Perhaps the most daunting stage of your life is the transition from your tertiary education into the role of a fully-fledged, employable young graduate, ready to begin a career that puts you on a path to achieving your dreams. Even more so young entrepreneurs whose transition comes in the form of starting a business from scratch or opting to use multiple revenue streams simultaneously to reach their career or financial goals. The current economic climate, and even that of before the introduction and complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, presents a myriad of challenges and obstacles to come between conceiving a business idea and actually developing it into a solid, sustainable source of income that one can rely on. Grace Govender, Nedbank’s Head of New Business Development, spoke to us about these challenges, the art of entrepreneurship and how Nedbank is positioning itself to provide graduates and entrepreneurs with expertise and guidance during this critical time in their careers.
Govender is tasked with coordinating the strategies and their implementation for both the small-business and professional clients, and understands the needs and complications faced by those starting out.
“Whether you’re fresh in your career or thinking about your own business, you want to keep your costs to a minimum. But you need to think about how you build a portfolio of financial assets over the longer term. Think about how your income is likely to grow and choose financial partners that can grow with you, can offer you the guidance you need and can negotiate on your behalf when it comes to financing your first vehicle or home,
she explains, in reference to the option they offer new graduates – those under 30 with a four-year degree can get all the banking, rewards and lifestyle perks of their Professional Banking offering at a 50% reduced fee.
People who are starting their own business tend to know how they want to run it. Nedbank offers the banking expertise and support that not only helps get these startups off the ground but also establishes a banking relationship in which both parties can celebrate milestones and tackle the hurdles in the process. This support is vital when entrepreneurs are facing challenges they might not have experienced yet. Whether it’s managing multiple revenue streams or dealing with operational and client demands, having the required advisory and relationship banking from Nedbank not only takes the hassle out of day-to-day banking. It also helps business owners consider their options and make educated decisions moving forward. It’s easy to develop a one-track mind running a new business, focusing on end goals or funding, but having a source of expertise to rely on takes some of the burden away from dealing with constant decision-making.
As Govender describes, “your dedicated relationship banker can unpack that, understand the needs and then present you with a set of options that will help you make the right choice at that point in time.”
Funding is one of the greatest challenges faced by entrepreneurs, especially in the current economic climate, locally and worldwide. According to Govender, while there is a stigma of conservatism when it comes to banks investing in small businesses, it’s still certainly an option.
We look for good and innovative ideas and the energy and know-how to execute them. Once they demonstrate the ability to derive even a modest profit and generate positive cash flow, then they would place themselves in an ideal position to acquire funding,”
With this in mind, along with the sheer number of new entrepreneurs and businesses in search of funding, Nedbank developed the SimplyBiz platform: a free resource for business owners by business owners, as part of Nedbank’s Banking and Beyond initiatives. SimplyBiz is a tool that provides networking opportunities, practical tools, expert advice and alternative funding options to help entrepreneurs either gain funding or develop their business to a state at which it can be funded. “Should they face a challenge or have a question, there are experts at hand offering advice that’s not only theoretical, but relevant and practical,” according to Govender. They’re hoping to improve networking too, as the platform also gives access to a community of business leaders that can share experiences and young entrepreneurs can seek advice from.
Nedbank is innovating and tailoring its offering continuously to meet the demands of young entrepreneurs. Offering the SimplyBiz platform can equip graduates with knowledge and support before they even begin building their business. No young entrepreneur is expected to know all the ins and outs of running a business, the Nedbank Essential Guide For Small-Business Owners is a free and infinitely valuable A-to-Z resource for those looking to try their hand at entrepreneurship.
As the old adage goes, time is money. The Nedbank Money app and their online banking platforms are designed to allow young professionals to do their personal and business banking in one place. Both the design and functionality are constantly innovating to make transaction and management processes more efficient, placing more power in the hands of the client.
One other way Nedbank is catering to young South African entrepreneurs is through their Startup Bundle. Cost is a critical factor in the early stages of a business, so keeping costs at a minimum is paramount.
“The Startup Bundle offers the client zero monthly transactional fee for the first six months, 20 free transactions (including one ATM withdrawal per month) and SMS notifications, with all the bells and whistles including a dedicated relationship banker, and access to lending, savings and payment solutions,”
It’s their way of giving young businesspeople a transactional offering with some relief during the critical early phase of their entrepreneurial careers.
Considering the current state of the economy, especially in the midst of the pandemic, it stands to reason that many South Africans will be opting to start their own business as their main or and additional revenue stream. If necessity is the mother of invention, we may soon see invention and innovation resulting from bright young minds in the most uncertain of circumstances.
With the extent to which Nedbank is willing to not only cater to these young professionals but also freely provide them with the support and expertise to make educated decisions, it seems that the resources are established and waiting for a new age of entrepreneurs.
Developing a relationship with your bank comes from trust, convenience and, most importantly, expertise, and Nedbank is working constantly to ensure that this is part and parcel of their daily service.