22 March 2012
Standard Bank South Africa launches a back-to-basics drive to support small business
Standard Bank South Africa launched a fresh drive into the small business start-up
market in a bid to help small businesses and shake up the way banks approach this
Clive Pintusewitz, Director of Small Enterprise and Enterprise Development at Standard
Bank South Africa, says many start-up businesses have met a premature end because
they have not been built on the most solid foundation.
Recent research showed that a high percentage of new start-up businesses fail within
the first 3 years. The findings of another recent survey showed that 440 000 small
businesses had failed in the past five years*.
Standard Bank South Africa's new drive, known as BizLaunch, will focus on getting
a business started the right way to avoid the false starts that many businesses
"If we concentrate on the essentials, what you really need is to register the business,
keep track of cash in and cash out, pay suppliers, deposit funds into a business
bank account, and get some basic advice when you ask for it," says Mr Pintusewitz.
Among the key features is a R90 a month business account that includes various transactions
and services to assist and set up the business for the first 12 months.
With a 28% share of the business banking market, Standard Bank South Africa is best-placed
in terms of experience and presence to lead this back-to-basics drive, says Mr Pintusewitz.
"Starting a business is difficult and daunting. People with an idea just want to
get cracking and yet they face all sorts of hurdles and bureaucracy, in spite of
what everyone says about the importance of supporting small business."
BizLaunch is aimed particularly at any new business (including sole proprietors)
with no existing business account, any business wanting to switch with an account
younger than 12 months and any business currently trading from a personal account.
"Twelve months is the typical period a business needs to get up and running, become
aware of what banking transactions and what other services the business will use.
This means that after the 12 month period the entrepreneur will be correctly positioned
to choose a suitable account package that will appropriately match the business
needs," explains Mr Pintusewitz.
BizLaunch is a one-stop shop, full-service offering that includes a proper and affordable
business account with no hidden costs; Pastel My Business Online; an affordable
insurance offer, and access to expert advice and other support.
Mr Pintusewitz says whereas traditional small businesses got all these separately
from various service providers, Standard Bank South Africa offers all of them under
"This approach is important in that it saves customers time, money and, more importantly,
allows people to focus on running and growing their business. It means that Standard
Bank's small business staff can develop a relationship with start-ups based on a
better understanding of the challenges and how we can help them grow. It means that
most problems can be nipped in the bud, reducing typical causes of failure," says
BizLaunch offers the critical things needed to get started:
- A R90 per month (R3 per day) business account, which includes unlimited electronic
transactions (electronic account payments, ATM deposits and inter-account transfers),
unlimited debit orders, unlimited cheque card swipes, Internet banking, My Updates
(SMS notifications); and 8 ATM cash withdrawals. This excludes branch transactions
- My Business Online, an accounting package from Pastel, the market leader in accounting
- My Business Online from Pastel, the market leader in accounting software
- Businesses also have access to a Business Banker to discuss and meet their needs
- Packaged content business support and tips, such as how to start and grow a business
Over and above the core package BizLaunch offers:
- A merchant device (Point of Sale device) for R325 a month - including telecommunication
fees and insurance per month, at a commission rate of 3.25% irrespective of card
- Basic business insurance cover at R150 per month
- Online business registration services and annual returns to help you get your business
- A 20% discounted training voucher on the basics of how to start a business, such
as finance for non-financial managers (normal course fee approximately R1200)
"One thing we know for sure by now is that there are no silver bullets when it comes
to starting a business. Every person who successfully starts a business will tell
you that it takes hard work and persistence.
"Standard Bank wants to get businesses to succeed. Through BizLaunch, we are presenting
practical solutions that are relevant to the market and that tackle head-on the
challenges banks encounter in connecting with entrepreneurs," says Mr Pintusewitz.