A survey by South Africa’s National Small Business Council reveals that the country’s entrepreneurs are upbeat about the health and future success of their companies. Small business remains the engine of growth in South Africa. They created 50% of all new jobs and contributed 45% of GDP. (Image: Brand South Africa)Words by Sulaiman PhilipDesign by Sandile KhumaloSouth Africa’s National Small Business Council recently released its survey of entrepreneurs’ take on the country’s business environment. Despite tough economic times, 90% of respondents were optimistic about the health and future success of their companies. Other findings from the survey of almost 18 000 business owners were:• 56% of small business owners thought trade with Africa was the way to growth for any small business• Most thought marketing was the skill they lacked the most• 69% of small businesses did not have business insurance• Access to funding was the biggest challenge for businesses younger than five yearsAccording to NSBC founder and chief executive Mike Anderson, small business can unlock job opportunities – to make a positive and lasting impact on South Africa. The NSBC encourages entrepreneurship through regional workshops and support services for small business owners. With campaigns like campaigns like Small Business Friday, the council also encourages consumers to choose local small businesses over large companies.Here are some of the findings from the NSBC study.Click on the image for a larger view:
By Carol ChurchAs discussed in Can Members of the Military Get SNAP Benefits? we typically hope and believe that members of the military and their families will be provided for when it comes to food, shelter, and medical care. Most of the time, this is the case. However, occasionally families of lower-paid members or families in various special circumstances (such as those with many children or those with a disabled member) need assistance. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides specific nutritional support for pregnant and postpartum women and young children, and it is easier to qualify for than Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).What is WIC?WIC provides redeemable vouchers for specific types of nutritious food to pregnant and nursing women and to infants and children under age 5. Examples of the types of food covered include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs, meat, nuts, beans, and grains. Families can also receive vouchers for infant formula, an expensive product.Participants also have regular appointments with WIC staff to talk about nutrition and check in on their health. They will receive nutritional counseling, recipes, and other useful information. The point of the program is to make sure pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and young children who are at nutritional risk are eating well and doing well physically.How Do You Qualify?Typically, the family income for WIC applicants must be no more than 185% of the federal poverty line. You can see those numbers here. However, things are somewhat different for members of the military. Individual states have the option of excluding certain important military payments when calculating whether a family is eligible for WIC. These include, but may not be limited to:Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)Family Separation Housing (FSH)Overseas Housing Allowances (OHA)Overseas Continental U.S. (OCONUS) Cost-of-Living Allowances (COLA)BAH, in particular, is typically not used when determining WIC eligibility. Thus, depending on which state the service member lives in, it may be possible to obtain WIC benefits even if total pay package is significantly higher than 185% of federal poverty.Pexels/Pixabay.com, CC0Members serving overseas may be particularly likely to be eligible for WIC due to how eligibility is calculated. This TRICARE page goes into detail about the Women, Infants and Children Overseas Program, which is relatrively new and offers WIC benefits to those overseas. This benefit may be quite important to young families living outside the United States.To ApplyTo apply for WIC, service members serving on base should first find out if there is a WIC office on base. Otherwise, visit this site to find out how to contact the appropriate WIC state agency.WIC is a modest program that provides healthful foods for growing families. It can temporarily fill financial gaps for families, especially those who struggle due to underemployment or unemployment of a military spouse. Since this is a common issue for military families, WIC has an important role to play.For more information on government programs that can assist military families with food needs, visit this FDA page. References:Lightfoot, L. (2017). How WIC Benefits Military Families. Retrieved from https://themilitarywallet.com/wic-benefits-military-families/National Military Family Association. (2016). No Child Should Ever Go Hungry—Nutrition Assistance Programs For Military Families. Retrieved from http://www.militaryfamily.org/featured-news/no-child-should-ever-go-hungry.htmlTricare. (2016). Women, Infants and Children Overseas Program. Retrieved from https://tricare.mil/wic/USDA. (2016). Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/who-gets-wic-and-how-apply
Top Indian cricketers, who have been part of different teams of Indian Premier League (IPL), have objected to a clause in their contract with the respective franchises that denies them 20 per cent of their fees in case their team fails to finish among the top three.The clause has been introduced for season IV. As per the rule, if the teams fail to qualify for the Champions League (top three IPL teams make it to the international league), the players would get only 80 per cent of their fees.The players of the 10 IPL teams read the newly-introduced fine print in their contracts only after the January 8-9 auction. They collectively approached Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar with their complaint last week.At the meeting, the players said that the clause was unfair, and a breach of their trust. Manohar assured them that the matter would be discussed at the IPL governing council meeting on February 4.However, the team owners insisted there was nothing unfair in the clause as the players’ payment was meant to be for both the IPL and the Champions League.The clause was part of the contract of only those players whose names figured during the auction. Uncapped players would get full payment regardless of how their teams do.