the word ‘incorporated’.

4. Public companies: A public company is one that has issued securities through an initial public offering (IPO) and is traded on at least one stock exchange. It has more than 50 shareholders and its shares are offered to the public.

5. Private companies: These are similar to what was previously known as close corporations. Some of the changes made to private companies include fewer disclosure and transparency requirements, no longer being limited to 50 shareholders, and with a board that must comprise at least one director. The name of a private company must end with the expression ‘Proprietary Limited’ or ‘(Pty) Ltd’.

Where do I register my company?  

1. You can register your company online on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) website.

2. You can also register your company via Nedbank and First National Bank

How long does it take to register a company?

A name reservation takes between seven to 21 days. A company certificate can be registered within three to five days afterwards, depending on whether you have submitted your documents on time and the workload of the registrar’s office.

Can I register a company if I have been blacklisted?

Yes.

Can foreigners register a company in South Africa?

Yes. You will need to provide a valid passport copy or RSA ID document and have a residential address in South Africa.

Am I allowed to register a company without a company name?

Yes. According to the CIPC, in terms of the Companies Act, 2008, a company may be registered with or without a company name. A company that is registered without a reserved name will still get a registration number, this will automatically become the company’s name.

Should I register my company for tax?

Yes. Every new business established is required to register with your local SARS office to obtain an income tax reference number. Registration must be done within 60 days after starting operations by completing an IT77 form, available at your local SARS office or from the SARS website.

How much does it cost?

The registration cost of a private company is R125

If you want the company to have a name, then the minimum cost is R175. That is the CIPC fee of R50 for reserving the name and R125 for registration of a company. If you don’t register a name, you’ll end up with a company called something like K2020/001234/07

Each name reservation application costs R50

The process of registering your business is really simple and advantageous – don’t delay, begin this process and let us look forward to funding your purchase orders.

The People’s Stokvel

HAVE YOU HEARD? The People’s Stokvel is now a Co-operative Financial Institution registered with the Prudential Authority and can offer savings and credit to members only.

Ok, you might be asking, what is The People’s Stokvel (TPS)? What is its purpose and how does one get involved?

Simply, we are building a bank R100 at a time. The People’s Stokvel is a call to action for all of us to invest in small black-owned businesses. There is a joining fee of R1600 and we all contribute R100 a month thereafter. The contributions will then be used to fund purchase orders through The People’s Fundat a fee starting at 6% of purchase order value. Because a CFI can only lend money out to its members, entrepreneurs seeking purchase order funding through The People’s Fund, are required to join The People’s Stokvel.

Now that we know what it is, let’s dive into the background of TPS, where it stands today and how you can get involved.

A LOOK BACK

The People’s Stokvel was initially started in November of 2017 as The Brownsense Stokvel with the main objective of funding return yielding assets for black-owned businesses. 

In line with the vision of one day becoming a commercial bank, the board chose to have the stokvel function in the manner a CFI would, this was done in preparation for the inevitable registration of our CFI. 

TPS: AS THINGS STAND

As mentioned earlier, The People’s Stokvel is now a Co-operative Financial Institution (CFI); this application to register was lodged in September 2018. In short, a CFI is an institution that can take deposits and offer credit to its members only.

A VIEW OF THE FUTURE

The end goal is to become a commercial bank, this is a fully-fledged bank owned by shareholders and thereby governed and registered with the reserve bank. 

WHAT MAKES THE PEOPLE’S STOKVEL UNIQUE?

TPS will be owned equally by its shareholders. Stop and think about that for a second. No one person will own a larger stake than another. This is deliberate on the part of the founders and will shift how the financial landscape.

HOW TO APPLY

In the age of digital, our 100% Black Owned stokvel is managed on Stokfella – a mobile Financial Services Provider regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB Number: 48812 ). All purchases of the Assets for The People’s Fund; statements of balance, deposits into the stokvel, and administration are done through the app. 

NB, It’s very easy to join: 

  1. Go to Google Play or iStore
  2. Download the Stockvella app
  3. Once inside the app, click on the blue plus button, select ‘Join Group’
  4. Search for ‘The People’s Stokvel’

For any additional questions or queries, please see the following:

Frequently Asked Questions – https://peoplestokvel.co.za/faqs/

TPS Constitution – https://peoplestokvel.co.za/constitution/

CFI Prospectus – https://peoplestokvel.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Peoples-CFI-Prospectus-compressed.pdf

We invite you to come build a bank with us ngeKlipa Jo! 

How do I get work with government?

The question for many businesses is often: why is it so difficult to get work with government?  

You might have been looking to conduct business with government and have seen varying levels of success so far: this could be due to the fact you are not registered on the CSD. Yes, we acknowledge it is fair to have some level of scepticism when it comes to government and the tender process however, registration on the CSD is the starting point to hopefully securing fruitful partnerships with state organs.

What is the CSD?

The Central Supplier Database (CSD) is simply a database of organisations, institutions, and individuals who wish to provide goods and services to government. 

This initiative of the National Treasury was started back in 2016 to enable organs of state to have a consolidated database of accurate, up-to-date, complete, and verified supplier information. This supplier information is then verified with institutions such as the South African Revenue Service and the Department of Home Affairs etc. 

Now that is the history of CSD, but the more pertinent questions are: is this relevant to my business? What does the registration process entail?

Is this relevant to my business?

The easy and short answer to this question is that it depends on the nature of your business. Are you interested in seeking work opportunities with government?

Prospective suppliers interested in pursuing opportunities within the South African government (national, provincial, or local) need to register on the CSD before they will be considered. This registration acts as an indicator of interest from the supplier to do business with the South African government.

What does the registration process entail?

The actual registration process is a quick and painless online exercise. All prospective suppliers will be required to complete the required information on the CSD website and must ensure it is complete, accurate, and comprehensive.

For registration, a supplier will require the following:

  • A valid cell phone number and email account
  • Supplier identification and industry classification information
  • Supplier contact information e.g. preferred contact name, telephone number etc
  • Supplier address information
  • Bank account information
  • Supplier tax information if relevant
  • Directors/Members information
  • Commodities the supplier can provide
  • Accreditations the supplier is associated with e.g. SETA, SANAS etc. if relevant

The process from here is as follows:

Step 1: Create yourself as a CSD user

  • Register your basic information on CSD Register

Step 2: Complete supplier details

  • Log in on CSD Login and complete the identification tab

The registration is complete and successful once you are assigned a Supplier number and a 36-digit Unique Registration Reference Number.

To cap this all off, the CSD is not more “red tape” that prevents you from doing work with government, it is a system that ensures that you are fairly considered for opportunities – you just never know what business will flow your way because of the registration.

Getting Your Purchase Order Funded

Good news – you have a purchase order and everything seems great!

Bad news – you don’t have the funding to successfully deliver on your purchase order

What do you do? That’s where the People’s Fund comes in.

In this article, we will take you through the requirements and user journey of successfully applying for funding:

WHO CAN APPLY?

Having a valid PO (purchase order) is the first step to getting funded – we have an article (link) that breaks down what a PO is in greater detail. 

Once a business has a valid PO, it needs to meet the following requirements:

  1. Your business is at least 51% black-owned and 
  2. You require R1 million or less in capital
  3. You have worked with the client before (in the past 12-months) *
  4. Your project can be completed in 60 days or less
  5. You have a minimum of 20% gross profit margin on your project

* We fund first-timers on the basis that you’re working with a client on our preferred client list which can be found here: https://thepeople.co.za/preferred-purchase-order-clients/

WHAT FEES DO I PAY? 

Common queries we receive are based on the fees charged and how they are calculated? At TPF we do not charge interest, We have a facilitation fee that starts from 6% of the total purchase order value (plus VAT). If your total purchase order value is R50 000 or less, then we charge a standard fee of R3 000 (plus VAT). NB – the 6% is only applicable if your project has the following: 30% profit margin and a low-risk profile 

WHAT IS A LOW-RISK PROFILE? 

The following factors contribute to the risk profile of a project:

• Length of project 

• Experience of entrepreneur (have you done a PO before) 

• Client & supplier/s  

• Complexity of project 

Length of project – We crowdfund the capital we use to fund POs and in order to maintain our historic returns for the investors and the crowd, we need to keep cycling their money in our system. The longer the project, the less projects we can fund and that not only impacts the crowd but also the other entrepreneurs waiting for their POs to be funded. 

Experience of entrepreneur – the more experience an entrepreneur has in POs, the lower the risk as they are aware of what needs to be delivered, how to invoice and how to follow up on payments

Clients & supplier/s – repeat clients and supplier/s help lower the risk profile of the project

Complexity of project – the greater the complexity of your project, the greater the risk profile. Construction is a great example of this, We do however fund small-scale construction projects like renovations such as installing doors, ceilings, tiles etc. 

HOW DO I APPLY?

Now that your PO is valid and you meet all the requirements, you can apply for funding here – https://thepeople.co.za/purchase-orders/

Our application only takes 5 minutes and you can get funded in 2 – 5 days. Avoid tedious paperwork so you can focus on delivering POs and growing your business. We have a dedicated team who will walk you through all the steps once you’ve applied which will help put your mind at ease.

So, what are you waiting for? Get funded today. 

Purchase Order – The Basics

At the People’s Fund, a valid purchase order is the first step on the journey to funding entrepreneurs, but, increasingly we are receiving non-valid purchase orders, which we can unfortunately not assist with funding. In this article, we break down purchase orders to help you have a better understanding of them. 

Before we get into it, let’s define some of the terms:

PO: purchase order

Buyer: the end client. The one who issues out the purchase order

Supplier: the entrepreneur. The one who the purchase order is awarded to

Purchase Orders Explained

Simply, a purchase order is a legally binding document sent by a buyer to a seller requesting products or services. Often referred to as ‘PO’s’, they outline the delivery date and terms of payment that the buyer must adhere to and also detail the items the buyer wishes to purchase and clearly state the price.

Purchase orders include key reference information such as tracking numbers (to track the purchase order as it moves through the supplier’s system), as well as information about the type of item/items ordered, the quantity ordered, and the agreed-upon price.

All purchase orders should contain the following information:

  • Date of issue
  • Purchase order number
  • Details of goods
  • Shipping details
  • Name and address of the buyer
  • Name and address of the seller
  • Terms and conditions of the sale

Invoices vs Purchase Orders

A common error made by many entrepreneurs is mistaking an invoice for a purchase order. It’s quite an easy mistake to make. Both are legally binding financial documents exchanged between sellers and buyers. It is important to note that a purchase order is often used to create an invoice, however, each document is used at a different point in the buying process. Purchase orders and invoices are also used by different people within the business.

In other words, a purchase order is used by a buyer to place an order and is issued before delivery.

An invoice is issued by a seller after an order is delivered. It defines the amount the buyer owes for the purchased goods and the date by which the buyer needs to pay.

Purchase orders:

  • Created by the buyer
  • Created before purchase takes place
  • Details the goods required
  • Includes proposed payment details

Invoices

  • Created by the seller
  • Created after purchase
  • Confirms goods delivered
  • Requires payment on a specific date

Different Types of Purchase Orders

There are 2 basic types of purchase orders:

Standing purchase orders:

Buyers can create special orders for especially large shipments or recurring purchases. A standing purchase order allows a buyer to purchase the same products many times over using the same purchase order number. This saves time and hassle.

Blanket purchase orders:

A blanket purchase order is an agreement between both parties for multiple deliveries over a set period, for a set price. Blanket orders are usually used between companies with a strong relationship, and sometimes come with discounts or other incentives.

Conclusion

That, in a nutshell, covers the basics of what a purchase order is. Once you have a valid PO, we can start the process of hopefully funding your entrepreneurial dreams.  

To find out more on all things “Purchase Orders”, see our FAQs section – https://thepeople.co.za/faqs-for-purchase-order-funding/

To apply for funding, head over to our website – https://thepeople.co.za/purchase-orders/

TPF Welcomes New Board Member

The People’s Fund is excited to announce Precious Mvulane CA (SA), to the role of an independent non-executive director. The board is excited to be appointing the first independent director to the board as support to the governance of this continuing growing enterprise.

Precious is a Chartered Accountant (SAICA), Registered Auditor (IRBA) and an award-winning businesswoman, author and content developer. Her expertise lies in finance, compliance and governance with 20 years of experience in different finance roles, in the private and public sectors. She has also been involved with governance structures for the past 14 years and sat on 10 boards as an audit committee member, of which she chaired 5. 

Currently, Precious is the shareholder-manager of GAD Consulting Services Inc, a Training, Publishing and Development organisation that aims to educate, empower and enable leaders to achieve their objectives.

Precious’ other accolades include:

  • Listed as one of the Best New Businesses under the Best New Business Category for the 2015 South Africa SMME awards hosted by the Africa Growth Institute.
  • Selected as one of the top 15 Changemakers for 2013 by Spark International Inc.
  • National award winner 2013 – Ligugu Lami Awards.
  • Awarded the Small Business Champion Award – South Africa 2014, Woman in Business –2nd Runner Up.
  • Nominated as one of the finalists for the Women-Owned Business category hosted by SA Premier Business Awards 2014/2015.

Her extensive experience in compliance and governance will be a welcome addition as TPF continues to work with IFWG in its sandbox to regulate crowdfunding in South Africa. 

The board and executive look forward to welcoming her to the team.