As entrepreneurs, we are exceptionally well-skilled at making something from nothing. Entrepreneurs are unique in seeing opportunity when everyone else only sees problems.

In South Africa, our entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to find ways to solve problems with limited resources. And we have a particular talent for turning that coin around a few times. I always had a keen appreciation for how hard entrepreneurs work to succeed.

The problem is that they work so hard, but many fail due to a lack of access to funding or markets. This, in turn, results from no or poor legal compliance. Legal services are considered expensive and often do not fit the busy schedules entrepreneurs have to keep to succeed. Time and money are super tight.

Therefore, recognising the consequences of non-compliance and cost and time barriers, I embarked on a mission to bridge what I consider to be the legal gap and empower entrepreneurs with affordable and accessible legal solutions. This journey led to the creation of our programs at PocketAdvisor.

It is aimed at businesses with (SMEs) and without employees (Start-Ups). We created Legal for Start-Ups and Legal for SMEs. The material is presented online and accessible when suitable to the entrepreneur (even after hours). In addition, each program has 4 (one-hour) sessions in facilitated groups led by an expert attorney facilitator. In these sessions, there are valuable networking opportunities, peer learning and extra material helping the group implement what they have learnt or to ask any questions about the contracts. It is like having other entrepreneurs in the room who really “get it” together with an attorney to answer your questions.

Our programs equip entrepreneurs with practical tools to better deal with the legal side of their businesses. Entrepreneurs can familiarise themselves with legal concepts, empowering them to make more informed decisions and better communicate with legal professionals. In addition, to make better decisions in the relationships they forge and how to manage these critical relationships best. We also include a suite of contract templates for free so that they can implement what they have learned immediately.

That way, by spending less than R4000 and 4 hours of your time, you get what others achieve in over six months after spending tens of thousands of rands. So, when we have to get down and do it ourselves, we can do so well. We can take a little investment and maximise it to a significant level.

Finally, when entrepreneurs seek an attorney’s assistance after utilising it, it leads to a more valuable engagement for both. By gaining foundational legal knowledge and exposure to relevant legal resources, entrepreneurs can ask more informed and specific questions. This improved communication saves time and enhances the overall quality of the attorney-client relationship.

By overcoming the cost and time barriers, entrepreneurs can access trusted legal resources to navigate legal complexities and succeed.

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Nicolene Schoeman-Louw