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Five Lessons For Young Leaders

The Make A Difference Leadership Foundation Annual Leadership Summit wrap up.





The Annual Leadership Summit is a significant leadership milestone of the year. The purpose of the Summit is to present an annual theme that flourishes competencies such as leading ethically, being strategic and innovative, development, communication and mindfulness. Additionally, it refines skills such as: integrity, courage, authenticity, social consciousness, conflict resolution, solving problems, right planning and building purpose.

The objective of doing so is to place our scholars in situations portraying the theme to provide challenging milieus, in order to step out of their comfort zones, learn to lead with integrity, to think critically, share their truth, recognise their individualised leadership style, contest content and each other, and to reflect on challenging issues.

This year’s Annual Leadership Summit focused on the theme of strategy and innovation. Throughout the week at Spier Wine Farm Conference Centre we were privileged to have several speakers touching on their own personal journeys to leadership and how strategy and innovation influenced that journey. With keynote speakers such as our Founding Chairman – Francois Pienaar, David Duarte, David Brown, Lethabo Motsoaledi and Carrie Leaver and our facilitators – Russell Raath: President of Kotter Consulting and a Member of the Senior Leadership Team and Rudi Buys: Dean of Humanities at Cornerstone Institute; our scholars’ curiosity and leadership dialogue was sparked. Although each speaker and facilitator had their own unique stories there were five messages that were consistent throughout all speakers.

These messages are as follows:

1. Identify your risk tolerance

In any given situation you are faced with the decision on how you react. Russell Raath discussed the concept of the freeze, flight or fight reaction. This concept focuses on the three types of reactions you have to any situation you are faced with (particularly when faced with risk). You have the opportunity to freeze from fear, run away from the situation and take flight or to fight and face the situation head on. It is important to identify what your immediate reaction is.

This will give you the ability to actively acknowledge this reaction and then decide how you want to respond. People will always act based on the way that you make them feel, remember to act the way that you want the people around you to feel.

Related: MAD Leadership Skills: Our Perspectives

2. Build your network

As a future leader it is important to acknowledge the people that walk with you on your path to leadership. This community of people are not only your support system but your inspiration and are often the people that you aspire to be one day. It is at this point that you should look at your closest network of people. Are these people acting the way that you want to be perceived as a leader?

It has been said that you are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with. This concept was reinforced by almost every single one of the speakers at the Annual Leadership Summit. It is important to befriend people who have achieved things that are beyond your scope of capabilities.

These are the people that will encourage you to do more, be more and achieve more. David Duarte mentioned that every person you meet; you meet for a reason. Each and every person you meet has the potential to impact your life. Focus on building a network of people that you want to be associated with, that motivate and inspire you and that you build a mutually beneficial relationship with.

3. Hold onto your nuttiness

It is a general assumption that leaders have no “nuttiness”. Rudi Buys discussed this assumption with our scholars and encouraged them all to hold onto their nuttiness. In your leadership journey you will constantly be faced with the challenge of being original. Hold onto your nuttiness throughout all the challenges that you will without a doubt be faced with, because, your nuttiness will be your originality.

The one thing that no leader before you have, is the parts of you that make you unique.

4. Find your why

On your path to becoming a leader you are going to be faced with challenges but once you take on the role as a young leader you will be faced with many more. This is because when you make the decision to tackle a problem you realise that you are faced with a thousand other challenges that you wouldn’t have faced if you had just ignored the problem in the first place. Although these challenges and/or failures may make you feel like giving up they are in fact an indispensable part of your leadership journey.

These challenges can bring you down and make you feel incapable and that is why it is vital to identify your “why”. This is the one reason that you are doing what you are doing. This is the motivation that you can turn to when everything else falls away. Your “why” is the reason you will never give up.

Related: Five Lessons In Leadership From Someone Younger Than 25 Years Old

5. Always listen to your user

We have all heard the saying that the consumer is always right. As a leader this could not be more true. You will have to continuously listen to your users to identify the areas that need to be changed in order to make a difference that will matter to them. It is essential for you to understand the problem from their perspective. You need to delve into their worlds and look at the problems that they face every day. This is the only way that you will be able to identify solutions that will make a difference to the end-user.

We hope that these lessons have resonated with you and that you can implement them in your own personal journey to leadership. We would like to close with a quote from the Founding Chairman of MAD Leadership Foundation, Francois Pienaar:

“I follow the philosophy of the four D’s: Desire, Dedication, Determination and Discipline.”

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Desire – What is your burning desire, that keeps you awake, that excites you?
  • Dedication – What are you committed to?
  • Determination – Ask yourself, why? Why do you believe in this and why are you doing it?
  • Discipline – You have to do whatever it takes to achieve your desire. Nothing can be too much to achieve your goals.

“With this in mind. You have to decide if you are a critical thinker or a group thinker. Critical thinkers speak up. They speak up for what is right, and what needs to be addressed. Give yourself time to be a critical thinker, to think about yourself, your family, your community, your country and the world. You are Madiba’s children, and we are here to make a difference.”

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Entrepreneur Today

Top Sectors For SMEs In 2019

“As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”





While the South African economy has been underperforming for a number of years, the first positive signs of turnaround started to become visible by the second quarter of 2018, and by the end of the third quarter, data supplied by Statistics South Africa showed that the economy had indeed grown by 2.2 percent, compared to the previous quarter. This uptick is expected to have a positive effect on business confidence in 2019.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that certain business sectors have already seen an increase in opportunities for small businesses and start-ups.

“While these sectors will not be without challenges, the following four industries are likely to offer the best opportunities for small and medium enterprise (SME) owners to grow their enterprises in the coming year.”


The World Travel and Tourism report 2018, revealed that the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to South Africa’s GDP has been projected to rise from R136bn in 2016 to R197.9bn by 2028 – set to make up a total of 3.3 percent of the country’s total GDP, says Lang.

“Although this sector experienced some setbacks in 2018, such as the drought in the Western Cape and stricter visa regulations for children entering the country, both the water restrictions and visa regulations  have been relaxed and the sector is once again poised for growth,” he says.

Related: Government Funding And Grants For Small Businesses


Statistics South Africa has credited this industry with being the biggest driver of growth in the country’s GDP, having expanded by 7.5 percent in September 2018, says Lang. “To bolster this, Government has made a concerted effort to stimulate small business growth in this area with initiatives such as the Black Industrialist Programme and the SA Automotive Masterplan.”

He adds that businesses in the manufacturing sphere could therefore likely see significant opportunities in the form of outsourcing contracts and new partnerships with large corporates.


“The debate around land expropriation has occupied most of the discussions surrounding the agricultural sector in 2018, with some questioning growth prospects of this sector. However, this industry has a lot of growth ahead of it, as demonstrated by its 6.5 percent growth over the last three months of 2018,” explains Lang.

“Further to this, the industry is also already taking significant advantage of seven climatic regions in South Africa, with the export of a wide variety of high quality fruit and vegetables increasing substantially,” he points out. The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease that has resulted in the suspension of the country’s FMD-free status will however significantly impact meat exporters.

In terms of opportunities for SMEs, he says that these may most likely be found in the rural and underdeveloped regions, where the need for resources like efficient transport, state-of-the-art cold storage, better irrigation and private power generation will be key to making agriculture projects more productive and competitive in the export market.

Data and information technology

Connectivity and information technology infrastructure are both crucial to business and employment growth in South Africa, says Lang.

“With many municipalities and the Western Cape government committing to providing all of its residents with free data as part of a plan to expand public Wi-Fi network access, it is clear that this is also becoming a high priority on a state level.” 

Related: 9 Ways To Elevate Your Small Business To The Next Level

It has also been reported that South Africa is awaiting the arrival of three international data centres, and large players in the communications sphere, including Vodacom, Telkom and Vumatel, are making huge strides in drastically growing the country’s fibre optic backbone, he adds. “As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”

In conclusion, Lang says that as South Africa’s economic growth has started to turn around, business owners should keep their ears to the ground as 2019 is highly likely to be a year of opportunity.

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Entrepreneur Today

Herman Mashaba To Talk On City Of Jo’burg Job Creation Initiative

Herman Mashaba to talk on City of Jo’burg job creation initiative at 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit.




Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Herman Mashaba, will be one of the presenters at the 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit which will be taking place at The Empire Venue in Parktown on 7 March 2019.
Now in its third year, the Business Day TV SME Summit provides an opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs, incubators, franchisors, investors, as well as suppliers to the SME sector to come together and engage with experts in the business, technology, marketing and investment fields.
Having founded the now iconic hair-care brand, Black Like Me, more than thirty years ago during the apartheid era and on the back of a R30,000 loan from a friend, Mashaba’s experience in establishing an entrepreneurial enterprise holds great value for small and medium-sized business owners in South Africa. Mashaba will also be highlighting the City of Johannesburg’s innovative drive to stimulate inner city opportunities and job creation.
Managing finances and obtaining funding and expansion capital are challenges many entrepreneurial businesses face as they look to grow their footprint in the market. Darren Segal, Personal and Business Banking Innovation executive at Standard Bank – one of the partners of the SME Summit – will present advice on negotiating funding and finance, to ensure effective cash flow management.
Complex tax issues will also be covered by a representative from the office of the Tax Ombudsman.
Taryn Westoby, Head of Tiso Blackstar Events which manages the SME Summit and curates the speaker line-up says: “We work alongside Business Day TV to meet the requirements of those engaged in the SME sector, so that the content of the Summit aligns to some of their most pressing concerns and needs. The line-up of speakers includes experts in the fields of business scaling, marketing strategy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and risk mitigation.”
As such, Graham Mitchell from GROW has been engaged to share insights into the leadership required to scale a winning management team.  Vishen Pillay, partner at Adams & Adams and an authority on copyright, patents, and trademarks, will provide guidance on protecting IP. Therusha Bhagarette of Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Ltd will expound further on the do’s and don’ts of risk management. The full line-up of expert speakers and topics will be published on

International perspective

An international perspective to entrepreneurship will also be provided through Business Day TV’s The Big Small Business Show and a pre-recorded session with Uri Levine: renowned serial entrepreneur and founder of Waze.  Levine was recently in South Africa as a guest of Tiso Blackstar to deliver the keynote presentation at the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards to an audience of CEOs from the top-performing companies on the JSE.

Leading organisations at the SME Summit

Once again, leading organisations have committed their participation at the Business Day TV SME Summit, recognising it as one of the most effective platforms for SMEs to engage professional insights and facilitate knowledge-sharing in support of much needed entrepreneurial development in SA.
This year’s headline partners are Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Limited, SAICA, and Standard Bank. Other partners include BDO, Adams & Adams, Liberty, Payfast, GROW, The Tax Ombudsman, W&R Seta, Telkom, Santam and The Little Green Number.
For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities:  Stephen Horszowski –
Delegates who wish to purchase tickets for the full day event (07h00 – 15h00) at R995:  Lucy Johnson – or visit

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Entrepreneur Today

SME Insurance Checklist For New Year

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers, advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies.




SME Insurance

Business owners who are planning for the year ahead should not overlook the importance of reviewing their insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered against insurable risks.

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, every year businesses face unique challenges ranging from credit and market risks, technological disruptions, compliance, operational and regulatory risks, amongst others. As a matter of precaution, insurance policies should at least be reviewed or updated once a year.

He advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies:

  • Employee movements – if there are any employees who have left or joined the company, ensure that your policy is updated accordingly.

This type of cover normally depends on the role and contribution of the employee to the business. For instance, directors may be covered for Key Person Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability insurance.

  • Protest Actions – this year is the national election year and leading up to elections we can expect to see an increase in the frequency and severity of protest actions, riots and strikes. Thus, it is essential to ensure that adequate special risks cover is in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA).

SASRIA provides cover to both individuals and businesses against special risks like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism at affordable premiums.

  • Cyber risks – it is essential to communicate with your insurer or broker and find out if there are any new risks that your business should be protected against. Cyber incidents continue to be a major risk for businesses especially in the SME sector. Over the last couple of years there has been a major increase in the number of reported cyber incidences.

Related: I would like to start an insurance business. What are the basic guidelines?

More businesses are now facing increased cyber threats due to their increased dependency on technology, relating to their internal and customer data being compromised by fraudsters. It is therefore essential to have some form of cyber risk insurance cover and/or enhancement of data security protocols.

  • Regulatory changes – every year there are a number of regulatory changes that impact businesses directly or indirectly, which may result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.
  • Natural catastrophes – the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, coupled with intensifying natural catastrophes will continue to have a significant impact on businesses.

Businesses should ensure they are adequately protected against these risks to avoid incurring sever financial losses.

  • Business changes – should a business consider moving to a new location, purchasing new premises or venture into new business activities, these types of changes could have a major impact on its risks profile. As a result, the policy needs to be updated accordingly.
  • New and Enhanced products – An innovative culture has taken over the insurance industry and ever so often we see the introduction of new products or the enhancement of existing products. Get in touch with you broker to advise you on any new products that might add value to your existing insurance portfolio.

“Reviewing your policy regularly gives you peace of mind knowing that you can focus on running your business effectively, without worrying about unforeseen risks,” concludes Maupa.

Related: Insurance For Small Businesses: What Should Be Covered?

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