Engen Learn Programme Provides Critical Life-skills
Entrepreneur Today Engen Learn Programme Provides Critical Life-skills
The Engen Learn programme has receive numerous national awards, including an award from Apple for innovation, the Future of HR Best Learning and Development Strategy award in 2017, and a Directors Best Choice nomination for the same award in 2018.
Published Tweet Engen, in collaboration with FUEL Online Training, has delivered a record 3.5 million training interventions to Engen forecourt attendants around the country since its inception in 2013. The training focuses on job skills and competencies related to customer service as well as critical life-skills which can be accessed via an iPad training app. Community support material created for Engen staff includes basic first aid, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and understanding money management. The programme has also offered 640 000-education interventions concerning people living with HIV, which still affects millions of South African families. “We are very excited by the level of success achieved by our programme. The Engen sites that implemented Engen Learn have delivered increased customer satisfaction,” says Retail Training Academy Manager, Renee Kemm. The Engen Learn programme has receive numerous national awards, including an award from Apple for innovation, the Future of HR Best Learning and Development Strategy award in 2017, and a Directors Best Choice nomination for the same award in 2018. “This a ground breaking solution which, if nurtured, has the power to be a truly transformative force in South Africa. Our reach allows us to directly inspire thousands of employees, who in turn are empowered to impact on their families and communities,” adds Kemm. Related: How Does One Start a Petrol Station in South Africa? Below are some comments received via survey from service station staff about Engen Learn: “Ever since the introduction of Engen Learn I learnt so much and not only about the industry but am happy to say am now debt free because I followed what I learned here.” “When I started as a Cashier it was just a job. The Engen Learn modules about the history of Engen fascinated me. Today, even the President, is not as happy as I am in my job. All thanks to a simple app.” “Engen Learn has taught me to be strong and resourceful manager and it has given me some powerful life lesson especially when it comes to budgeting and being a responsible person in life.” “I have learned to identify someone who uses substances. I learned how to budget. I have learned how to deal with someone who is HIV positive.” Related Topics: Entrepreneur
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Business plan competition for young, aspiring entrepreneurs announced Johannesburg regional winner.
The 2018 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs has announced Lucky Shabalala as the regional winner for Johannesburg after submitting his business plan for his company, Entertainment Neighborhood – a video gaming company.
Entertainment Neighborhood provides the use of video gaming facilities at R10 per hour to individuals from low-income households in the townships of Vereeniging. Shabalala started the company by using his personal gaming console which he set up outside a local hair salon. Today, Entertainment Neighborhood consists of eight PlayStation 4 consoles, eight UHD TVs, and 32 video games.
“Now in its 9 th year, the competition aims to promote South African entrepreneurship amongst individuals between the ages of 18 and 35, by bridging the gap between simply having an idea, to actually launching a start-up business,” says Petro Bothma, Group Enterprise Development Manager at Business Partners Limited and Program manager for SME Toolkit South Africa.
Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs
As part of the free-to-enter competition, Shabalala joined young entrepreneurs across the country by taking part in one of the 18 regional business workshops on the intricacies of compiling a business plan and managing the many functions of running a business. Following the workshop, each entrant was invited to submit a complete business plan to the competition judging panel.
“The business plan for Entertainment Neighborhood was chosen as it was well presented, informative and comprised all the essential sections required. It also showed Shabalala’s aim to grow the business further and make affordable video gaming facilities available in various low-income communities, thereby providing consumers with entertainment as well as the opportunity to pursue professional careers in gaming,” says Petro Bothma, Programme Manager of the SME Toolkit SA at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who was speaking at the regional awards ceremony held on 31 October 2018.
Each regional winner is awarded a mentorship support voucher to the value of R6000 , as well as introduced to valuable business networking opportunities to assist the m with growing their fledgling businesses , Bothma adds.
The SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs competition received 800 entries for young entrepreneurs across the country, after which, 100 business plans were submitted for judging. Eight regional winners will be selected from across the country, and will then contend for the overall national title which will be announced at an awards ceremony held in Johannesburg later this November. Is Section 12J , The Investment Tax Incentive, Working For South Africa?
By Jonti Osher and Dino Zuccollo, Section 12 fund managers at Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management
There are more than 100 registered Section 12J companies in South Africa and is estimated that the market has raised more than R3.6 billion in investments. S12J was instituted in 2009 with a 12 year sunset clause for 2021. We are technically at the six year midpoint – the right time to question whether S12J is a success.
The truth is that S12J had a much delayed start. It took from 2009 to 2015 for the tax legislation to be amended to be more attractive to investors. For this reason, we will only have seven years of data to assess whether 12J has met its objectives.
Section 12J was introduced by the South African Revenue Services under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act in 2009 as an investment tax incentive. The intention was to boost the South African economy by encouraging investment into a range of private companies which meet defined criteria.
The incentive gives investors the ability to write off 100% of their investment against their taxable income in the year they invest. Therefore investors can benefit from up to 45% immediate tax relief. This reduces the cost of the investment, which provides downside protection and enhances overall returns.
Related: Capitalising On (Ad)venture – A Look At Section 12J S12J industry body
Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management , SA’s largest S12J asset manager which looks over half of the capital invested in S12J funds today, is spearheading the formation of an industry body to assist in proving the viability of extending the incentive past June 2021. Whilst the industry has been discussing how much has been raised, we plan to generate the type of relevant information that National Treasury can use to assist in extending the legislation post the sunset clause.
We will investigate the number of investments, the number and types of those investments, how many jobs have been created and sustained, how much of S12J capital has been deployed, what sectors of the economy and geographic areas are benefiting. We want to know about successes as well as areas which can be improved for the benefit of the industry. We are also keen to hear about economic activity around S12J.
For instance, Westbrooke has been able to pioneer a new type of non traditional equity capital for businesses which rent movable assets through Aria Growth Partners , a Section 12J fund. If a business can rent its movable assets, Aria Growth Partners can provide capital and assist in the growth of the business.
A practical example of how it works: Mobile Macs provides delivery motor bikes to the fast food franchise industry. Rather than owning, insuring and servicing the bikes themselves, it makes more sense for franchise owners to rent these from Mobile Macs. While demand for their rental solution was growing – additional funds were needed to enable the business to scale.
With the injection of readily available capital from Westbrooke Aria, Mobile Macs increased its fleet from 800 bikes to 1 500 bikes. In the 18 months since Westbrooke’s involvement in Mobile Macs, the company’s growth has resulted in a nearly 50% increase in direct employment. At the same time, 400 new jobs have been created for bike riders.
Related: Invest And Save 100% Of Your Tax Payable To SARS With The 12J Fund The verdict
Since it was introduced, it is clear that S12J has had positive spinoffs for South Africa. Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has R1.7 billion in assets under management from over 600 investors. The funds have made more than 20 investments with over R700 million capital deployed to date. These investments have created more than 1200 jobs. Westbrooke has more capital to invest to further grow small and medium sized South African businesses, which will stimulate the South African economy.
Westbrooke saw increased investor traction this year. In fact, we have seen increased traction each year in this relatively new asset class. We raised R420m in 2016 and R470m in 2017 and over R800 million this year, so we are seeing excellent growth, which bodes well for the industry.
We trust that we will be able to provide more concrete statistics, through the industry body, which will prove the case for an S12J extension. Entrepreneur Today Goodbye Performance Reviews, Hello Leadership Conversations
When it comes to annual performance reviews, there are five psychological obstacles that come into play, explains Vermaak.
The way we’re working is changing. Recent research undertaken by The Human Edge , has found employees prefer continuous engagement with their managers, as opposed to once or twice a year engagement in performance reviews. “It’s time we seriously think about eradicating the outdated annual performance review,” says Helene Vermaak business director at The Human Edge.
“In fact, millennials [who according to Gallup. Inc will by the year 2020 make up 50% of the global work force] don’t understand why they must wait an entire year to learn how they’re performing on the job – they’re accustomed to instant gratification. They want and need daily feedback in real time and thus we need to be conducting leadership conversations.”
Continuous engagement between managers and employees is an absolute must. The Human Edge’s research found that the majority, 69%, of managers only engage once or twice a year in performance conversations, and only 38% of employees found the annual performance review a good return on their invested time.
When it comes to annual performance reviews, there are five psychological obstacles that come into play, explains Vermaak: Infrequent feedback – Timely feedback is more likely to be helpful and feel constructive, while delayed feedback seems more like an evaluation and criticism of past mistakes. Lack of clarity – Traditional annual reviews not only provide feedback too infrequently for it to be actionable, but their ratings and rankings are often too vague to help employees know how to improve their performance. A fundamental flaw in most annual performance reviews is that managers do not tailor them to reflect what they expect of each employee, and they do not help employees prioritise how to move forward. Manager bias – Ratings often reflect the manager’s often-unstated expectations and implicit bias. Adverse reactions to evaluation and feedback – When employees have a negative reaction to evaluation and feedback, they are unlikely to be motivated to perform better following their performance review. If this only occurs annually, it is a long wait before managers can counteract those negative feelings. Too much focus on pay and incentives – If workers feel that the evaluation system is inaccurate and unfair, they assume they will be paid and promoted unfairly as well.
Related: Year-End Reviews Are Not Always A Positive Experience
Vermaak adds that the performance review approach does not result in better employee retention, or improved employee satisfaction and there is not a better link between performance and pay. So, we know that everyone comes to work wanting to do a good job, and you can help people do this, says Vermaak, by: Giving clear direction and priorities Agreeing on the performance standard expected Identifying support and development to help Keeping in touch and providing feedback on progress regularly
Managing is done minute-to-minute in a series of conversations. More specifically, Vermaak describes five Leadership Conversations that drive performance and strengthen employee relationships: Goal setting and expectation clarification – The purpose of this conversation is to have a dialogue that focuses the person on exactly what needs to be done, by when, how the manager will measure success, and when and how regularly the manager should follow up and provide feedback. All good performance begins with mutually created, clear and compelling goals. Progress review, re-directing and feedback – This conversation should ensure that employees are clear about the work they need to do and what qualifies as successful. It should create a shared understanding of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week and into the future. Managers and employees should collaborate to determine performance expectations based on the employee’s abilities, aspirations and developmental needs. Together, they should clearly identify performance targets and determine the most important objectives to prioritise. Managers should help employees understand why their role exists and how their role expectations align with team and organisational objectives. Quick connects – Managers should assess quickly how an employee is doing and identify successes and barriers. Formal review (wrapping-up conversations) – Formal reviews of progress on goals, expectations and planning for future opportunities. This conversation should focus on celebrating accomplishments and discussing any new knowledge or skills gained during the process. Developmental and career aspirations – This conversation should focus on strengths and talents, opportunities for growth, learning and development and innovation and continuous improvement.
Vermaak offers five tips for positive leadership conversations: Operate from a FACTS base Ensure PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY Emphasise MUTUAL PURPOSE Works towards JOINT SOLUTIONS Document WHO will do WHAT, by WHEN, how will we MEASURE, FOLLOW UP and give FEEDBACK
Visit The Human Edge website for more information