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Leading in Challenging Times

The world is full of social and economic challenges, particularly in emerging markets, and while there is a multitude of non-profit and social enterprises attempting to address these challenges, two consistent stumbling blocks emerge: There’s never enough money to go around, and in many cases high-level strategic acumen is lacking.

Nadine Todd




Over the past few years, a big shift has started to take place. Non-profit organisations have begun to realise how unsustainable grant funding can be, and a new focus on self-generating profits has emerged.

Alongside this movement are social entrepreneurs, business owners who don’t only want to create sustainable, profit generating businesses, but also do some good in the process.

This move towards social awareness and making a real difference in communities is underpinned by some very real and widespread business concerns:

  • Only 42% of leaders inspire and engage employees
  • 79% of CEOs expect high levels of complexity in the next five years, but only 49% feel prepared for it
  • Inspirational leadership, teaming leadership and global mindset are the three most sought after attributes in business leaders critical to success, just behind customer obsession
  • 69% of CEOs agree that people skills are the second external force, second only to technology factors, that could impact their organisations in the next three to five years
  • 71% see human capital as a key source of sustained economic value
  • 59% of students believe that education is not preparing them to benefit from the new role of emerging markets
  • 52% believe they are not prepared for social and environmental sustainability.


The ripple effect

Combining people development with social impact. Three years ago three MBA students at the IE Business School in Madrid began discussing the challenges facing developing markets and how they could make a difference.

Through their studies they were aware of how important soft ‘people’ skills were becoming for sustainable success, and how leaders often felt ill-equipped in dealing with market complexities and challenges. What if they could provide strategic skills to non-profit and social enterprises, with corporates and MBA students and universities footing the bill? It would be a for-profit social enterprise that helped other social enterprises on a per-project basis.

“We wanted to create a world where business leaders and organisations are committed to social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial success, resulting in a more prosperous, empowered, and inclusive society,” says partner Pablo Esteves.

During a trip to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the partners launched Emzingo’s pilot programme.

“During the past three years we have worked directly with more than 30 organisations to help them better solve some of the world’s most complex poverty-related issues,” says Esteves.

“Through our work we have developed deep knowledge and expertise in crucial areas, including the non-profit sector and strategy; emerging markets; social business modeling and strategy; branding and communication strategy; project management; positive transformation of organisational culture; impact assessment and performance metrics; and operational efficiency, to name a few.”

Related: Ideas that are Cracking the Billion Dollar Nut

How it works

The Emzingo Alumni network includes over 110 graduate students from some of the world’s top academic programmes, including IE Business School, Leeds Business School, London School of Economics, ESADE, IESE, McGill University and Georgetown University, faculty and research centres from top international academic institutions and programmes, and subject matter experts and advisors from top consulting firms and think tanks in different sectors worldwide.

The Emzingo fellowship programme gives its alumni unprecedented access to the challenges facing emerging markets, which informs their own social skills development and acts as an exceptional addition to their resumes. For Emzingo’s channel partners, a highly qualified MBA graduate will work with them on a specific project for a predefined outcome.

“Emzingo’s alumni are not only a great network themselves, but they’ve found placements in top international firms,” says Esteves.

Related: Smart Business Ideas of the Future

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.


Company Posts

How The Sanlam Enterprise And Supplier Development Programme Is Helping Start-up Businesses

The balance between funding, business development and mentorship can make or break an enterprise development programme

Francois Adriaan



Sanlam Enterprise and Supplier Development

165 new employment opportunities, 172 SMEs developed and 1046 jobs sustained. These are some of the numbers recorded by Sanlam as the company prepares to wrap up the fourth year of its Sanlam Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme.

The flagship incubation scheme has turned around loss-making enterprises, helped some participants get critical accreditation and funding, but most importantly, R12.6 million was spent procuring goods and services from the participating businesses by the end of 2016.

Related: Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

Receiving funding isn’t the secret to start-up success

Francois Adriaan, head of Sanlam Foundation says the secret to a successful enterprise development programme is not the amount of funding big corporates can give SMEs: “It’s having the right mix of mentorship; business intervention and procurement spend flowing from your corporate to small businesses.

You have to show the entrepreneur you are mentoring that you trust them enough to do business and walk the journey with them instead of giving them a once-off grant and leaving them to their own devices,” says Adriaan.

Financial support that’s timed to business need

Like in many other ESD programmes, participants in the Sanlam ESD programme also have access to funding. But what sets the programme apart from others, says Adriaan is that the amount of funds disbursed to each participating businesses is directly linked to its need, its commitment and progress record.

“Financial support is timed according to the specific needs of each SME. Those who qualify for funding are then provided with a further seven years of SME growth support through the ASISA Enterprise Development Fund.”

The Sanlam ESD programme

The Sanlam ESD programme was launched in July 2013 in collaboration with the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) to empower SMEs, create jobs and contribute to economic growth in South Africa. An independent evaluation shows that participating enterprises have grown their annual revenue by 19% on average.

D&P Auto participants

One of the programme participants is D&P Auto, a panel beating business based in Retreat. For two decades, the owners of the business (husband and wife) poured their life savings, bank loans and even pension policy pay-outs into the business to keep it afloat because it was not making profit. Three years of focused business incubation and mentoring under the Sanlam ESD programme resolved D&P Auto’s 20-year loss-making battle.

“Our business has grown from a non-profitable business to the extent that we now have to pay provisional taxes to SARS for the first time in 24 years,” said Pam Douglas on their business maiden profit.

Successes of the incubation programme

The incubation from the programme has helped other participants brush up their bookkeeping skills, file successfully for tenders and get accreditation that took their businesses to the next level.

G&T Auto, the only fully accredited Major Structural Repairer in the programme, bagged Mazda accreditation last year, a rare accolade that will see the enterprise repair Mazdas that are still under warranty. The owner, Thembi Sithole says the programme has given her confidence to approach bigger clients as she now understands the requirements to get big contracts. She has also become more knowledgeable about financial statements and their impact on obtaining funding.

Related: Why Employee Engagement Programmes Backfire And What You Can Do About It

Adriaan says enterprise development initiatives of this nature give big corporates an opportunity not only achieve their business objectives, but also impact broader South African society.

“This commitment is around impacting issues of inter-generational poverty, unemployment and inequality. It is also about aligning around public-private-civil society partnerships in sustainable ways,” concludes Adriaans.

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Are You Ready For A Side Hustle? Here’s How To Know

We talk to side hustle pro Susie Moore about who should jump into entrepreneurship and when is a good time to take the leap.

Andrea Huspeni




It seems like everyone has a side hustle. Indeed, 1 in 4 millennials have a side hustle, part of the  54 million Americans making money outside of their pay cheque.

But are you ready to get your hustle on?

According to Susie Moore, a life coach and the founder of Side Hustle Made Simple, you are always ready to begin a side hustle. You just need to know where to begin.

Related: 3 Ways To Set Your Side Hustle Up For Success

Moore has helped thousands of people take the leap from concept to creation in making their entrepreneurial dreams a living, breathing reality by launching a risk-free side hustle. She left her $500,000 job after her own side hustle took off within just 18 months.

She’s also the author of What if it DOES Work Out? How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life released this fall, speaker and adviser to startups. Her work has been featured on the Today Show, Marie Claire and more.

To help aspiring entrepreneurs understand what it takes to be a side hustler, Moore is joining us for this week’s episode of Tough Love Tuesday, our Facebook Live series that connects experts with side hustlers for real-time advice and support.

Related: 50 Jobs, Gigs And Side Hustles You Can Do From Home

Specifically, she’ll share:

  1. The qualities all side hustlers need
  2. Advice that turns great ideas into action
  3. Strategies for making money right away
  4. Ideas for perfect side hustles
  5. Productivity hacks that prevent burnout.

This article was originally posted here on

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(Video) Why Your ‘Great Idea’ Actually Sucks

Don’t get caught up in coming up with the next big idea.




Everyone wants to come up with the next Uber, Facebook or Tesla. But, if Entrepreneur Network partner Patrick Bet-David has to choose between someone with a great idea and someone with great sales skills, he’s taking the salesperson every time. Why?

Related: The 3-Step Approach For Testing Out Your Business Idea

Well, look at the history of great businesses. Ray Kroc didn’t start McDonald’s, but he learned how to sell the fast food restaurant and made far more in his life than the actual McDonalds brothers. Steve Jobs couldn’t code like Steve Wozniack, but he knew how to sell Apple, and his estate is worth far more now than Wozniack’s.

Facebook, Tesla and more. Each time, it seems like the great salesperson ends up earning more than the person who created the great idea to start with.

Watch the video to learn more about the relationship between great ideas and great sales techniques.

This article was originally posted here on

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