Xero for Startups

This is a guest post written by PayFast

“We have an opportunity to change the world as SME owners and entrepreneurs” – Marnus Broodryk, entrepreneur and Founder of The Beancounter.

That is how a recent evening of networking and mingling started at TRUTH Coffee Roasting in Cape Town. Entrepreneurs with businesses of all shapes and sizes were in high spirits to hear about the launch of Xero For Startups, a programme designed to build and grow entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Setting the scene, Marnus Broodryk wove a picture based on his experience as a ‘Shark’ on Shark Tank SA, bringing to light how the mindset of entrepreneurs can change their reality. Seeing every event as an opportunity to grow and learn sets apart companies that thrive against those that amble. Continuing with a statement that “as entrepreneurs, you are your business”, Broodryk encouraged entrepreneurs to help themselves as much as they help their clients.

Marnus’ talk left people in the room feeling inspired. Craig Hudson (Xero EMEA Director) then stepped onto the stage and he laid the facts out straight. 40% of South African SMEs don’t use technology and 58% work 10 hour days. How is this a healthy balance? Well, it’s not. Using tech can save SMEs time and money and help them succeed. A recent report conducted by Xero on the State of South African Small Business stated that out of 400 South African small businesses, only 8% use cloud accounting software while the rest still manage their finances manually using spreadsheets or paper records.

Hudson explained that this is why Xero for Startups has been designed. It aims to help SMEs grow through the use of technology. The programme brings together various e-commerce orientated businesses whose services help South African SMEs either get their businesses online or help them harness more effective tools for their existing online trade.

“If you, as an entrepreneur really care about your future, you’ll care about your finances” Craig Hudson, Xero EMEA Director.

Hudson had the audience’s attention! He went on to highlight that Xero for Startups offers discounted rates from industry leaders like Xero, uAfrica, Shopify, PayFast, Yoco and Crunchboards. These platforms provide everything SMEs need to set up an online store, sell and ship products, get paid quickly and keep track of it all in one place.

Another great step towards building the incredible SME ecosystem in South Africa. The entrepreneurship journey is tough and often not as smooth as one would like. The businesses taking part in this collaboration also agree that getting paid and keeping track of these payments can cause a few grey hairs. The support that this programme provides will no doubt go a long way in solving these issues and grow businesses at the crucial first stages.  Thanks to Xero for Startups, SME business owners can now sleep easy at night.