More than 700 Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) attended the first SMME Opportunity Roadshow of the year which took place last week Tuesday, 24 May 2016 at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs gathered to network and gain insight on how best to take their businesses to the next level through three stimulating master classes.

South Africa’s rising entrepreneurs had the chance to learn about business acumen at the esteemed SMME Opportunity Roadshow. The Roadshow’s master classes covered: The Fundamentals of Sustaining and Growing SMMEs; Enabling Funding for SMMEs and; Scaling up SMMEs. There are four Roadshows scheduled for 2016; the next roadshow will take place in Durban, proceeding to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

The programme director for the day was well-known radio presenter at SAfm, Ashraf Garda. As the master of ceremonies (MC), he kicked-off the proceedings on a motivational note saying that our dreams influence others’ dreams as well.

Zipho Sikhakhane, a motivational speaker, was the first presenter who took to the podium and emphasized that entrepreneurship needs nurturing from an early age. From selling sweets with friends in primary school to other entrepreneurial projects in the township where she grew up, she now invests in entrepreneurs and SMMEs that need to achieve growth. Sikhakhane encouraged SMME owners to settle debt as early as possible in order to embrace what business is all about.

The first master class, ‘The Fundamentals of Sustaining and Growing SMMEs’ focused on the basics of running any business, small and large, professionally and efficiently. Trevor Naaido, Head of Edge Solutions at Edge Growth, said, “Professionalise your business if you want to be taken seriously, especially by private sector.” Other speakers in this master class included Mziwodumo Rubushe, Head of Stakeholder Relations at The Competition Commission South Africa; and Carl Bates, Chief Executive of Sirdar Global Group.

Sustainable business models and different types of funding was discussed during the second master class titled: ‘Enabling Funding for SMMEs’. Presenters included Jeanne Viljoen, Project Director: Practices at The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise at Standard Bank. Nyembe stated that South Africa’s overall quality of education fails to impress, ranking 138 out of 140 economies around the world*. It was reiterated that job creation and a healthy and clean financial record are fundamental to better position South Africa globally.

This year’s segment of the SMME Opportunity Roadshow proved to be even bigger than the inaugural SMME Opportunity Roadshow that took place last year. The Roadshow’s Panel Discussion summarised how businesses can work together to overcome challenges and accelerate entrepreneurs in South Africa.

In addition to the wealth of knowledge shared, attendees had an opportunity to engage with different stakeholders and interact with exhibitors during the break-away sessions.

“Businesses successfully 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 as entrepreneurs, young and old, were hungry for more insight from the array of speakers present at the Roadshow,” says Puseletso Nkopane, Event Manager at Cape Media, organisers of the SMME Opportunity Roadshows.

Registration for the next three Roadshows is still open. Visit http://www.smmesa.co.za/registration, select your preferred city and your free registration will be approved. The next SMME Roadshow Opportunity segments will continue in the following cities:

  • Durban on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 – Durban International Convention Centre
  • Cape Town on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 – Cape Town International Convention Centre; and
  • Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 – Boardwalk Hotel & Conference Centre.

For more information about the SMME Opportunity Roadshow or exhibition opportunities, please contact Puseletso Nkopane at Cape Media on 021 6817000 or puseletso.nkopane@capemedia.co.za. The SMME Opportunity Roadshow is also on Twitter (@SMME_Roadshow) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/smmeor).

 

*http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146678