Property Point is an enterprise accelerator initiative created by Growthpoint Properties, SA’s largest JSE-listed property company. Established in 2008, Property Point aims to unlock opportunities for SMEs operating in SA’s property sector.

Founder and head of Property Point, Shawn Theunissen, is passionate about unearthing the potential within people and small businesses. “Our philosophy is to look at the value that small businesses can provide. We are driven by the belief that small business can make a big impact if they’re given the appropriate tools, skills and support to make it happen.”

While SMEs are crucial to the success of the country’s economy, he points out that even the most determined small businesses face steep challenges on their path to growth. In addition to linking entrepreneurs with procurement opportunities, Property Point also empowers entrepreneurs with the skills and training required to succeed in the property industry.

Its two-year Enterprise & Supplier Accelerator Programme teaches entrepreneurs to be better at running their business. Whether it be training them how to market their business, monitor their cash flow or getting the best out of their human recourses, the lessons learned have been invaluable. Businesses on the programme increased their turnover by 39% on average in the first year.

In addition to the property focused accelerator programme, Property Point established a sector agnostic content platform called, Entrepreneurship to the Point. These are monthly sessions which inform, equip and inspire entrepreneurs through different business presentations, master classes, and other learning opportunities. The platform also provides an opportunity to network and exchange business ideas.

In 2019 Property Point impressed the Absa Business Supplier Development Awards judging panel with their bespoke market-driven approach, the rigour of their supplier development programme and the manner in which the company approached performance monitoring and tracking. The initiative was a category winner in the awards as a result of their ability to show the impact of their programme: at the time of the awards a total of 167 businesses had collectively managed to access R1.3 billion worth of formal contracts, in the process creating 2 465 full-time jobs.

“Last year we conducted an independent macro-economic study in order to fully understand the impact of our efforts on the greater economy, including its contribution to GDP, to the fiscus as well as the return on investment to the company.  It is important that these type of programmes show tangible, quantifiable value to the economy and more than exercise in compliance,” explains Theunissen.

The goal for 2020, he adds, is to grow Property Point into a more strategic industry leader. To this end the company has collaborated with three other industry players in order to broaden its scope.

“It’s a challenging macro-economic environment currently which makes it hard for smaller players to compete with larger players,” says Theunissen. “Partnerships and collaborations are key to walking the journey with small businesses so that they are able to compete with larger industry players.”