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SA Small Business To Grow Through Funding, Market Exposure

South African SMEs stand a chance of securing funding, market exposure and new partnerships through the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) and the Small Business Expo 2017.

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South African SMEs stand a chance of securing funding, market exposure and new partnerships through the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) and the Small Business Expo 2017.

Enjoying a rare opportunity to improve their businesses, market their companies effectively, network with potential business partners and carry out live market research, small business owners report that this annual opportunity delivers long-term benefits.

Through the Eskom Development Foundation, Eskom supports entrepreneurship and small business development at South Africa’s leading annual small business event, the Small Business Expo, organised by Reed Exhibitions and presented in partnership with Eskom. 

Eskom utilises the opportunity to announce the winners of the annual Eskom BIC, in which substantial prizes are awarded to black-owned businesses in the manufacturing, engineering/construction, agriculture/agri-processing and services/trade sectors. The overall winner across all four sectors of the competition stands to win R150 000 to invest in their business, while each sector winner receives business investment support of R100 000. Runners-up and finalists also receive cash prizes.

Related: How To Start A Business With No Money

The BIC finalists are also hosted at the Eskom pavilion at the Small Business Expo, taking place from 31 August – 2 September in Johannesburg, where they meet with potential business partners, investors and customers; and attend the numerous training events and development workshops at the expo.

In addition to hosting the BIC awards and showcasing the finalists at the expo, Eskom also features leading Eskom Simama Ranta schools who run enterprise clubs across South Africa at the expo. 

The overall winner of the 2016 BIC, Nomcebo Sibanyoni, owner of Nomcebo Printers in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, reports that her participation in the competition and expo has delivered long-term benefits for the company.

“The BIC was quite intimidating, but my participation gave me an opportunity to review my business model and strategies; and the input from the expert judges helped us to focus on long-term goals,” she says.

“One concern raised during the process was our focus on servicing the mines within our province. As a result, we have reconsidered our strategy and are diversifying our products and customer base.”

Winning the BIC also gave Nomcebo Printers valuable exposure, adding to its credibility, she says. “The Lydenburg Chamber of Commerce subsequently gave us an award for being a business that helped put Lydenburg on the map. This has helped build trust in our abilities among existing and potential customers.”

Participation in the Small Business Expo added significant value to the experience, says Sibanyoni: “Not only did we benefit from market engagement and networking with potential partners, we also learnt a great deal from the workshops at the event. For example, I took learnings from the social media workshop and applied them to our own business strategy – and we are now using social media very successfully to engage with our customers.”

Previous Eskom BIC runner-up and three-time participant at the Eskom pavilion at the Small Business Expo Kroutz Sprouts, says the competition and expo exposure have been very beneficial for the company.

Candice Kroutz-Kabongo, co-founder of the family-owned hydroponic vegetable farm, says the entire BIC process and the participation in the Small Business Expo has helped the company on several fronts: “The actual competition adjudication process is an eye-opener,” Kroutz-Kabongo says.

Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

“You subject your company to scrutiny by experts in their field, and they point out areas you may not have considered. In our case, this scrutiny highlighted price fluctuations in fresh produce, and led us to consider processing our own produce. At the Small Business Expo, we were then able to showcase these products and assess market response on the show floor.”

Kroutz-Kabongo says participating in the Small Business Expo also gave Kroutz Sprouts a rare opportunity to network with other business owners to discuss potential partnerships.

“We had access to food franchise owners, for example, and we opened talks on possibly supplying them with our fresh produce. Overall, we found our participation in the Eskom BIC and the Small Business Expo very worthwhile.”

“Eskom’s participation and the BIC innovator showcase are highlights of the Small Business Expo, illustrating the high level of creative business flair South Africans are capable of and giving show visitors access to the most innovative new businesses around. This is in line with our overall goal to provide a platform for small business networking and growth,” says Carol Weaving, Managing Director of event organisers Reed Exhibitions.

The three-day expo, which is co-located with the #BuyaBusiness expo, provides SMEs, businesses, investors and franchisors with a versatile platform from which to network, explore new business partnerships, build brand awareness, interact with potential customers and investors as well as to generate media coverage. The #BuyaBusiness expo and Small Business Expo offer business opportunities, franchise opportunities, business tools, business services, financial advice and networking for anyone considering starting their own business or franchise, and for those already in business and looking to expand, or to source BEE procurement partners.

SMEs are invited to contact the organisers to find out how to exhibit. For more information, go to www.buyabusinessexpo.co.za  and www.smallbizexpo.co.za, or email: info@SmallBizExpo.co.za

Related: New Ways SMEs Can Find Funding

About the Small Business Expo

The Small Business Expo, to be held at the TicketPro Dome from 31 August – 2 September 2017, is devoted to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, providing an invaluable platform for small businesses to market their businesses and interact with prominent business leaders, corporates and procurement buyers.

Attracting thousands of visitors each year, it is the ideal platform to stimulate business growth and motivate both current and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Small Business Expo runs alongside #BuyaBusiness Expo and is presented in partnership with Eskom. Visit www.smallbizexpo.co.za.

About the #BuyaBusiness Expo

The #BuyaBusiness Expo is an annual exhibition held alongside Small Business Expo. To be staged at the Ticketpro Dome from 31 August – 02 September 2017, this expo connects thousands of entrepreneurs and investors who are looking to grow, diversify or enter into business ownership with one of the many business and franchise opportunities available at the show. It also presents business funding and service support solutions. Visit www.buyabusinessexpo.co.za.

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President Ramaphosa To Address SA’s Biggest Board Meeting, The Directors Event

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering a keynote address at The Directors event on 8 June 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at South Africa’s biggest board meeting, The Directors Event, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  Dr Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa will deliver this year’s Chairman’s Report.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event invites industry leaders to unpack three issues of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities.

Youth employment & entrepreneurship, the use of technology to promote inclusive growth, and our political economy will be hot topics in this year’s highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.

“We are honoured to have President Ramaphosa address this important gathering of some of the top minds in South Africa. We invited him as a response to the call he made during his maiden State of the Nation Address earlier this year, calling on all South Africans, in their small corners, to help develop this country. We believe, strongly, that corporate South Africa has a massive role to play and we are very excited that everyone seems to have accepted the President Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call,” says Bongani Siqoko, editor of the Sunday Times.

Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI, the JSE listed holding company for Momentum, Metropolitan and other financial services providers says, “We are incredibly honoured and excited that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Biggest Board Meeting. Over the past few months, we have experienced a wave of change in the country that has brought with it much needed confidence in what we can achieve. As a company with deep roots in South Africa serving a broad spectrum of citizens and businesses, we are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn, we want to be there. We believe this platform creates a space where we can have constructive dialogue and come up with concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the state our country”.

Related: President Ramaphosa’s Support Of Entrepreneurs And SMEs In SONA Had Us Cheering

President Ramaphosa will be the highest ranking government official to address The Directors Event with his keynote message.  Previous keynote speakers at The Directors Event have included Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology, and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will also be representing the perspectives of Government and the governing party during the round-table discussions at this year’s event.


The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around.

The Directors Event will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za 

The Directors Event brought to you by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies and MMI Holdings Limited, is supported by partners Mancosa (GSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD SA), and Greymatter & Finch.

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The Start-up Hatchery And Greater Tygerberg Partnership Launch Innovative Pitch Competition For Bellville Solutions

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018.

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The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and start-up incubator The Startup Hatchery are launching a pitching competition to surface innovative ideas that, when implemented, could lead to the improvement of Bellville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The winning idea will receive a package of business incubation, mentorship, business development support, marketing and branding collateral, legal and intellectual property advice and other prizes, including R5 000 cash.

Launching on 14 May 2018, Innovate Bellville 2.0 is open to new businesses that have been operating for six months or less, who are developing new innovative ideas that could improve public transport, create jobs, create inclusive public spaces, address homelessness, improve health and wellbeing, manage waste, facilitate mobility, attract and retain investment and regenerate the Bellville urban centre.

Related: 3 Actionable Insights To Make Your Investment Pitch Perfect

Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville CBD, says Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP: “We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas that can help us to build a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Innovate Bellville 2.0 falls directly into that approach. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge, and seeing the winning idea implemented in a part of our city that stands on the edge of an exciting future.”

“Innovation starts anywhere,” says Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, “but we were very excited at the prospect of focusing on finding innovative ideas that could bring about real change to a defined geographical area. Innovate Bellville 2.0 will offer the winning business a solid start in life, with a chance to see their idea become a reality in Bellville.”

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from the WhatsApp pitches, who will each receive training and a pitch deck. From that group, a group of eight finalists will then be selected and invited to pitch their ideas to judges during a pitch event on 7 June.

For more information, contact pitchtank@thestartuphatchery.co.za

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Silulo Business Incubation Is Changing The Future Of Entrepreneurs

Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs.

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Launched in April 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs to grow not only their businesses but also their confidence in the business space. The Incubation offers office space, boardrooms, training and conference rooms as well as eighteen shared office space for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town.

Founder and Director, Mr Luvuyo Rani says: “We have always had a vision for this type of centre – a one-stop-shop where all entrepreneurial needs are catered for but our problem was always funding. With hard-work and dedication, we were able to make our vision a reality, which is exactly what we want to teach and instil for our entrepreneurs.”

The incubation will also offer networking sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs twice a month for two hours. This idea is to offer business insights as well as networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town. Entrepreneurs will have the option to become members of the SBI Network where they are able to attend networking sessions of their choice. All networking sessions will cover different topics and training manuals will be offered after each session.

Related: Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Luvuyo Rani

Rani continues:

“The main challenge when it comes to this type of business is infrastructure and funding. Silulo is a pioneer and it can go anywhere, there are no boundaries in business. This is a flagship store. We want to replicate this in every province. Silulo’s success lies in partnerships and our business has a passion for empowering.”

Rani, a former teacher, together with his brother Lonwabo Rani started selling computers from the boot of a car more than ten years ago. Silulo Technologies now has 42 branches in three provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal and 22 franchise stores, some of which are owned by former Silulo employees.

Director and Co-founder, Lonwabo Rani says: “My brother always tells us to think about the bigger picture. It was that bigger picture that kept us going. Back in 2006, what you see today is exactly how it was when we envisioned it.”

About Silulo:

In 2017 Silulo reached a total of 35 000 students trained since inception. It trained 65 students through MIC SETA in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

Rani and his two directors remodelled the business in 2017 by offering a walk in cellphone repair service (including the service of leading brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei) at one of the Silulo branches in Khayelitsha.

Rani, who was part of the Team South Africa to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2018, has received numerous accolades for his social impact business.

He was also awarded a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 among his many accolades.

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