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Raymond Ackerman Academy Alumni Get Creative At The Cape Craft + Design Institute

The Cape Craft + Design Institute (CCDI) recently hosted a group of about 30 young entrepreneurs from the Raymond Ackerman Academy (RAA)’s Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service (GESS) programme in a specially organised workshop to introduce them to its enterprise support services.

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The CCDI services include providing tailor-made business knowledge and creative workshops, assisting businesses to access market opportunities locally and internationally, and providing access to a well-equipped laboratory space for product refinement, prototyping and sample-making.

As a craft and design sector development agency, the CCDI provides a wide range of business support training and development services which have been designed to meet the specific needs of creative businesses and for enterprises in various industries that want to think more creatively about how to grow their businesses.

The Raymond Ackermann Academy of Entrepreneurial Development is a post matric tertiary level academy, which is based at UCT’s Graduate School of Business and at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg. It offers an inspiring, innovative and practical six-month programme in entrepreneurial development to young people who have not had the opportunity to access tertiary education – but who are passionate about business and personal development.

Related: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started

The two organisations have been exploring the possibility of developing a partnership in which the CCDI will offer continued support to RAA alumni and also help to link them to other entrepreneurs to enable them to develop their own business networks. The current group have small businesses in a range of fields including health, transport, corporate gifting, cleaning and recycling, furniture manufacturing, marketing, events, fashion, hair and beauty and tourism.

We saw an opportunity to connect with the CCDI which we see as a great complement to the support that we provide for young entrepreneurs in our GESS programme,” said RAA director, Elli Yiannakaris.

Being an entrepreneur takes passion, self-motivation, courage and skill. It also requires networks and support. At the RAA we recognise that being a young entrepreneur is even more challenging and sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand along the way.

The GESS initiative is an incredibly important component of the RAA offering in that is provides critical support to graduates in the start-up phase of their business, specifically access to information, networks and the proper support structures. It’s therefore a necessary stepping stone to the next level entrepreneurial journeys.”

The orientation workshop at the CCDI included an overview of the various services including providing tailor-made business knowledge and creative workshops, assisting businesses to access market opportunities locally and internationally, and providing access to a well-equipped laboratory space for product refinement, prototyping and sample-making.

They were also introduced to the CCDI’s business assessment tool which was specially developed to assist entrepreneurs to identify what their strengths and weakness are, and help them to understand their skills and improve on their strengths.

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The participants also took part in a group exercise in which they were challenged to build a tower with 20 pasta sticks, tape and a marshmallow. The Marshmallow challenge is widely used by corporates to build team-work, collaboration and creativity. The exercise also helps participants realise how they as individuals take on new challenges and work out solutions.

One of participants said of the challenge: “I have learned that working as a group is better than working alone because you can learn a lot from the other people. I have learned that when I make mistakes I should learn from them”. Another said that he learned that entrepreneurs need to observe their competition and know what is happening in the market.

Related: 4 Types Of Business Models

CCDI’s Programme Director, Mariette Williams said in her welcome address to the group that part of what we do is to create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, and this is why the CCDI is very interested in the RAA alumni. Although our emphasis is on creative businesses, all enterprises are creative in terms of how the entrepreneurs design, run and grow their business.

“It’s up to you to understand what it is that you need out of the process in order to chase it. And we are willing as the CCDI to start at whichever point you feel is necessary. It’s about taking the next step. There are a lot of people who dream but ultimately it’s about starting.”

For more information about the CCDI and its services for emerging small enterprises go to the website www.ccdi.org.za.

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(Infographic) Chevron South Africa Says Its B-BBEE Transformation Is A Driver Of Job Creation

Creating new Black entrants for 50% of its retail network; and channeling approximately 50% of its crude procurement through Black and Black Female-owned oil trading companies are just two great examples of how an integrated oil company can support South Africa’s socio-economic transformation objectives.

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  • 82% of the workforce are Black South Africans with 65% of top and senior management comprising of Black employees
  • Procurement, a major driver of B-BBEE strategy, aimed at creating entrepreneurs
  • Majority Black-owned Branded Marketers own 50% of Chevron’s Retail Network
  • R100 million provided towards Enterprise and Supplier Development.

Chevron South Africa’s executive chairman, Shashi Rabbipal, is strongly in favour of transformation in the oil and gas sector as a driver of job creation and value for the company and its various stakeholders.

According to Rabbipal, the company views transformation as a key value enabler for business, achieving a newly minted Level 2 against the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice.

Rabbipal outlined that the company has harnessed its procurement capacity and its Branded Marketer network to create an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive in the energy sector.

The company said that creating new Black entrants for 50% of its retail network and channeling approximately 50% of its crude procurement through Black and Black Female-owned oil trading companies are two great examples of how an integrated oil company can support South Africa’s socio-economic transformation objectives.

Chevron South Africa’s Level 2 achievement is most impressive, given that it is based on the company’s full value chain which includes its Cape Town refinery and its national network of Caltex retail service stations.

Related: What Is BBBEE?

Transformation embedded in business strategy

“Our commitment to Transformation goes beyond compliance as we continue to seek opportunities which drive job creation and economic prosperity, cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships and demonstrate good business practice,” said Rabbipal.

The following examples illustrate actions Chevron South Africa has taken to deliver on the country’s Transformation objectives:

  • 82% of the workforce is Black, with 27% Black Female.
  • 90% of the Board Directors are Black South Africans, with 30% Black Females.
  • A flagship programme building capacity for Black unemployed youth living with disabilities has been implemented, with an intake of 66 learners to date.
  • 90% of procurement is with Black suppliers.
  • Approximately 50% of procured crude oil and petroleum products is through Black-empowered trading companies, of which roughly 35% are Black women-owned.
  • An Enterprise and Supplier Development programme has provided over R100 million in interest-free loans, credit lines and deferred marketing loans to designated B-BBEE beneficiaries within the procurement pipeline.
  • 50% of the retail network is owned by Black entrepreneurs through the Caltex Branded Marketer Programme, with average Black ownership of 73%.
  • Social investment partnerships impacting 50,000 direct beneficiaries each year in the areas of health, STEM education and economic development.

“We conduct business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, leveraging our ability to benefit the communities where we work. As such, Transformation is more than a scorecard to us and is deeply embedded in our business strategy,” Rabbipal concludes.

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Blu Blood’s Fearless Leader Ranked Among 2018 Standard Bank Top Women Award Finalists

Having pioneered leading lifestyle and event management company, Blu Blood, in 2008, Shaaista Khan Osman celebrates the company’s 10 years in business with two excellence nominations in the upcoming 2018 Standard Bank Top Women Awards taking place on Thursday, 23 August at Emperors Palace.

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Cemented as South Africa’s leading and pre-eminent initiative to honour the achievements and advocate the advancement of gender empowerment, the Standard Bank TOP WOMEN awards celebrates their 15 year anniversary gathering South Africa’s most accomplished businesswomen and organisations accelerating gender transformation in the workplace.

Shaaista Khan Osman’s commitment and successes for Blu Blood and the soon-to-be-launched World Women’s Network has earned her the recognition as a frontrunner of gender empowerment in two categories: TOP BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR and TOP GENDER EMPOWERED COMPANY IN INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

Commenting on the achievement of reaching Finalist status, Shaaista comments:

“I was truly taken aback when I received the news of the nominations. I am humbled because it is our strong and dedicated business family unit that has contributed to my successes and of which I am in awe.  I am honoured to take on this great responsibility of being a voice in the progression of women in business alongside other likeminded and courageous women.”

Starting out with a humble upbringing as the youngest of six children, Shaaista’s story is a true testament of hard work, dedication and sincerity.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

Blu Blood has grown into one of South Africa’s leading event, artist & communication management companies, which Shaaista runs with her business partner & husband, Osman Osman.  Blu Blood is synonymous with hosting the biggest Bollywood productions in South Africa and Africa; producers of one of the most successful comedy brands, Kings & Queens of Comedy; collaborations with local and international comedians including Tumi Morake, Riaad Moosa, Orlando Jones and Russell Peter; as well as producing theatre and children’s stage productions.

But Shaaista’s biggest and most challenging project to date is the World Women’s Network.  Powered by Blu Blood, WWN is a membership based, online global initiative for women’s  economic and social empowerment with the premise of the organization being to give all women the opportunity and tools to achieve their goals, through pivotal joint ventures and strategic partnerships to build sustainable projects for the development and vision of women.   One of the key principles of WWN is the hope to uplift individuals and communicates through education and mentorship by offering free schooling, selected higher education courses and life skills courses and mentorship to members of WWN.

Director of Standard Bank TOP WOMEN, Karla Fletcher:

“We are devoted to providing the ultimate platform to address the challenges facing women-driven economic growth. Together with the CGE, our panel of judges and all those who have participated in the Standard Bank TOP WOMEN Awards in the past 15 years, we represent a community that actively responds to the pertinent questions surrounding the barriers to success for women entrepreneurs. We are excited about the work and calibre of this year’s finalists, and their significant impact offers South Africa optimism for the future.”

Shaaista proclaims that it is up to the individual to “seize every opportunity, own each day and sculpt your own brilliance”.  For more information, visit www.shaaistakhan.com.

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Entrepreneurs! Now Is The Time To Change Lives And Grow Revenues

All signs point to Africa as the most extraordinary place to be and do business in the future.

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So, how are we going to do business?

This is the question posed by Musa Kalenga, the enthusiastic entrepreneur and strategist who was named one of the Top 200 young South Africans by Mail & Guardian, at a recent Entrepreneurship To The Point Session hosted by Property Point, the Growthpoint Properties initiative.

The answer to doing business that he offers entrepreneurs, even in this digital age, is humanity.

“Humanity is the new black; it is how we are going to be the next powerhouse of this globe,” says Kalenga. “Being human is the one thing that will enable us to survive in the age of augmentation.”

Kalenga is obsessed with using technology to empower the digitally invisible. “We can send people to the moon but we can’t feed people on earth? This is a problem,” he cautions, “because unless we’re making fundamental business model changes, we won’t have a market for the future.”

He took the Entrepreneurship To The Point audience on a journey, highlighting the sweet spot where technology and creativity merge.

Looking at how African entrepreneurs should respond to the age of augmentation, he uses the shocking November 2015 Paris attacks as an example. Facebook activated its Safety Check function, Uber alerted its drivers to take people to safety, and Airbnb operators took in anyone in need.

Related: How To Make (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb

“While these are tech businesses at their core, they displayed decidedly human responses. They also didn’t have to redo their business model to respond in a more human way,” points out Kalenga. “The technology journey that communities and consumers have to go through must match ours as brand creators, value seekers and entrepreneurs.”

Doing this is simpler than you may think. Technology’s intersection with humanity is all about finding simple, meaningful solutions.

He points to the trend of impact investment – an approach taken by some of the world’s richest family businesses. Impact investment means finding opportunities that are solving human-centred problems and creating value for the humans that we seek to serve, and then figuring out how to make revenue as a business. Essentially, it puts doing good before making money. This is where humanity, technology and entrepreneurship are on course to meet and power the extraordinary future of business in Africa.

“Human beings are at the top of the food chain because we can understand a small and simple thing, then develop it for different purposes all the time. Also, because we can rally around common cause and purpose. Enhancing quality of life in the way people experience technology is key to continuing to solve problems, not only in Africa but across the globe,” concludes Kalenga

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