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Unlike many business chambers, FABCOS offers developmental programmes to its members. Based on our experience of working with small businesses in South Africa since 1988 and many years of primary and secondary research, we have developed 6 (six) programmes that are implemented to develop member businesses. The programmes are intended to address the key challenges that face small businesses as they venture into the business world and/or as they seek to grow and expand their businesses.
Access to finance is the most challenging obstacle to enterprise development. Red-tape, lack of business plans, credit bureau listings and a lack of knowledge of where to go for finance are some of the issues associated with SMMEs finding it difficult to secure finance. FABCOS has over the years developed innovative partnerships and ways in which the challenges listed above can be overcome. This led to the creation of a number of SMME funds and interventions which assist SMMEs with loans.
The Business Support Programme covers all the basic requirements for any business to operate efficiently which small businesses tend to ignore. This includes services such as Business Planning, business registration and incorporation, Industry-specific licensing and regulatory compliance, submitting annual tax returns and monthly VAT returns, bookkeeping and the compilation of annual financial statements.
Business opportunities propel growth, diversification and stability in any business. Having the ability without any opportunity amounts to naught. Legitimate business opportunities absorb a lot of time and money to confirm and vaildate. Because feasibility studies, research, legal agreements and business plans all cost money, many small businesses are left out of lucrative opportunities. FABCOS assists by facilitating cost-effective and hassle-free access to business opportunities for its members.
Access to markets is a fundamental requirement for any business to grow and expand. All businesses are created to satisfy market demand. Without markets there can be no profitable and sustainable business. FABCOS facilitates access to markets via seminars, trade shows and also through referrals arising from supply opportunities locally and abroad.
Facilitating access to business opportunities, access to finance and markets and having a conducive environment in which to trade is nothing without the ability to run your business properly. Managing people, understanding the leagl framework, keeping abreast of developments in technology, understanding the jargon of your trade, managing finances, etc. are all key to succeeding in business. Incubation and mentoring offered alongside formal training adds a real-life dimensions to courses offered and seminars that are presented.
The legal framework in any country fundamentally affects the environment within which small businesses trade. Left alone, policies and laws that are passed are most likely to impact negatively on the trading environment. In SA, the historical legacy left by apartheid makes advocating for SMME friendly legislation a much more pronounced requirement.