Indwe personal & business insurance brokers
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy. With up to 91 percent of formalised business in South Africa attributable to SMEs, which also happen to employ the majority of the workforce, it’s clear to see how crucial these small businesses are to South Africa’s economic future.
Despite SMEs contributing almost 40% to the national GDP, they enjoy the least business support and are most at risk in times of crisis. COVID-19 has exacerbated the financial pressures on these businesses, many of which were already facing bleak futures before the coronavirus crisis hit. Experts predict that as much as 60% of SMEs could shut up shop for good by the time the crisis abates.
The insurance sector can play a vital role in ensuring the survival of SMEs. This is the view of Adele Artman, head of volume business at Indwe, who explores how innovative risk solutions can be a shot in the arm for boosting the resiliency of these businesses.
One of the realities facing many small business leaders right now is that the risk solutions available to SMEs simply don’t cater to their needs. SME owners are often left with little choice but to settle for a solution that has been created with larger enterprises in mind.
“Adopting a solution that isn’t specifically designed for small businesses, doesn’t make sense for a business that has limited resources and operates on a tight budget. SMEs are not fully structured like large corporates, so when certain aspects of the business are left unattended, they can have devastating effects for owners and their families,” Artman explains.
One of the ways that Indwe is driving change within the SME sector, and supporting the initiatives of these businesses, is through its Realistic 360 digital platform. This innovative, structured risk identification platform is uniquely geared to the needs of SMEs. “Realistic 360 provides risk advisors with a central repository of relevant information that can be accessed in real-time on any device. By plugging into this risk library, advisors can learn about how SMEs work and gain a better understanding into their risk exposure,” says Artman.
As part of its holistic, cradle-to-grave philosophy, Indwe has integrated a feature within the Realistic 360 platform that evaluates the long-term risk of SMEs, should a business find itself in a position where the owners or key individuals die or get disabled.
“By assisting this business in analysing risk properly, we can assist them with establishing a business will (buy and sell agreement), thereby protecting the key role players in the business and limiting the financial risk on several other risk areas. This is achieved by meticulously crafting a business risk plan that suites the business and its needs,” says Artman.
What further gives Realistic 360 the edge, is that Indwe manages the entire process with each specific client. While there may be universal challenges that SMEs share, each business has unique circumstances and risks that require a more bespoke approach.“By using the services offered through the Realistic 360 platform, business leaders can place a greater focus on their strategic objectives and address business challenges, and not just on their risk exposure,” says Artman. “With the guidance of an Indwe risk advisor, they can conveniently tap into an online platform for valuable information and advice. These learnings can be customised for their specific challenges and used to improve business operations,” concludes Artman.