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Entrepreneurs heading to Northern Cape

Sep 30 2013 16:11
Fin24
Cape Town - The Northern Cape has become a popular region for many prospective franchise owners, with an upsurge in entrepreneurs wanting to take advantage of the economic boom, according to Simone Cooper, head of franchising and enterprise development at Standard Bank.

"The economic boom in the Northern Cape, thanks to the opening of several new mines, has seen rural towns and centres flourishing and exponential growth in the number of franchises that have set up business in new shopping centres," said Cooper.

“There is widespread new prosperity in this province, covering rural areas like Kuruman, Hotazel, Kathu, Beeshoek and Postmasberg."

With the opening of 13 new iron ore and manganese mines during the last three years, the province has seen an influx of people and growth in the shopping centres and franchises needed to serve them.

The region now claims the country’s largest concentration of engineers living anywhere in South Africa.

“We have seen an increase of 23% in franchising businesses operating in the region in the last year alone,” said Cooper.

Fast food franchises seem to be the most popular, followed by motor franchises.  

Independent small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) providing services to the mines are also increasing. These new businesses deliver services that range from contracted transport to maintenance for various mine operations.

“With the significant spike in transport activities, fuel companies have also been quick to identify opportunities. This has led to the opening of a number of new franchisee-operated petrol stations in the region,” said Cooper.

A noteworthy new entrant has been the renewable energy sector, with millions of rand being invested in solar projects. In addition to mining activities, programmes like these have created a number of opportunities for small businesses and franchises in the region.

“Many entrepreneurs realise that opening a new franchise in an urban area can bring challenges. The most obvious of these is the level of competition, with most of the highly-respected franchising brands operating in large metropolitan areas and concentrated in shopping precincts and suburban malls," said Cooper.

“Opening a franchise in a more rural area can place the franchisee in a strong business position, particularly if they are early entrants."

Once a franchise store becomes available, it is common for people to move their families to a new location.

- Fin24

entrepreneurship  |  franchises
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