Entrepreneurs network at the SMME Opportunity Roadshow


More than 600 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) attended the first of four SMME Opportunity Roadshows that took place this past Wednesday, 6 May 2015 at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni. Entrepreneurs gathered to network and get insight on how best to take their businesses to the next level through four master classes in: financial management, human resources, information and communications technology as well as sales and marketing. The next roadshow will take place in Port Elizabeth, proceeding to Durban and Cape Town.

Programme director Ashraf Garda of SAFM kicked-off the first SMME Roadshow Opportunity on a harmonious note highlighting the importance of businesses working together to combat social inequalities and boundaries.

Dragon’s Den investor and business speaker Vusi Thembekwayo shared a thought-provoking introduction and approach to entrepreneurship. As the grandson of a spaza shop owner to being the youngest JSE director in South Africa with an influence over R4.27 billion, Thembekwayo encouraged entrepreneurs not to build a business merely to survive and live daily, but build a business that will change the world. He further urged entrepreneurs to take their space in society and attack symptoms of their business problems.

The South African economy is affected by various aspects such as crime and illegal strikes which affect the day-to-day running of any business and may often lead to national crises such as the recent xenophobic attacks. The cause of these economic unrests could be due to the skilled labour demand and employees or entrepreneurs having very little access to capital or funding. One of the biggest concerns for entrepreneurs was the effect personal blacklisting has on their businesses and how financial institutions can assist in these scenarios. Ethel Nyembe, Small Enterprise Manager, Retail Division (South Africa), Standard Bank touched on how to go about preparing for this. Nyembe emphasised that they understand that SMMEs are not just building a small business but are building a dream. “SMMEs contribute more than 45% toward South Africa’s GDP,” opened Nyembe. “The more entrepreneurs, the more self-created jobs people have and the more South Africans that ought to be financially prepared. Most businesses prioritise growth and sustainability which can be met by a well-managed, realistic and sustainable cash flow and a very good reputation amongst their clients,” added Nyembe. She also mentioned how it is imperative for companies to familiarise themselves with legal and compliance measures, to review business risks and make use of the expertise of their bankers to assist them with solutions to manage their cash flow effectively.

The Department of Small Business Development was amongst the exhibitors present on the day and attendees had an opportunity to engage with the different stakeholders. Exhibitors included the Molemole Municipality that showcased goods produced by Limpopo-based cooperatives in the agricultural sector such as marula jam and atchaar. JB Marks Education Trust Fund, BMW and MTN Business also exhibited in the breakaway area.

“Businesses used this Roadshow as a networking platform to identify opportunities that would transform their organisations and address their specific needs. It was such an amazing environment of mostly young entrepreneurs who were hungry for more from the array of speakers present at the Roadshow,” says Greg Penfold, Head of Events Division, Cape Media.

Registration for the next three Roadshows is still open: visit, select your preferred city and your free registration will be approved. The next SMME Roadshow Opportunity segments will continue in the following cities:

·         Port Elizabeth: Wednesday, 8 July 2015 | Boardwalk Hotel & Conference Centre

·         Durban: Tuesday, 18 August 2015 | Durban ICC

·         Cape Town: Thursday, 9 September 2015 | The Radisson Blu Hotel, V&A Waterfront


For more information and other opportunities at the Roadshow such as exhibiting on the day, please contact Zama Hlekani at Cape Media | 021 6817000 | Follow us on Twitter @SMME_Roadshow and on Facebook

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Issue 91


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