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Frequently Asked Questions about the SME Toolkit

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


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GENERAL:

BACKGROUND TO THE TOOLKIT:

Q) Do I have to register on the site?

A) No, registration is not compulsory. All the information on the site is free and open to everyone. You will however have to register to list your company in the Online Directory, communicate with other small business owners in the Community Forum and receive the monthly newsletter with site updates and special offers.

Q) How will I know that I've registered successfully?

A) Congratulations on registering on the SME Toolkit. We hope you are finding useful in the running of your business.

Once you have registered, you will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your registration. Click on the link, which will take you to the Log-in page. Type in your e-mail address, then copy and paste the temporary password given to you in the confirmation e-mail.

When this link loads, it will take you to your Profile page on the SME Toolkit, where all your details will appear. You can now complete your registration by giving us some more information about the location of your business, areas of specialty and so on. Also tell us whether you would like to receive the monthly Toolkit newsletter.

You can also create a free business listing in our Online Directory, which will allow other Toolkit visitors and users to contact you should they want to make use of your services.

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Q) How do I list my business in the business directory?

A) Once you have registered and confirmed your registration via the Confirmation e-mail, you will see a graphic encouraging you to list your business in the Business Directory on the Toolkit. You will be asked for a short description of your business,  your contact details, including physical and postal address and so on.

You will then be asked to specify the categories you would like to be found under. The main categories are filtered down into sub-categories, so make sure you click on the relevant industries and then select the category. You are allowed to list yourself under 3 different sectors, so please make sure that there are 3 categories in your selection box. This makes it easier for potential clients to find you.

Once your listing is up, anyone visiting the site can search the directory by using the business name, searching the relevant sector/industry or by using a key word like ‘accountant’, for example. This is a free service offered to you by the Toolkit and we hope that it generates some business for you.

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Q) How do I create my own personal password, so I don't forget it?

A) To change your password for logging on to the SME Toolkit, click on the 'forgot password' link below the login request. It will ask you to enter your e-mail address. Then answer the personal questions asked. This will be the question you set when you originally registered. Make sure you spell the answer correctly.

You will then be sent an e-mail with a temporary password. Click on the link provided, and cut and paste this password into the appropriate space, i.e. below your email address. This will log you in, where you will be asked to reset your password. Follow the steps:

  1. Paste your temporary password (as per the confirmation e-mail into the first space.
  2. Enter your new password (make personal/something you will remember
  3. Confirm this password by entering it again.

Your new/personal password is now entered into the system. This should be the one you use when next you log in to the SME Toolkit.

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BACKGROUND TO THE TOOLKIT

Q) Who owns the South African SME Toolkit?

A) The SME Toolkit is a project of the Small and Medium Enterprise Department of the World Bank Group and is available in multiple languages through local partners – such as South Africa – around the world.

Business Partners Ltd, leading risk financing company for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), has made the online Toolkit available for all entrepreneurs in South Africa. The Toolkit — a joint initiative between Business Partners, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IBM — offers easy access to information, resources and online training relevant to SMEs in a large number of industries and business sectors.

Q) I need more information about Business Partners.

A) Business Partners Ltd is a risk financing company for SMEs in South Africa. It is also the managing partner for the SME Toolkit in South Africa.

We invest in formal small and medium enterprises in all sectors of the economy, with the exception of on-lending activities, farming operations and non-profit organisations. We also provide a range of added-value services for entrepreneurs, including property broking, property management, consulting and mentorship.

Business Partners' investments focus on enterprises requiring between R250 000 and R20 million to finance a start-up phase, a growth phase, a franchise, a management buy-out or a management buy-in.

You can visit the Business Partners website or contact us should you need more information.

Q) Who do I contact at the SME Toolkit if I have any questions?

 A) Your feedback is welcome! You can email any questions, suggestions or problems you encounter to the smetoolkit@businesspartners.co.za

Copyright © 2016 Business Partners Ltd.  All rights reserved.

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