Annelie is the National Sales Manager for Sage VIP. She is responsible for growing the organisation’s market share in all segments, from small start-up businesses to large and corporate enterprises. “Being part of a team that is innovative and successful is rewarding and the launch of new products makes my day to day work-life fulfilling and stimulating,” says Annelie.
Annelie believes the challenges she faces every day are not any different to those of her male counterparts. “Things have definitely changed over the years and when you do good work it is about your output and not your gender.”
Her secret to a healthy work-life balance: If you love your job, it is possible to balance your responsibilities at work with your family duties. It is all about priorities and staying focused. I always ensure that I spend quality time with my daughter when I get home and when she goes to bed, I will attend to work matters, if necessary. It also helps to have a good support structure, seeing that I am a single mother.
“To be employed gives women economic freedom that allows them to take charge of their own life and destiny, as well as making a difference in their workplace,” says Annelie.
Annelie’s advice to other women in a corporate environment:
If there is a conflict of opinion with a person or department within the organisation, try not to get over emotional and rather step out of the content, refocus on the issue at hand and always strive for common goals and purpose.
The Gauteng Economic Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said in a News24 article last Monday that the government had put in place plans that would support the Small and Medium Enterprises in the province with the aim of growing the economy and creating jobs:
“In one such initiative … 100 000 young men and women entrepreneurs will be trained and assisted financially so that they can employ three and five people each to create one million jobs.”
Are these initiatives what the South African small business entrepreneurs asking for? Local SMME Business Owners responded to a question in the Sage Business Index around what they felt were the most important things Government can do to assist businesses as follows:
Skills development and education 48%
Reduce business bureaucracy and legislation 40%
Reduce business tax 37%
These priorities are potentially stemming from the sentiments of South African SMME business owners that government bureaucracy remains a hindrance. Businesses are in agreement with the factors that restrict them – irrespective of country the least favourable aspect of doing business is government bureaucracy and legislation, followed by governments handling of economic challenges.
Over half (53 percent) of South African businesses polled say that government bureaucracy and legislation is one of the least favourable aspects of doing business. When probed further, 62 percent of businesses stated employee and labour law whilst 48 percent said procurement and tender procedures for public sector contracts were the most cumbersome aspects. Smaller businesses further cited a lack of sufficient support and advice.
Money matters ranked highly amongst South African SMME’s, with 43 percent of smaller businesses (two to twenty four employees) declaring that they experience trouble managing cashflow, and that a lack of funding or access to capital is problematic (28% of one person businesses compared to 10% of 500+ employee businesses).
It will be interesting to see whether the measures which MEC Mahlangu has made mention of to support entrepreneurship and aid job creation tactics in South Africa will have a positive effect on the sentiments of the SMME business owners and entrepreneurs in next year’s Sage Business Index, in comparison to the results currently on hand (conducted during July & August 2011).