Month: January 2016

Knowledge Economy

Knowledge Economy

Coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring is working with an individual to achieve speedy, increased and sustainable effectiveness in their lives and careers through focused learning.
The process involves a journey of self-discovery and self-development to improve personal effectiveness. Twenty-first century organisations benefit from both internal and external coaching and mentoring.

External coaching provided by certified professional business and executive coaches is key in developing management to transform excellent performance to peak performance. Internal coaching, which is carried out by professionally trained individuals within the organisational structure, can be defined as:

Research has shown that there is a high correlation between the individual development of the employee, business manager and executive and the success of the organisation. Organisations that provide coaching and mentoring have repeatedly stressed the following benefits:

Creating a positive work environment that sustains motivation and achieves successful organisational outcomes.

Creating open communication systems where the employee is able to communicate concerns and receive guidance in a ‘safe’ environment. The coach is able to gauge trends in employees in the organisation and action.

Developing support systems in the organisation by training staff to be emotionally intelligent and providing coaching and project management training programmes to ensure their own growth and the support for their colleagues.

Improvement of Performance Standards as the manager is involved in coaching skills, setting accepted goals and guiding their team to achieve objectives.

Total Quality Management by supporting and helping staff to develop solutions to problems and therefore improving the quality of service and customer care of the organisation.

Flatter Management Structures. Today’s manager has a greater area of control and needs to be more of a coach than a director of specific work activities.

Change Management. We are held back from change by fear. Fear is about losing control. Coaching how to cope with and coaching through change with open communication is vital for employee acceptance and successful organisational transition.

DCVH now offers individual and team business coaching by experienced, professionally qualified Business Coaches. The developmental needs of executives may vary from managerial effectiveness skills, to leadership and developing and adapting personality traits such as self-esteem, self-awareness, empathy and personal driver factors.
DCVH Training also now offers a two day Internal Coaching and Mentoring programme for organisations wanting to provide selected staff with the necessary skills to coach and mentor their fellow colleagues to exceed their personal and work goals.

The importance of skills development and the new BBBEE Codes

The importance of skills development and the new BBBEE Codes

How will an organisation’s upcoming skills development submission impact on its future BBBEE ratings and what steps can be taken to maximise their scores in this element?

The amended BBBEE codes, which come into effect on 1 May 2015, introduce the concept of priority elements namely, ownership, skills development and supplier and enterprise development. In simple terms, if an organisation fails to obtain 40% of the points allocated in any of these elements, its rating will be discounted by one level.

Companies with less than 10% black ownership will automatically have their ratings discounted by 1 level, which means that those wishing to obtain a rating (albeit a Level 7 or 8) will need to concentrate on all the other elements and in particular skills development. Even if an organisation has good BBBEE ownership credentials (51%+ black ownership) they will be required to score 40% in this element if they don’t want to be discounted a level. Remember that references to black people in respect of the BBBEE Act also include people of coloured and Indian descent.

The amended codes are already in play as an organisation’s 2016 (or sooner) rating will be based on the current financial year it is in; i.e. if an organisation has a financial year from 1 March to 28 February, the codes would already have been in effect for the month of March 2015.

The amended codes place a great deal of emphasis on organisations assisting and transferring hard skills (qualifications and accredited courses) to black employees and black unemployed persons. The result of this is that little weight (maximum of 15%) is given to soft skills; i.e. customer service, firefighting etc. The target for skills development spending on black people has also increased from 3% of the leviable payroll to 6%. The above stresses the need for organisations to take their skills submissions (due on 30 April 2015) very seriously, as refunds and grants offered by the SETAs can go some way to negating the additional costs associated with the increased targets.

The amended generic scorecard (for organisations whose turnover exceeds R 50 million per annum), allocates 25 points to the skills development element and it is thus vital to score well in this element.

Taking into account the above, we wish to offer the following advice:

  • Submit your Annual Training Report (ATR) and Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), as failure to do so will disqualify you from scoring in this element.
  • Give serious consideration to the scarce and critical skills facing your organisation and report them to your SETA as part of the WSP.
  • Make provision for learnerships, apprenticeships and internships in your PIVOTAL plans. The codes set a target of 2.5% participation in such programmes in respect of an organisation’s total number of employees.
  • Make provision for the utilisation of unemployed black people in the programmes referred to above, as the same target of 2.5% applies.
  • Remember that the salaries or stipends paid to employees in the above programmes can be included in determining your training costs (this can have a massive impact in reaching the 6% target).
  • Set out a timetable for training and measure progress on a monthly basis.
  • Utilise the services of black people with disabilities and provide them with training (too many organisations neglect this aspect). There are 4 points on offer in this regard.
  • Ensure new black employees, who were unemployed prior to taking up employment, sign a declaration to this effect before commencing employment.
  • Ensure that every employee provides a certified identity document prior to commencing employment.
  • Keep proper and up to date records. This has become vital, as the black people trained may not be in employment at the time of the verification.
  • Wherever possible, retain the people that were in learnership, apprenticeship and internship programmes, as this can count for an additional 5 bonus points in this element.
  • If the person cannot be retained, ensure that you obtain his/her contact details, as points can be accumulated if he/she finds alternative employment. The exit interview can be used for this purpose.
  • Try and marry internal training programmes, where organisation-specific skills are taught, to an existing accredited training programme (piggybacking).
  • This is not a quick process and it may take some time before the benefits are fully appreciated.
  • Incorporate skills development as part of wider BBBEE plan and monitor progress on a monthly basis.
  • Although the Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) scorecard will contain less stringent requirements we suggest that organisations follow the same approach.
How to Choose the Right Co-Working Space

How to Choose the Right Co-Working Space

Just bear in mind that not all co-working spaces are created equal, so be sure to vet them out before you sign anything. Most good ones will let you tour the place first and work a day for free, so make sure you take them up on the offer so you can get a feel for the place.

People and community are exceptionally important to co-working spaces. Not every co-working space will provide you with the same support.

Incubators (usually deriving within a co-working space), for example will offer high levels of support and mentorship, but usually in return for equity. They will also be a lot more pickier with the teams they adopt, but this means if you are given a space, you know you will work well with the other people already there. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s shared office spaces, where anyone can rent an area. Usually there’s not really a sense of community there, and everyone just minds their own business. The kind of questions you need to ask yourself are, how do you feel when you first visit the space? What events does the space regularly run? How does the space currently support their existing startups? And lastly, Are the facilities good?


How to Find Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces are everywhere. A quick Google search will bring up the ones closest to you. Often, good co-working spaces will host weekly events such as seminars and networking sessions. These events are a really good way to meet new people and learn a few new things, plus you get a good feel for the space and community so definitely keep your eye out for these kind events in your local startup community or Come and join the Diamond Creative Vision HUB for a co-working experience and business advisory.


Co-Working Spaces = Higher Success for your Startup

Co-Working Spaces = Higher Success for your Startup

The journey of an entrepreneur can be quite a lonely, especially when you’re bootstrapping everything from the ground up by yourself. It’s a tough, lonely journey which can have pretty negative effects on you as a founder. Not a lot of people understand the processes of entrepreneurship and the unique obstacles we encounter, so being cooped up in a bedroom office all day by yourself with your own problems can be pretty daunting. A good way of avoiding this is to rent an area in a co-working space.

Co-working spaces are a relatively new phenomena, and are now really coming into their own. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in a number of co-working spaces around Melbourne and I have been loving every single one. Each is unique, full of different people, different services, different vibes and their own special stories to tell. Working in these spaces ensure you will always be surrounded by like-minded, talented individuals and teams which can really benefit you in the short and long term.

But curing startup loneliness is not the only benefit you’ll get. Research shows that startups who work in a co-working space are Four times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. Not only that a study from found that those who decided to work in co-working spaces were more likely to be motivated, have higher levels of interaction, and more than half worked in supportive teams.

Not to mention the fact that most people found that they were able to relax more at home, and 46% reported earning a higher income ever since they started working at a co-working space.

So if you and your startup aren’t based in a co-working space then you very well should be. But if you’re still not convinced let’s find a few more reasons as to why you’ll, almost assuredly, double your performance and productivity at a co-working space.

1. You’ll build your network

Your Network Is Your Net Worth. When you’re in the entrepreneurial business who you know is just as, if not more, important than what you know. That’s where the real value of the co-working space comes into play, when everyone who walks through the door of a co-working space is a professional in their own right. Then you’d be a fool not to take advantage of the opportunity to make connections.

Even if you’re a solopreneur you’ll find that you’re surrounded by similar-minded people who are just as passionate and goal-driven as you are. You can find someone to bounce ideas with, maybe even help each other by sharing insights into each other’s business. Who knows the experience of you two working together could very well mean that you’ve met your next business partner or investor.

2. You won’t break the bank

Many co-working spaces offer very cheap and affordable rent, especially in comparison to hiring out an entire corporate office. Most won’t even ask you for a lock-in contract. Depending on the space you’ll be able to find places that offer daily rates, or even month long contracts. So you don’t have to be committed for long. That’s the beauty of a co-working space, it’s the perfect breeding ground for startups!

Most co-working spaces offer access to the necessary amenities as well. So you won’t be in the lurch when it comes to printers, fax machines, internet etc. So you won’t have to worry about all those little details with their not-so-little costs anymore.

3. All the talent at your fingertips

Did you know that a co-working space is filled with an absolute smorgasbord of talent?

Co-working spaces tend to attract a wide variety of people from all different sorts of industries and fields. You can guarantee that if there’s some part of your business that you’re having trouble with and need help on, the person next to you might have the solution.

Take advantage of the ability to trade and share skills as you never know who you’ll find and you’ll often be surprised by how they’re so beneficial to you and your startup.

Entrepreneurial Passion

Entrepreneurial Passion

Business requires full insight and demands a certain display of characteristics, Entrepreneurs are different but have common entrepreneurial ethical conduct, one of the entrepreneurial demands is Honestly & integrity. Find what you love and what you good at and convert that into your passion, let it burn like a wild flame that will get your business through the dark times and challenges. Know your market and customers, know what problems they experiencing and what problems your business is solving. What is it you love about your business? What is it about your business that drains your energy? By answering these two questions you will get a better understanding whether you passionate about your business or not.





Gone are the days that “big is beautiful”. The remarkable international economic growth of the last decade was fueled by new, young emerging companies and an international trend was that the established big companies were experiencing financial turmoil. New Venture Creation already became the “buzz words” of the millennium and more and more people are considering starting their own businesses, rather than working for big companies, as their ultimate goal. The writing is also on the wall for big companies; “adapt or die.” New Venture Creation is therefore not only about starting your own business, but also about creating new opportunities in existing companies, it is about an entrepreneurial spirit as oppose to only managerial talents.
New Venture Creation focuses on the concepts, skills and know-how, information, attitudes and alternatives that are relevant for start-ups and early-stage and emerging entrepreneurs. It is an exciting course with two fundamental objectives. First is to teach emerging entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial managers to use the entrepreneurial perspective in order to make better decisions, and thereby influence positively one’s odds for success, and to minimize the odds – costs – of failure. The second aim is to teach each effective entrepreneurial and general management practice from the perspective of the founder and the vital stakeholders that can make a substantial difference in the ultimate success or failure of the business. The central focus of the course is the critical role of opportunity creation and recognition, as the principal success factors in the new venture formation and building. The course is especially relevant for aspiring entrepreneurs bent on launching and growing a business that is quite profitable and can exceed several million Rand in sales. The notion is that it is often riskier, more demanding and painful and less rewarding to think too small. In examining issues and problems of start-ups and new ventures you should be able to:

  • Identify and determine what entrepreneurs need to know about the critical driving forces in a new venture success.
  • Identify how successful entrepreneurs and investors create, find and differentiate
    profitable and durable opportunities from just “another good idea”, and how opportunities evolve overtime.
  • Identify and determine the necessary financial and non- financial resources available for new ventures, identify the criteria they use to screen and evaluate proposals, their attractiveness and risk, and how to obtain start-up and early growth capital.
  • Determine the critical tasks to be accomplished, the hurdles to overcome during start-up and early growth, and what has to happen to succeed.
  • Apply the Venture Opportunity Screening Techniques to an actual start-up idea, and subsequently, be able to develop and prepare a BUSINESS PLAN suitable for guiding start up, attracting financing and realizing an eventual harvest.
  • Craft and prepare a personal entrepreneurial strategy to identify relevant issues,
    requirements and trade-offs.
for more info please contact 081 544 3464 or email:
Social enterprise and CSI

Social enterprise and CSI


Social enterprise (SE) is a fairly new concept, steadily gaining international momentum. While there is an ongoing debate about its exact definition, a SE is broadly understood as an organisation that:

  • seeks to address social issues using sustainable business models
  • is involved in trading activities, with profit always or mainly reinvested into the enterprise
  • converges social and profit missions, to create social value
  • is impact-, rather than profit- driven

South African business and social development sector stakeholders agreed on the following definition:

 A social enterprise’s primary objective is to address social problems through a financially sustainable business model where surpluses (if any) are mainly reinvested for that purpose.


  • South Africa’s challenging socio-economic context, coupled with reduced donor funding, can be viewed as a prime environment in which to inspire innovation that will help NPOs to transform into social enterprises to ensure sustainability.
  • A new generation of young entrepreneurs, who don’t necessarily want to choose between positive social impact and profit-making, are not necessarily attracted to pure non-profit or corporate organisations. Social enterprising presents an ideal hybrid model for such talent.


  • An NPO’s transition into a social enterprise is not an easy process, and is dependent on a mind-set shift at a management, board and/or trustee organisational level.
  • South Africa does not have a policy or legal framework that supports the concept of social enterprise.
  • Social enterprises are considered too high-risk to be able to access bank loans and do not meet the set funding criteria to access funding for enterprise development.

Corporate support

Corporates can support SEs in the following ways:

  • Procurement from SEs
  • Financing SEs to scale and replicate their models – corporates can use CSI or ED spend to set up blended funding structures
  • Supporting NPOs in their transition to SEs
  • Supporting skills development

The benefits of supporting SEs include:

  • Reducing NPOs’ dependency on corporate funding
  • Helping corporates to implement responsible exit strategies
  • Helping to ensure that available funding is directed to NPOs that are not in a position to transition into SEs
  • Improving NPOs long-term financial sustainability, thereby helping to ensure that organisation can continue to meet their social impact objectives.

Key discussion points

  • Since the gap in funding for social enterprises cannot be filled by government, other stakeholders are needed to support this transition in the short and medium term.
  • Since it is not possible to commercialise all services, not all NPOs can become SEs. The key is to ensure that available funding is channelled to the organisations that need it most, and that NPOs that have the potential to commercialise some of their products or services do so.
  • Distance from the market can make it difficult for organisations in deep rural areas to transform into SEs
  • In order to ensure effective involvement, CSI practitioners must understand the concept of social enterprise and be able to ‘sell’ it to their boards, in order to support the transition journey
  • Community trusts can use their funds to set up social enterprises for meaningful impact
  • Social enterprise incubators in South Africa include Alpha Capital and Impact Amplifier. Awethu could also be included, for their work with government on The Jobs Fund.

Way forward for corporates

  • Corporates can raise awareness among the NPOs that they work with about the opportunities to transform into SEs and, where appropriate, can support such transitions
  • Corporates can explore alternative ways of funding the social enterprise sector, for instance by providing an integrated solution that draws from SED and ED budgets.
  • CSI practitioners can influence policy by raising awareness about the social enterprise concept among chief executives and boards