Entrepreneurs are driving the economic growth in South Africa. According to the City of Cape Town’s Alderman Belinda Walker, in terms of the long-term future of Cape Town, 2010’s Entrepreneurship Week was potentially more important than the World Cup. With a host of events designed to inspire, promote, showcase and advance entrepreneurship in the city, region and country, this year’s Telkom Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, a City of Cape Town initiative, which takes place from 15 – 21 November, should be as memorable.
2011’s GEW in Cape Town
The Telkom Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week initiative forms part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and incorporates a wide range of unique events, designed to provide inspiration and insight not only to aspirant and existing entrepreneurs, but to all role players within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including government stakeholders, policy makers, SME service providers and educational institutes.
The event comprises a three-day conference, an expo of the same duration, as well as a range of community and satellite events, all of which will serve as platforms for idea sharing and partnership building, and highlight the importance of entrepreneurship as a means of accelerating job creation and creating an inclusive economy.
Free to the public
Organisers recently revealed a detailed programme line-up for the conference, which takes place at Cape Town City Hall from 17 – 19 November. The expanded conference now features a unique third day programme that is free to the general public, and is specifically designed to guide attendees through all aspects of the entrepreneurial journey – from developing and selling an idea to funding and managing their business’s growth.
“We decided to open up the third day of the conference to the general public, as the growth of the city’s economy is ultimately dependent on the capacity of our entrepreneurs to create and develop sustainable business strategies,” says event co-director Martin Feinstein. “The programme line-up will feature a number of renowned local and international speakers, who are ideally equipped to provide necessary guidance and inspiration to all forms of start-up enterprises.”
The first two days of the conference are targeted towards key role players within the city and country’s economic landscape, and will feature a mix of panel discussions and keynote speeches, that will look to assess the city’s entrepreneurial potential, and identify key partnerships, policies and programmes that can be implemented to drive more rapid development.
Lessons from beyond Cape Town
The conference will also investigate lessons that can be learnt from other cities, particularly in emerging economies, that have successfully implemented enabling entrepreneurial ecosystems. Speakers include Dr. Viral Tanapol, entrepreneurship expert and professor of management at Mahidal University in Thailand, and Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados Dia, Colombia’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.
A three day exposition, also open to the public, will run in tandem with the conference, and looks to provide a wealth of support, guidance and networking opportunities for up-and-coming business owners. Exhibitors will represent a variety of sectors – from successful SMEs looking to showcase their work and share the secrets of their success, to organisations involved in small business support and enterprise development.
“This is an unprecedented and exciting initiative that is expected to have a real and lasting impact across all spheres of the community,” says Feinstein. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone in Cape Town to learn how they can become involved in the development of a thriving entrepreneurial economy, and put this city on the world map as an investment destination.”
5 Ways SMMEs Can Best Use An Incubation Centre
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres.
Incubation centres play a meaningful role – not only in South Africa but around the world – as they groom SMMEs and give them access to opportunities that will help them survive in a competitive marketplace. These centres help entrepreneurs modernise their businesses with world-class technology, while providing insights that can help turn ideas into products. Incubation centres offer infrastructure and support, knowledge-sharing and a unique environment that helps strengthen their businesses.
Earlier this month, Cisco South Africa launched its R10 million Edge Incubation Centre in Pretoria where 30 SMMEs per year will have the opportunity to make use of the platform and speed up their entry to market. The centre gives SMMEs access to complete business facilities including workspaces, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, boardroom and training facilities, and access to global Cisco experts who can help them develop business ideas in a digital world.
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres:
Gain insights from global experts using the latest Webex technology and collaborate with other SMMEs. Utilise the meeting spaces to drive commercial sales initiatives with the help of business support facilities.
2. Resources & Equipment
Make use of laboratories and tools like cloud-based facilities, smart interactive whiteboards for content sharing, video conferencing, and meeting rooms. Utilise the high-tech customer demo centre as a practice platform.
Take advantage of the enablement programmes as well as the ongoing training and development. Knowledge transfer will always help your business. Utilise the technical support and business insights to grow your business and make it competitive in the digital economy.
This is your main tool in a digital marketplace. Make use of the high-speed broadband facilities and develop your digital skills because you will need it.
Don’t forget to utilise the pre-sales support as this may give you the edge in the marketplace. Gain insights and experience and use it to your advantage.
9 In 10 Workers Want A Festive Gift From Their Employer To Make Them Feel Valued
29% Would like to receive vouchers from their company.
As the festive season approaches, digital print company instantprint have revealed what managers can be doing to show staff they are appreciated.
Over 9 in 10 workers (94%) want a gift from their employers to make them feel valued, appreciated and happy this Christmas.
The research, which surveyed 1,500 UK office workers, also revealed the most in demand gifts that employees would like to receive from their employers:
- 29% would like a gift voucher
- 8% would like an early finish
- One in five (20%) would like a free bar at the company Christmas party
- One in ten (10.3%) would like a physical gift
- 7% would like a charitable donation to be made in their name.
Different sections of the workforce had varying demands. IT professionals would prefer an early finish this festive period, with 35% in the IT department choosing this as their ideal Christmas gift.
Senior management seem to have a more selfless approach to the gifts they would like to receive. One in ten (11%) said they would like a charitable donation to be made in their name, compared to the average demand for this present of just 7%.
There was some difference between men and women too. Women are the ones really pressing for gift vouchers, with 33% saying they are the ideal present, compared to just 23% of men. Male employees seem to prefer a free bar, with 22% choosing this, compared to just 18% of women.
James Kinsella, CEO and Co-founder of instantprint, said about the research:
“Most organisation take part in the festive period, with decorations, Christmas parties and office Secret Santas.
“But this research highlights how important a small show of gratitude can be for your workforce. Something as simple as an early finish, free bar at a party or a Christmas gift voucher can make employees feel valued and appreciated. This in turn can help boost employee morale, loyalty and productivity in the workplace.”
South African Students To Battle In Universities Business Challenge To Win Up To R50 000
Students will compete in a simulation that encourages business skills.
Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE), launched in July this year, has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition, that’s designed to develop their entrepreneurship skills. The challenge is now down to just 10 teams from five different universities (approximately 50 students), who will travel to Johannesburg to compete in the two-day final event on the 5 and 6th December 2018.
The ten teams competing in the final includes three teams from the North West University, two from Mangosuthu University of Technology, two from the Vaal University of Technology, two from the University of Limpopo and one from The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). These teams will be competing for the chance to win up to R50,000.
The aim of the UBC, now in its second year in South Africa and 20th year globally, is to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
The competition simulates a business environment, with students given a problem to solve. The simulation is designed to foster skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, commercial awareness and team-working. The challenge is designed to empower young people and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in business.
Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory says, “Students are very prepared in terms of theory when they leave university, but not the practical skills they need to start and run a business. Seeing as of formal businesses it’s really important that these students know how to build a business on their own or at the very least, in small teams.”
Toogun explains how the simulation encourages business skills, “The students competing in the challenge learn all about managing people, customer service, working in teams and how to create a start up without even realising they are being exposed to all these skills. These are the skills that will separate the members in the final. Students must work as a team and make instinctive decisions.”
Cognity Advisory is engaging students through social media competitions and newsletter updates. These competitions include spot prizes for students who post an image or video and receive the highest engagement on it.
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