It has been widely acknowledged that SMMEs hold the key to sustainable economic growth in South Africa. However, setting up a new business from scratch is no mean feat, with some of the biggest challenges in the current economic climate being a lack of access to affordable infrastructure and steep overhead costs.

Jeffrey Naidoo, MD of business accelerator and incubator KBN (Kingdom Business Network), knows this all too well, which is why when he was looking to implement the final phase in his enterprise development programme – integrating mentees into the real working world – he opted for fully serviced offices from Flexible Workspace.

“The first year in the life of a new start-up is critical to the enterprise’s sustainability and long-term success. All too often new business owners find themselves having to navigate high property rental costs while trying to secure necessary infrastructure, like office equipment, and IT and telephony systems. The result is that early profits are poured into covering these expenses, often to the detriment of the business.

“To ensure our mentees avoid this common start-up trap, we provide them with fully serviced offices instead, which offer all the infrastructure they need to successfully manage and, most importantly, grow their businesses. By doing this, our mentees are able to focus 100% on running their businesses without having to worry about costly overheads,” explains Naidoo.

With the ambitious goal of developing 1000 successful and sustainable businesses over the next 10 years, KBN was very discerning when it came to choosing its fully serviced office partner.

“We wanted a firm that shared our passion for enterprise development and that had a presence in major CBDs in South Africa. Not only did we find this in Flexible Workspace, but the company’s business centres feature a professional, modern concept and design and its offices are open 24 hours a day. The Sandton business centre we’re currently using is also within walking distance to the Gautrain, which is a huge plus,” Naidoo adds.

Because there are no costly long-term rentals associated with any of Flexible Workspace’s product solutions, its virtual, fully serviced and co-working office spaces are ideal for use as part of enterprise development programmes.

Depending on the solution used, start-ups have access to uncapped high-speed internet, UPS back-up, printers and fax machines, voicemail and call forwarding, professional reception services, onsite technical assistance and a range of fully-equipped meeting rooms and boardrooms.