August spotlight: Gertina Watermeyer

“Gertina Watermeyer is the Director of Young Nails Cape North. She started her small one-man business whilst studying health and skincare for 3 years from 2010 to 2012 at Camelot International.

 In 2011 Gertina attended an additional Nail Course as it was not covered as part of her studies not knowing that this will be the main direction of her business. In 2013 she converted to the brand Young Nails and since then never looked back. Her passion grew for the art and technique behind nails and later felt the urge to help ladies who have the potential to build their empire by perfecting their skills and building their businesses.

In 2015 Gertina became the mentor and distributor for Young Nails in Cape Town.

 Gertina has this big vision of expanding her business into more branches, creating jobs and helping the woman to build their careers and become independent. Therefore she registered her company in 2017 and together with the help of Bruce at EMS, this will be achieved. Keep your eyes open and be on the lookout for the Young Nails name becoming more and more familiar on everyone’s lips.

 Gertina is married to Riaan Watermeyer. She is a former Cape Junior Ballet and Cape Town City Ballet ballerina with a passion for reading and just spending quality time with her family. “

By |2018-08-13T15:21:16+02:00August 13th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

Help I have a new Idea?

New ideas come and go as fast as taxi buses on the N2, but knowing which are good and which to let go is the difficult process that most people struggle with.  But help is at hand: The Innovation Wind Tunnel is now officially open for business.

The Wind Tunnel is a place where new ideas are tested against a number of different platforms to ensure they are robust and geared to withstand the stresses of the current marketplace. The first filter is a simple pitch to the panel: this is done at initial idea stage where you can pitch your concept, no matter how early in the idea phase, to get some solid expertise feedback. This feedback is designed to enable you to iterate the concept as many times as possible in the early stages of development to ensure your idea becomes as solid as possible before you begin to test it in the marketplace and cost you money.

On completion of the pitch, we offer two sets of reports that do solid research on the presenting problem you are addressing and another report to validate the product offering you are proposing. These two reports will form the base of your application for funding from TIA or similar institutions for seed funding that will address the POC or Proof of Concept development and any IP or Intellectual Property submissions.

For a more comprehensive look at these stages: check out our website on

By |2018-08-06T10:49:50+02:00August 6th, 2018|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

August spotlight: Michelle Davidson

Michelle Davidson is one of the founding partners of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. She started her career in the non-profit financial sector after completing her B.Com in Information systems at UCT.

Michelle has over a decade of experience with non-profits having assisted with many budgeting, planning and strategic sessions. She has a passion not only for the numbers but the people in these organisations. Her happy place is working with people, spreadsheets and strategic processes to improve current performance and profits.

Michelle has a huge vision of developing a business that is able to provide wall to wall services for the non-profit and small business. This vision is slowly coming into focus with the merge of her own business MD Business Solutions with the Entrepreneur Incubator in 2016 to create Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. Watch this space as Michelle plots out and executes her vision over the next few years to develop a strong business structure that will continue to serve businesses and business people well into the future.

Michelle is married to Richard and has a son in Grade 2 at Wynberg Boys. She has a passion for drawing, art and music and spending quality time with family and friends.

By |2018-08-03T14:04:39+02:00August 2nd, 2018|Entrepreneurship|1 Comment

Do you need to do your CIPC annual Return?

When we chat with business owners about their CIPC annual return, we too often get blank stares with a small side of fear.  “Oh no, not another compliance issue we need to take care of” is the reply.

Ok, so let’s put things right here and help lay your fear to rest, a bit.

Yes, every registered business needs to submit an annual return to CIPC. It is not a very tedious task and only takes a few minutes of online work. But it can only be done through a person or business that has a registered account with CIPC.  EM Solutions has such an account.

So, what needs to be done? On or as close to the annual anniversary of the registration of your business a submission needs to be made on the CIPC system detailing your last annual turnover, business email address and telephone number and description of the business.

Payment is scaled according to the turnover and ranges from R100 for turnover less than R1 million to R3000 for a turnover of more than R25 million. There are also late payment fees applicable to anything older than 3 months.

This equates to not a huge amount of money, but by not submitting your annual return could result in your business being listed as deregistered by CIPC. Once this happens, your bank will be notified and soon all your contracts, lease and creditors will become aware of this and you will become personally liable for any outstanding overdraft, accounts payable and surety that has been signed for.

Gulp! So please check when last you submitted your annual return or contact us to check for you directly on CIPC and we will advise you accordingly.

Compliance is just one of those things you need to do to run a sustainable business.

By |2018-06-18T09:12:08+02:00June 18th, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Legal|0 Comments

Google Duplex: the future is here

Google has released their new Artificial Intelligence platform dubbed Google Duplex. The key aspect of this application is to relieve us humans of mundane tasks that can easily be done by a smart computer giving us more time to do the important stuff like running our businesses.

I the video below you can see, or hear an example of Duplex phoning an actual hair Salon to make an appointment for Lisa. The interactions and understanding of the human conversation are astounding. All the research and data gathered by Google from years of ‘failed’ projects that we have seen come and go online have all added valuable input into this now clever system.

The future is here. I am keen to see where we go from this as we begin to interface AI speech robots with wearable devices and mobile phones. Scary or not: the future has arrived.

By |2018-05-22T13:21:11+02:00May 22nd, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

The 9 Hats of an Entrepreneur – Parent

Any business owner who has children will know the challenges that arise. To be honest, working from my home office, even though it is separate it still presents huge issues when the kids are home and want to play with Dad. As a parent business owner you are faced with two decisions: Do you want your kids to inherit your business? Do you want your kids to learn about business from you? Each ‘Yes’ answer will require a huge amount of time investment in exposing them to the various aspects of the business. Often family-owned businesses are never passed down successfully because the children have seen their parents struggle and moan all their lives and they are expected the arrive at work with a smile on their face and do the same thing. Secondly, if you allow your children to participate in your business, are they going to learn good practices or will they see how badly you run things and how your cheat your customers and never pay suppliers. What message are you sending out to your family? Take a moment to consider how your kids see you in the parent business owner hat. Ouch!

By |2018-05-07T09:04:58+02:00May 7th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

The 9 Hats of an Entrepreneur – Spouse

When I wear my husband hat and then work in my business, I have a huge responsibility to my wife. Having the Spouse hat requires us to communicate openly to our other halves as if they actually are our other half. We like to go out on dates and just chat about the business and all the challenges and opportunities. I cannot expect my wife to understand all the technical stuff I talk about but she does appreciate the communication and openness. I always tell her about any new client we get and she pops her head in at workshops to say ‘Hi’. My role is to not only talk but to listen as well. So often when I am facing a huge decision about a new venture or partner programme, I will bounce it off my wife to get her opinion on not only the idea but the person. Women have this 6th sense thing that will often detect issues that I am blind to and if undetected could lead to disaster further down the line. I have also agreed to open up completely to my wife about any dealings with other women I have. Often as a coach, our conversations could get personal and lead to that place where information is shared and doors could be opened that lead to dark places. I have a rule on this, always meet in public places and always tell my wife about any female clients, and keep that channel open at all stages. Men are weak and need the support of our Spouses. We can only get that if we share and talk to them.

By |2018-04-20T09:42:21+02:00April 23rd, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

The 9 Hats of an Entrepreneur – Family Member

Oh, to be single and have no responsibilities or time barriers. Just think about how much work we could get done without the nagging of family commitments. Sound familiar? Well, let me share with you a secret. If you are single and have not yet started a family, you yearn for the day, and those, like myself, with a house full of noise, yearn for the old days. Not always but there are times that a quiet home with no noise or agenda sounds appealing.

But as a business owner with a family, you need to wear this hat with pride and take on the responsibility that it comes with. We need to be aware to watch the clock and be home on time to spend quality time with loved ones. I am often the envy of wives at school functions when I am the only Dad on the outing to the forest, beach or museum. My son loves having a present parent at functions. I do see more and more parents in casual clothes at pick up time, not sure if this more unemployment or well organised business owners, but the children love to see Dads and Moms at school. And do not forget the extended family. My mother loves to hear about my business as does my Sister who vows one day to out earn me on a month to month basis. To share with people what you are going through both good and bad without the threat of ‘being fixed’ or taken advantage of is a rare and precious thing. Wear the Family hat with pride and walk tall in the community but never forget to also find the time to get the work done.

By |2018-04-13T08:48:53+02:00April 16th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

The 9 Hats of an Entrepreneur –Non Executive Director

First, let me explain what the difference is between an Executive Director and a Non-Executive Director is and what their hat looks like. Any board of an organisation is made up of paid staff and outside consultants. The Executive Director heads the organisation; they have day-to-day responsibility for the processes and procedures of the business and draw a salary for this.

A Non-Executive Director sits on the board and is a non-salary person but has responsibilities that include Strategy, Performance, Risk and People.

Every business needs Non-Executive Directors, or as we call them, consultants of Business Coaches. They are people who sit in on meetings and are able to speak into the life of the business with their experience and non-emotional, unbiased opinions. It is critical to have such a hat in your business. We get too close to the trees to see the wood and often fail to move beyond our current blinked vision. Allocate someone who has experience in your field and who have gone places you wish to go to and appoint them to your board as a Non-Executive Director. Give them the hat and allow them to use it as they see fit. We find that to network with such people or to join a think tank or community is hugely beneficial to any business. It does take a humble Manager and Share Holder to stop and listen to what is being said, but the entrepreneur will gladly seize these ideas and run with them.

By |2018-04-09T10:50:15+02:00April 9th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

VAT efficiency, maximizing the 1% increase

We continue discussing the issue of the VAT and its implications for your business. Today we look at how you can make your business VAT efficient, especially with this VAT increase already in effect.

If you are a VAT registered company, it will be VAT efficient to ensure that as much as possible your suppliers are VAT registered. I have come across many VAT registered businesses who have no VAT registered suppliers at all except their bank of course. This meant that whatever they charged to their clients on the tax invoices as VAT Output was what they were meant to pay to SARS. Therefore they never set –off some of this Output VAT with Input VAT; thereby reducing their VAT payable.

The disadvantage is that if in any VAT period, you purchase a lot of inputs for a project that will only be invoiced in later periods upon completion; you will end up paying the maximum VAT on the little invoices that you have raised for your clients. If on the other hand, the suppliers had been VAT registered, this may have resulted in little VAT payable or even a VAT refund from SARS. This defeats the benefit of the VAT. As per its definition, VAT is meant to be a tax paid on the value added to the output goods from input goods. In plain words, your Output/Sales less Input/expenses (VAT) is =Value Added x15% is the VAT payable.

Purchasing from non-registered suppliers also means that the business has to charge higher prices as their costs a relatively higher compared to having purchased from a VAT vendor. This may make the company’s products more expensive and thus less competitive, reducing demand for the products/services. This, in turn, means that the company’s output VAT is higher, not only making its products more expensive but also resulting in them paying more Output VAT to SARS. Whereas, if they had purchased supplies from VAT vendors, their prices would not have changed as a result of a VAT increase, their prices would still have been competitive and they would owe SARS less.

In these challenging times of adjusting to the VAT increase, it pays for a business to figure out ways of being VAT efficient. This will go a long way in saving than some Rands and will also reduce their VAT burden as VAT paid will be in line with business production activities.

By |2018-04-04T11:38:34+02:00April 5th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments
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