Bullseye! A communication strategy to hit target every time

“Without
strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.” ~
Morris Chang

The new
decade is in full swing for most people. Many companies already have their
communication strategies in place and are implementing them, while others are
wrapping up their annual initiatives and preparing for the new financial year.
Do you have a communication strategy?

“Communication,
reputation, and brand management can be likened to the game of darts,” says
Nalene de Klerk, reputation manager at Reputation Matters. “Every message is a
dart. it is so important that an organisation's communication is not merely a
series of social media posts, newsletters, or press releases for the sake of
it. How would you be assured of hitting your target? Your communication
strategy outlines that target for you.”

The most
effective communication is specifically aligned to the organisation’s overall
business goals and customised for each stakeholder group. As you plan for the
next 12 months, Reputation Matters shares a few guidelines:

1.
Evaluate where you are now.
How are you currently being perceived? If you had to give your
organisation a reputation score based on how people perceive your business,
what would that score be out of ten? Here are some key points for you to
consider to get that score closer to ten:

  • Identify your key stakeholders. There are a host of stakeholders to consider:
    media, unions, government, shareholders, the community, service providers and
    other strategic alliances, and so on. Prioritising key stakeholders are crucial
    to ensure that you give them the attention they deserve. At minimum, clients
    and employees should be on the priority list. To narrow down your other
    stakeholders, consider the influence that each group has on your growth
    trajectory and the risks they may pose if the relationship deteriorates.
  • Understand the strength of your stakeholder relationships. The sum of your relationships with
    those who are important to you ultimately determine your reputation. “People
    want to do business with companies that they trust and resonate with,” adds de
    Klerk.
  • Know what stakeholders’ communication preferences are in terms of channels and timing.
    You won’t necessarily talk to your employees the same way as to the media, and
    not everyone uses social media as extensively as you might think.
  • Brainstorm potential issues for each stakeholder group. Be proactive in
    your approach to communication, especially with regards to potential crisis
    situations.

“Knowing
your stakeholders well is what gives wings to your key messages, similar to the
flight on a dart,” says de Klerk. With this knowledge in place, you can start
planning for the year ahead.

2. Be
strategic about your communication outputs.

  • Build
    your communication vision and goals around the organisation's strategic intent.
    Your targets should be aligned to the company’s overall business targets.
  • Decide
    how you will measure the success of your communication initiatives. Have
    measurable objectives in place. These will vary based on your communication
    channels, be that newsletters, social media, or media announcements; the
    important thing is that you have very clear objectives in place on how best to
    engage your audience. What is it that you want to achieve with each piece of
    communication that you send out?
  • Keep
    an eye on what is happening in the world and in your organisation’s
    environment. “This is the part where you evaluate potential crosswinds that
    might affect your aim,” says de Klerk. It will help you identify new trends and
    opportunities.
  • Don’t
    forget that your communication should be two-way! Being open to feedback, both
    positive and negative, is critical to building good stakeholder relationships.
    It’s important to track whether the messages are being received and understood.

“Your
strategy will guide your communication initiatives in the months to come and
will help you to proactively build your organisation’s reputation,” shares de
Klerk. “Hit your target consistently, and you will be taking your
organisation’s reputation to a whole new level.”

Not sure
where to start? Reputation Matters’ Repudometer® research provides
organisations with quantified reputation scores that show exactly what is
building and breaking down organisations’ reputations. The Reputation Matters
mentorship programme also gives organisations access to a team of reputation
specialists to help you become the business that people want to do business
with.

For more information on Reputation Matters and to measure
your reputation, contact research@reputationmatters.co.za
or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za.
Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter
(@ReputationIsKey).

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Three ways to love and take care of your reputation

As many
scramble to arrange a gift or romantic evening for their partners this Friday,
14 February, Reputation Matters takes a more proactive approach to love. Chris
Bischoff, reputation manager at Reputation Matters covers three ways to
proactively love and take care of your reputation:

Do your
employees share the love?

Communication
is key, right? Normally the first and most often heard relationship advice also
applies to the working environment. Often a big reason for low employee morale
is a lack of communication. “Strive you keep your employees informed at all
times and encourage a culture of two way communication between your employees
and management. We often see those organisations that have a healthy internal
climate get this right,” says Bischoff. “Have you ever thought about how your
employees speak about the company to their nearest and dearest outside of
work?” Having the closest relationship to the company, employees are the
ambassadors of your reputation and should carry it with pride.

Get
yourself a mentor

Sometimes
it helps to get a bit of love advice; it’s no different with managing your
reputation. “As a team of reputation managers and specialists, we have designed
a mentorship programme that aims to empower businesses and people to
proactively manage their reputations,” says Regine le Roux, managing director
at Reputation Matters. “We’ve seen an increased need for ongoing reputation
management support, especially for entrepreneurs and people starting out their
careers in the communication field. It is especially important for new business
owners to build and foster their companies’ reputations right from the start.”

Identify
ways to build on relationships

With a
unique reputation research model, Reputation Matters will help you identify
ways to build on the relationships with your key stakeholders. “Our research
model allows you to put a percentage to each business element that contributes
to your reputation; this allows you to identify your organisations strengths
and weaknesses,” says Bischoff. The percentage rating of an organisation’s
reputation proves the extent to which people want to do business with your
company.

“Our
purpose is to help you become the business that people want to do business
with, why not let us help you build closer relationships with your
stakeholders?” concludes le Roux.

For more
information about Reputation Matters, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za.
Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter
(@ReputationIsKey).


Taking a lesson from top sports athletes

This past Friday, a record filled stadium of
51 954 spectators witnessed the ‘Match in Africa’. Roger Federer took on
Rafael Nadal to come out on top in the sixth match in Africa for Roger
Federer’s charity. The match raised more than three and a half million dollars
in funds for the Roger Federed Foundation which supports educational
programmes for children in Africa.
As many were charmed by Federer’s
humility, one needs to remember that the magnitude and influence of such an
event is made possible by the great reputation that Federer has and how he has
nurtured it throughout his career.

“Our
athletes are under constant scrutiny to maintain their reputations,” says Chris
Bischoff, reputation manager at Reputation Matters. “They are thrust into the
media and public eye and are under constant pressure to uphold and represent their
personal values, their teams and those of their sponsors. The athletes that go
on to leave a legacy long after retirement are the ones who have perfected
their reputation and own personal brand. Those who have ‘dropped the ball’ in
maintaining a positive reputation are left to pick up the pieces. One of the
most well known examples, Lance Armstrong lost in the region of US$
100 million to sponsorships that he lost and to lawsuits,” continues Bischoff.

Brands
specifically want to sponsor players and teams that resonate with their values
and that represent their brand in a positive light. A good
performance and a clean reputation is a recipe for a career long partnership.
This is evident with Federer’s primary sponsor, Rolex. The tennis star and top
watch brand have enjoyed a lucrative partnership since 2003. With the cost of
travel, accommodation and equipment, having sponsorship is absolutely necessary
as a professional sports athlete.

“Federer has an impressive portfolio
of sponsorship with the likes of Rolex, Mercedes and Wilson. Along with his
humble demeanour and impressive performances on court, he has a strong social
outreach with the Roger Federer Foundation; it is no surprise that top brands
want to be associated with him,” says Bischoff. “It is no different in the
corporate landscape; a company with a top performance, authentic communication
and strong social outreach, will invite the right strategic brand partners who
resonates with its company values.”

Professional sports athletes that do
a good job at nurturing a positive reputation throughout their careers often go
on to become successful long after their sport career has ended. Rugby World
Cup-winning Springbok hooker Schalk Brits quickly earned himself a position as
investment holdings company, Remgro. Another great example, George Weah who is
regarded as one of Africa’s greatest soccer players of all time. He made his
name with Italian giant AC Milan; his net worth is $87 million dollars. Today
he is the president of Liberia, something that he would not have achieved if he
didn’t have a good reputation and if people didn’t resonate with his values.

“With a big heart for Africa and a
strong reputation, Federer has left a wave of positive influence in our country,”
concludes Bischoff.


Selling your fish in 2020: How to communicate and market your services in the new decade

The new decade is here
and with it comes an array of different marketing channels to sell products and
services. In an era where you can get almost anything at the click of button,
entrepreneurs are often left to wonder how they can stand out and what they can
do to “sell their fish” in the new decade? There are numerous different
marketing and communication channels and methods that entrepreneurs can use to
promote their products and services, but which one works best?   

As Sir Richard Branson
says, entrepreneurs need to take their business to where the conversation is
happening. Chanell Kemp, reputation specialist at Reputation Matters, adds,
“Our motto at Reputation Matters is to create businesses that people want to
do business with
.” Taking your business where the conversation is, is an
excellent start, but how do you determine where that is? Which channels should
you use to communicate your messages and how can entrepreneurs position
themselves in an ever-changing market? According to Kemp, there are five
crucial steps to take your business to the conversation in 2020.

Step one: Cultivate a clear vision: “A lack of a clear vision is like getting into a car
with a blindfold on,” says Kemp. You need to know what it is you want to
achieve and add as much detail as possible. Set yourself a big goal for the
year ahead and break it down into smaller stepping stones of what you need to
do each quarter in order to get to your big goal. Write down what you want to
achieve, what you stand for as well as your brand promise and make sure it
aligns with your vision.

Step two: Research: Research is the roadmap to your vision and it
provides you with the crucial data and information you need in order to reach
your goals you set out in step one, as well as defining and understanding your
target audience. “Understanding exactly what makes your specific target
audience tick, whether they are eight or 80, will enable you to know exactly
what to communicate to whom, through the most effective channel of
communication as well as the best time to do so. This means that you target
your audience according to their specific needs, as opposed to a ‘spray and pray’
approach to try and reach everyone and ending up reaching no one,” continues
Kemp.

Step three: Targeted messages: Once you know where you are going and you have
gathered the facts, you can start creating messages for each target audience.
“The way you communicate and explain something to your children differs from
the way that you communicate with your grandmother. Why should this not apply
to your marketing and communication messages as well?” says Kemp. Different
genders, age groups and cultures should ideally have messages that are targeted
at them and that speaks to them directly. As long as the brand promise remains
the same and authentic, the messages can be shaped to appeal to different
target markets.

Step four: Choosing the channels: The next step in taking your business to the
conversation is to choose the correct channel to communicate to the different
target audiences. Communication channels can include email, instant messages,
social media, telephone calls, face to face meetings, or newsletters. During
the research phase, entrepreneurs should also focus on determining which
channels are the most effective channel when communicating with the different
target audiences. “Utilising these different channels will ensure that your
target audiences feel valued and they will know that you listened to their
needs and preferences,” continues Kemp. It does not help to have a TikTok
account just for the sake of it because it’s the latest fad, but it is never
updated and your key audience hardly knows that it exists or what a hashtag is.

Step five: Build lasting relationships: In an era where computers and social media are
dominating the way we communicate, it is important to realize that we are
dealing with people. “Building interpersonal relationships, getting to know
your clients and really caring for them, will differentiate you from being just
another entrepreneur that communicates to the crowds. In order to really bring
your business to the conversation, you need to listen to your customers.
Listening is just as important as using the correct communication channels.
Give your customers the opportunity to give you feedback, in turn closing the
communication loop and building lasting relationships,” concludes Kemp.

For more information on Reputation Matters and to
measure your reputation, contact research@reputationmatters.co.za or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za.
Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter
(@ReputationIsKey).

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Media Contact:

Chanell Kemp

chanell@reputationmatters.co.za

+27 81 331 0353

[photo source]


Reputation mentorship matters

Reputation
Matters, who has dominated the reputation research space with their customised
reputation research tool, the Repudometer®, is excited about their new
mentorship service offering.

“It’s our
vision to be Africa’s go-to reputation specialists that help businesses to
become the business that people want to do business with,” says Regine le Roux,
founder and managing director of Reputation Matters.

“In order
for us to get that right, we are empowering companies to build their own
capacity within the reputation management space,” adds le Roux.

“Our core
focus remains reputation research using our proprietary tool, the Repudometer®.
With the reputation mentorship programme, we’ll be taking it a step further by
helping our clients to keep the momentum going by implementing the
recommendations to close the gaps identified in the research.

“We are
also targeting entrepreneurs to empower them to build reputable businesses that
people want to do business with right from the outset of their entrepreneurial
journey,” explains le Roux. 

Reputation
management is much more than public relations and clever marketing, it’s about
understanding your whole business and how it contributes to how you are being
perceived.

Here are
three reasons you should consider reputation mentorship:

  1. Empowering yourself
    with a new way of looking at your business
    and getting to grips with
    reputation management. It’s about getting the basics in place and, even more
    importantly, getting them right. The consistency of your actions contributes to
    your reputation.
  • Managing a reputation is simple, but it is not always easy. Reputation management is often
    confused with public relations or limited to building a strong online presence.
    It’s just as important to deliver on all the promises that your sales team and
    ad campaigns make. There are many different components that make up your
    company’s reputation, and the organisation needs to understand these
    principles. Managing a reputation isn’t something that can be outsourced. It’s
    about combining the best of both: Empowering someone within the
    organisation and linking them up with an external expert to act as mentor. The
    latter will typically have exposure to many different businesses and
    industries, acting as a soundboard and guide throughout the mentorship journey.
     
  • Mentorship helps you to take control of your own reputation. As an insider to your organisation,
    you are best positioned to manage the company’s reputation. A reputation mentor
    will help you to craft the best strategy and communication framework to
    maximise your engagement with different stakeholders while at the same time
    building your company’s reputation.

A
reputation takes time to build. The Reputation Matters mentorship course has
been developed to follow your own pace. There are eight modules focussing on
different areas of the business. Each module starts with a webinar and
participants will receive a workbook with very practical exercises to complete.

“We want to empower companies to take their reputations to
the next level, thereby amplifying their growth and success and, ultimately,
boosting South Africa’s economy!”
concludes le Roux.

For more
information about Reputation Matters’ mentorship programme and an
exciting new launch offer
mail: mentorship@reputationmatters.co.za or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za.
Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter
(@ReputationIsKey).

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The state of ethics and reputation management in Africa

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” ~ Warren Buffet

Ethics and reputation are inextricably linked. Many an organisation has experienced how a lack of integrity resulted in a ruined reputation with a disastrous impact on its bottom line. Do businesses, government leaders, and communication professionals understand this link?

The African Public Relations Association (APRA) will be hosting the 32nd annual APRA Conference in Dar es Salam, Tanzania from 11 to 15 May 2020. The focus of the conference will be on Africa’s march to economic integration and the role that public relations plays in helping to create trust and ultimately to build the narrative for “One Africa”!
For the third consecutive year, APRA is conducting research amongst business leaders and communication experts across the continent to find out what they think of ethics and reputation management in Africa. Reputation specialists, Reputation Matters, are once again conducting the research on behalf of APRA. We invite all business owners and communication practitioners to participate and to share their views on this very important topic.

“Annually, this study delivers fascinating insights into the state of the public relations and communication industry, as well as providing a view on ethical business as a whole,” says Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, president of APRA.

The research investigates how ethics and reputation are managed across three levels: individual, organisational and national, across the African continent.

Badejo-Okusanya lists some of the interesting findings from last year’s study: “On an individual level, the 2019 research found that ethics is the driving force behind people’s decision-making. When it comes to the business world though, there appears to be a disconnect between how the different levels within an organisation perceive ethics and reputation management, with CEOs and other top-level management scoring their organisations’ ethical practices 12% higher than junior and middle management do. From questions around national government, it is apparent that there is a major opportunity for African leaders to incorporate ethics into all decision making.”

“Botswana was perceived to be the most ethical country in Africa in the 2018 and 2019 studies,” shares Chanell Kemp, reputation specialist at Reputation Matters. “This year, we would love to garner even greater response rates from a larger number of African countries. To that end, we are introducing a Portuguese survey in addition to the English and French online questionnaires. We invite everyone to participate in the survey and we look forward to seeing the results. Ultimately our aim is to build greater awareness of the importance of ethics and reputation management on the African continent.”

If you would like to share your views, please select one of the following links according to your language preference. The survey is completely anonymous, unless you choose to provide your information. Please complete the survey by Monday, 23 March 2020 at 17:00:
·               

English: https://www.research.net/r/APRA2020·                

French: https://www.research.net/r/APRA2020_Francais·                

Portuguese: Please send an email to research@reputationmatters.co.za for the link.

Thank you for your valuable inputs!

APRA assists in setting standards, creating and enabling a professional environment for accurate perception, goodwill and understanding of necessary and effective PR practices. For more information about APRA visit https://www.afpra.org/ or send a mail to info@afpra.org.For more information about reputation research, contact Reputation Matters research@reputationmatters.co.za, or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za.
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Three reputation targets you should be setting for 2020

When talking about an organisation’s targets, many are quick to focus their attention on setting financial goals for the year ahead. While setting financial targets is important, keep in mind that having a healthy reputation will positively influence your bottom line. Setting tangible, timebound and measurable targets to grow and manage your company’s reputation is vital to thriving in a challenging economy.

Chris Bischoff, senior stakeholder liaison at Reputation Matters, outlines three important considerations when setting targets that will take your company’s reputation to new heights in 2020:

  1. Purpose and Profit: While a healthy cashflow and profitability is key for any business, it is just as important to leave a positive influence on the people and environment around it. “We are living in a day and age where consumers are not just concerned about the value of the product or service, but also about the value that a business has within society,” says Bischoff. “Our market research has found that the younger generations specifically, the Millenials and Generation Z, want to be connected with a purpose and therefore will favour brands and companies that have a positive impact in society or on the environment.”
  2.  Find your A Team: Human capital is one of the most important tangible assets that an organisation can have. “Your company’s employees are your core brand ambassadors and play a crucial role to foster your business’ reputation,” says Bischoff. “Their engagement with external stakeholders should leave an impression that represents your company’s values and team’s credibility. It is largely up to your employees to instil a high level of confidence with your stakeholders so that they trust that they are associated with the right brand.
  3.  Measure and manage: How do you know that your stakeholders have confidence in your team, or that they feel proud to be associated with your brand through social or environmental purpose? “Building businesses that people want to do business with is what we do. Be it through reputation research or our newly launched mentorship program.,” explains Bischoff. “Once you establish a baseline score for these business elements that contribute to your reputation, you are able to measure improvement over time, especially after implementing a plan to improve your reputation.”

Reputation Matters uses its proprietary reputation research tool to measure reputation and put percentages to each business element. To extend its reputation management scope, Reputation Matters is excited about its new product offering, its reputation mentorship programme, which has been designed to provide ongoing reputation management support for companies wanting to be armed with the tools to proactively manage their reputations.

For more information about Reputation Matters, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za. Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter (@ReputationIsKey).

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Released by Reputation Matters


Reputation mentorship matters

Reputation Matters launches reputation mentorship programme.

Reputation Matters, who has dominated the reputation research space with their customised reputation research tool, the Repudometer®, is excited about their new service offering that they will be launching in January 2020.

“Measuring and understanding your reputation isn’t always enough. We have realised that there is a massive need for ongoing reputation management support, especially for entrepreneurs and people who are new to the communication field,” says Regine le Roux founder and managing director of Reputation Matters. “Very often it is assumed that reputation management is very pricey and something that is only relevant for large corporate organisations,” continues le Roux.

“It is especially important for new business owners to build and foster their companies’ reputations right from the start. Often it is assumed that having a social media presence is sufficient. It is, however, everything about your business that impacts how you are perceived that has an effect on your reputation.”  

But why is reputation management so important? “People want to do business with companies that have a good reputation. We have evidence that there is a correlation between a good reputation and bottom line,” adds le Roux.

“Reputation management is much more than just having cool social media pages, SEO and a creative website,” explains Regine. “A large portion of your budget may be going to quirky marketing gimmicks, but if you don’t have your reputation building blocks in place, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and money.

“With our hands-on approach, our programme will help you to focus on the whole business and how you as an entrepreneur (or even a large organisation) can build a positive reputation for your business right from the start. You will be empowered with a very comprehensive understanding of how to look after your reputation, identify your blind spots and leverage off your strengths,” says le Roux.

Communicators, or in fact anyone in the organisation that has a keen interest in reputation management, will also benefit from the mentorship programme. “We have often seen that after a company has invested significantly in a research project, they don’t implement the recommendations. 

Research is crucial; unfortunately, without implementing the recommendations, your reputation will not grow and improve. With the new mentorship programme, we aim to empower the client with the knowledge to roll out the recommendations themselves. We will mentor you on how to build your own communication policies, strategies, and plans, and provide you with templates to make your job easier. In this way we aim to foster a longer-term relationship with the client instead of just an annual engagement,” concludes le Roux.

For more information about Reputation Matters’ mentorship programme and an exciting new launch offer mail: research@reputationmatters.co.za or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za. Follow Reputation Matters on Facebook (@yourreputationmatters) or Twitter (@ReputationIsKey).

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Customised internal communication: The key to engaging a multi-generational workforce

“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organisation’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energised employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it,”
Jack Welch, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Electric.

Engaging employees may be more challenging than ever before, for the first time in the history of the business world we have at least three generations that are all working together, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y (also known as Millennials), all of whom require different ways in which to be engaged with. Navigating through the different characteristics, values, and attitudes toward work, based on each generation’s life experiences can become a bit like walking through a mine field. Getting it right and aligning your key messages internally is intrinsic to building a solid reputation.

Different communication strategies are vital to successfully integrate the multigenerational work force. Why is this important for your reputation?
Employees play a vital role in the reputation of an organisation, very often this is where the reputation of an organisation starts, as their daily perceptions and interactions become the reality for external stakeholders. If the behaviour of employees does not live up to the expectations created through the organisation’s external communication campaigns, the organisation’s overall reputation will be damaged. “What we have found is that if your employees’ morale is low, then this generally has a negative impact on how the organisation is seen. It is inevitable that not all your employees will be exuberant 100% of the time, however, when a whole team becomes negative external stakeholders are more likely to believe what the employees say than the fancy marketing and public relations campaigns,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters.

Apart from taking an inside-out approach to aligning internal beliefs and behaviours to external perceptions, organisations need to understand that the way in which you communicate and get the most out of a Baby Boomer, is quite different to that of a Millennial. It is important to note that there is no right or wrong way of communicating, it’s about being able to adapt to what is most effective.

The key is to effectively address and take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation. With that said, it is important not to follow blanket stereotypes, it does, however, help to have a broad overview of each generation to help with understanding and being tolerant of each other.

“When it comes to improving your internal communication, keep in mind that the workforce currently consists of different generations with whom you need to communicate. Align your communication to the overall business values and objectives using the most appropriate channels of communication per generation. Facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more understanding and multigenerational engagement. Employees like to have a voice and to be heard; facilitate feedback opportunities through different forums,” concludes le Roux.

To find out more about how best to communicate with the different generations in your organisation, contact Reputation Matters on
(011) 317 3861 (Jhb) | (021) 790 0208 (Cpt)
or visit www.reputationmatters.co.za

Released by Reputation Matters
Media contact: Nadia Nel
Mobile Number: 081 439 3912
nadia@reputationmatters.co.za


Belgian and SA students compete for best business ideas

“Youth Month” sees students from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a visiting student group from Belgium and fledgling entrepreneurs from the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development (at UCT) competing in a “Pitch Off” on Thursday, 08 June 2017 hosted by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) in Parow Industria. The UCT Development Unit for New Enterprise (DUNE) Pitch Off competition, supported by CCPB, aims to provide a safe but competitive space for student entrepreneurs to take the first step towards starting their own business as they pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges.

The Belgian students will be in Cape Town for the International Week of Entrepreneurial Management which is a collaboration between UCT’s DUNE, the H-Web, the CVO Hooger Insituut Der Kempen and Thomas More University in Belgium.

The participants from the Raymond Ackerman Academy (RAA) are graduates of the six-month entrepreneurship programme and are currently part of the RAA’s year-long Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service where their businesses are incubated. “The course is for young people who are passionate about business and personal development, who have limited opportunities for accessing tertiary education, finding or creating employment,” explains Elli Yiannakaris, Director of the RAA.

Siphelele Magidigidi, a former RAA graduate who is now the Director and Founder of three companies, says, “The RAA taught me how to identify a problem within society and how to build a business model aimed directly at resolving that particular problem.”

South Africa has among the lowest level of entrepreneurial activity in the world. Despite this, small and medium sized enterprises account for 48% of the Gross Domestic Product and over 50% of employment.

“There is no doubt about the great value of developing an entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people. They possess great energy and potential to contribute to economic prosperity, job creation and ultimately to improve the community in which they operate. We are thrilled to partner with the Raymond Ackerman Academy and the Development Unit for New Enterprise on this exciting journey,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.

Stuart Hendry, Director of DUNE says, “Enhanced entrepreneurship is crucial for economic development. UCT has a unique opportunity to play an important leadership role in building critical mass for the development of entrepreneurs in South Africa.”

Pol Hauspie, serial entrepreneur and founder of Belgium’s H-Web Foundation will be one of the judges on the panel reviewing the creative ideas presented by the students as well as Letitia De Wet, CEO of Enactus South Africa and Rob Hersov, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. “It is a great privilege for me to mentor young entrepreneurs from Belgium and South Africa by sharing my experience, knowledge and insights,” concludes Hauspie.