The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) is joining forces with Property Point, a Growthpoint Properties initiative, to develop more small businesses for South Africa’s property sector.

DSBD has allocated a R5 million grant to Property Point for a one-year small business development programme as part of its Enterprise Incubation Programme (EIP).

This breakthrough initiative is the first public-private partnership of its kind in the property sector. It will develop 16 small businesses in the property sector of which two-thirds are youth- and woman-owned.

Shawn Theunissen, head of Property Point and head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Growthpoint Properties, says: “Property Point’s objective has always been to contribute to South Africa’s economic growth. Using a best practice model, we have delivered positive results in the property sector for the last decade. Now, our new partnership with government will escalate our impact on transforming the economy at a crucial time when South Africa is dealing with high employment and low economic growth.”

President Cyril Rhamaphosa said in his recent State of the Nation speech: “Ultimately, the growth of our economy will be sustained by small businesses, as is the case in many countries. It is our shared responsibility to grow this vital sector of the economy. We will work with our social partners to build a small business support ecosystem that assists, nourishes and promotes entrepreneurs.”

Property Point has been a driver of transformation and small business growth within the South African property industry in the 10 years since it was founded by Growthpoint in 2008.

Already, it has created 2066 jobs and R842 million in procurement opportunities generated for the 130 SMEs that have participated in its two-year incubation programmes. These small businesses have reported 43% growth in revenue.

The partnership with government leverages Property Point’s deep-rooted success in growing competitive small businesses in the property sector over the last 10 years and expands it for bigger impacts on small enterprise development, job creation, economic growth and a more inclusive economy for South Africa.

The country’s recent budget speech also stressed: “Government must create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, as they are an important lever to create jobs and grow the economy inclusively. Work is being done to provide crucial funding to innovative small businesses when they need it most. A fund with an allocation of R2.1 billion over the medium term is being developed between the Departments of Small Businesses, Science and Technology and the National Treasury to benefit small and medium enterprises during the early start-up phase – this is an area that has historically had limited support because of the risks involved… Another important constraint for small business is lack of market access and barriers to entry. To resolve this, our competition authorities continue to do the necessary and important work of addressing barriers to entry and rooting out anti-competitive behaviour which slows economic growth and dynamism.”

For this unique 16-business intake, Property Point’s programme is powerfully market driven. It will raise the profile of the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitiveness, with a deep focus on market integration.

The programme aims to create market linkages for these small businesses that will see them included in procurement opportunities in the broader property sector, as well as Growthpoint. It is expected to set new benchmarks for small business integration into private sector supply chains.

Estienne de Klerk, CEO of Growthpoint South Africa, says: “As a hands-on property owner – we own and manage our buildings – we recognise our unique position to develop small businesses to increase their access to market opportunities. We are proud to contribute to this pioneering public-private partnership designed to deliver on South Africa’s transformation, small business, economic growth and job creation objectives.”

Property Point also collaborates with like-minded businesses and organisations across the sector to achieve the shared goals of building sustainable, competitive, small businesses and a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship and enterprise growth.

It enjoys a well-established and growing partnership with JSE-listed Attacq Limited. Since 2014, Property Point has tailor-made supplier and enterprise development programmes for Attacq to empower entrepreneurs and link small businesses into Attacq’s supply chain.

Theunissen concludes: “Together, Property Point and its partners in both the public and private sector will continue to make a positive contribution to South Africa’s property sector and play a vital role in stimulating and transforming the economy as a whole.”

Author: Property Point.

Image: Shawn Theunissen, head of Property Point and head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Growthpoint Properties.

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