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Sustainable Brands Announces Speaker Line-Up For Africa’s Brand Innovation Conference

Cape Town to host world-class brand and sustainability leaders from 14-17 May 2016 at City Hall.

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Sustainable Brands Cape Town announces its vibrant line-up of over 100 speakers who will lead the discussions into HOW to innovate your brand for sustainability NOW.

South Africa’s leading sustainability practitioners as well as select international business leaders will host interactive discussion groups, breakout sessions, plenary presentations and networking activities for the business delegates, creative minds and the country’s future leaders who will be in attendance at SB’16 CAPE TOWN.

Related: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs

Broadly based the speakers will address how to:

  • innovate for regeneration through better business strategy and reporting
  • examine the macro trends and drivers of emerging markets
  • navigate behaviour change via effective communication
  • reinvent supply chains, and
  • enable sound enterprise development.

KoAnn Skrzyniarz, CEO and Founder of Sustainable Brands, will host the opening plenary of the conference and set the scene for four days of extraordinary learning, networking and sharing amongst the top thought leaders and their peers.

The speakers and topics include:

  • Mohamed Samir, President: India, Middle East and Africa, Proctor and Gamble – “P&G’s best brand stories from Africa where growth and social development have become inseparable” 
  • Seapei Mafoyane, CEO, Shanduka Black Umbrellas – “Enterprise development and how innovation and entrepreneurship are key to social and economic transformation”
  • Jason Drew, African Innovations Foundation Prize winner and mastermind behind the award-winning AgriProtein business that is transforming the animal feed market by using organic waste to generate protein-rich feed for livestock – “The Environmental Capitalist – how innovation is transforming energy and food security”
  • Saint-Francis Tohlang, South Africa’s leading young business mind and trends analyst – “New pathways to development and how brands can emulate human qualities in creatively contributing to social and environmental solutions that will lead to new developmental pathways in emerging markets”
  • Dr David North, Former UK Head: Corporate Affairs, TESCO, and now Group Executive: Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Pick n Pay – “How the food retailing industry has adapted to meet the new demands of managing food security and supply chains”
  • David Schwartz, sustainability entrepreneur, designer and researcher from the United States, will share case studies from his personal international experiences with Fortune 500 organisations, NGOs and social enterprises – “Examining how design and development can influence entrepreneurs, policymakers and all others dedicated to the pursuit of social impact” 

Related: 10 Things Successful SA Entrepreneurs Do Differently

The details and topics of more speakers at Sustainable Brands Cape Town follow below:

Procter-and-Gamble

Procter and Gamble are headline sponsors of the event being held in association with the NBI – South Africa’s National Business Initiative, MCI South Africa and the CHANGE AGENT COLLECTIVE. Other brands that will be participating on the platform include Santam, Dimension Data, Nike, Barloworld, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, PETCO, Trialogue, BASF, Frys and Nedbank.

Rashid Toefy, MD, MCI South Africa, says: “We are incredibly excited to bring this event to the African continent. Sustainability is a key development area in South Africa and a field in which our country has shown global leadership. It is also quite significant that the event will take place in Cape Town, a city that has been at the forefront of innovation in terms of sustainability.” During his tenure as CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Toefy was instrumental in ensuring that the centre was one the world’s leading sustainable convention centres.

“This conference will be the business networking event of 2016,” states Joanne Yawitch, CEO, NBI. Deon Robbertze, Programme Director, Sustainable Brands Cape Town, and Director, CHANGE AGENT COLLECTIVE, notes: “The programme for this first event on the African continent has been carefully curated to showcase and inspire how sustainability-led innovation is the core focus of brands that are leading a new economy based on transparency, innovation and purpose.”

The programme will also offer lively debates, showcase products and solutions in the Activation Hub and offer intriguing Inspiration Tours. 

Contact Taryn Brookes at taryn.brooks@mci-group.co.za to discuss alternatives for companies wishing to participate in the conference, conversations and debates around a series of topics in The Activation Hub.

The event begins on 15 May and continues to 17 May 2016. Registration is now open and space is limited. Engagement opportunities are still available for speakers and companies looking to explore HOW SB’16 CAPE TOWN can benefit their brand NOW.

Further information, including a programme overview for the conference, can be found at http://events.sustainablebrands.com/sb16ct/.

MORE SB’16 CAPE TOWN SPEAKERS AND TOPICS: 

  • Dr Anthony Turton, hydrology expert and conflict resolution specialist – “The Coming Age of water – the impacts of the water crises on mining and the economy”
  • Chris Coulter, President, Globescan – “The latest research into developing road maps for regeneration”
  • Cormac Cullinan, environmental advocate and author of Wild Law – Wild Law – a discussion on issues relating to environmental governance and the shifting landscape of compliance in relation to policy”
  • Christelle Marais, Procurement and Sustainability Specialist for Africa, SAB Miller – “Better Business – insights into how SAB Miller is developing and implementing responsible sourcing and building authentic relationships within supply chains”
  • Carla Tavares, Programme Marketing Manager, The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC International) – “How certification can develop trusted brand recognition and verifiable supply chains”
  • Dr Jaisheila Rajput, value chain specialist and CEO, TOMA – NOW (Tomorrow Matters Now) – “Mapping and developing value chains – looking at how companies that have their house in order can look forward to sustained growth and adapt to new market challenges and opportunities”
  • Andrea Ferry, sustainability consultant – “The role of organisational change agents and how their influence enables brands to shift direction to face the new challenges within the economy and brand development”
  • Claire Janisch, biomimicry expert – “How to develop strategies for abundance by exploring life’s principles and emulating nature’s success strategies from the perspective of the pioneer species within mature ecosystems”
  • Dr Geoff Kendall, CEO and Co-founder, Future Fit – “Entrepreneurship and innovation”
  • David Katz, Founder, The Plastic Bank – “Recycling and its impacts on innovation and poverty alleviation”
  • Davide Stronati, Head: Strategy, Mott Macdonald (global engineering, management and development consultants) – “Strategy and leadership across countries in the developing world”
  • Ingun Berget, Former CEO, Amer Sports Norway (with brands like Salomon, Atomic, Suunto and Wilson in the portfolio) and now CEO, BRIGHT, a company that aims to be a global brand in innovation and social responsibility with their range of solar lights – “Renewable energy and how it impacts the innovation and entrepreneur landscapes”
  • Jakob Trollback, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Trollback and Company – “The Global Goals for Sustainable Development – the new language being created to communicate organisational change including targets, outcomes and representation of data”
  • Jeff King, Senior Director for Sustainability, CSR and Social Innovation, The Hershey Company – “Hershey’s Energise Learning programme in Ghana”: This project, in partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and non-profit organisation Project Peanut Butter, is developing and distributing a highly-fortified groundnut nutritional supplement called “Vivi” to help improve education performance, increase school attendance, and boost domestic food production and farmer food security.
  • Joanne Yawitch, CEO, The National Business Initiative – “Socio-economic sustainability and governance”
  • Jonathon Hanks, CEO and Founder, Incite – “Leadership, shared value and transparency and its implications for new business leaders tackling the ever-changing business landscape”
  • Justin Smith, Group Head: Sustainability, Woolworths – “A Perfect Storm: Food Security, Affordability and Drought as South Africa is in the grips of a water and food crisis” 
  • Kevin James, CEO and Founder, Global Carbon Exchange Africa – “Corporate approaches to the economic, social and environmental imperatives and how risk and opportunity are flipsides of the same coin” (How to address such issues to ensure that the risks become opportunities, will be presented in a practical, measurable and economically feasible way.)
  • Lisa Parkes – Project Manager, Cape Craft and Design Institute – “The Appreciative Enquiry model utilised in The Better Living Challenge (BLC), a five-year project that implements design solutions and the commercialisation of these solutions for low-income housing to improve living conditions”

Related: South African Entrepreneurs Blazing a Trail Overseas

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SMMEs So Much Focus On Funding, But What About Skills

A study by StatsSA which surveyed households and obtained evidence relating to skills development and unemployment between 1994 and 2014 showed the following.

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I think we can all agree that the funding of small businesses is only part of the solution. What is possibly more important (as an enabler) is the initial assessment of the level and adequacy of skills existing within new or developing enterprises and to evaluate what further skills development or training is required to ensure a firm business foundation and sustainable growth is achieved.

A study by StatsSA which surveyed households and obtained evidence relating to skills development and unemployment between 1994 and 2014 showed the following:

  • During this time frame across the South African working population of households there was an increase in skilled labour (21% to 25%), with a shift away from semi and low-skilled labour.
  • What is interesting to note in the growth of skilled labour is the disparity within the different race groups.

*For the purpose of this analysis, the occupation types were used to infer skills levels based on the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. Skilled: manager, professional, technical. Semi-skilled: sales and services, clerk, machine operator. Low-skilled: domestic worker.

This is clear evidence that the role of enterprise and supplier development is a crucial one needed to up-skill and train the broader population. It is one thing to provide finance and access to markets, but without the appropriate skills development to make these investments sustainable is would be a fruitless exercise.

Related: 6 Money Management Tips For First-Time Entrepreneurs

The role that the private sector plays in post investment business support and capacity building is incredibly important. There is a requirement to build both technical skills as well as overall business management skills. This in my view is when we will start seeing real impact. In order for the enterprises to be effective in the contracts that they are awarded a focus on skills development (by both parties) is required.

In an economy where growth has crawled to a near halt, SMMEs cannot be expected to be the holy-grail for job creation. Making an impact in increasing the potential salary earning or employable workforce is key and therefore skills development requires a multi-faceted approach:

  1. From early education phase – where emphasis must be placed at school level for entrepreneurship training and opportunities is a key enabler. Entrepreneurship should in essence become a career option to consider. Innovation must be incubated. The world is changing and the skills required to be productive are changing as well.
  2. Clear regulations and commitment to quality interventions should be stipulated at policy level to incentivise skills development/ skills transfer from large corporates to small businesses.
  3. Without looking at the bigger picture these developmental areas are without support – so a holistic approach to skills development – mentorship, networking and overall business acumen are skills that often distinguish between those who do well and those who don’t in business. It needs to all work harmoniously and as an effective and efficient ecosystem reliant on each other’s strengths and support and mutually beneficial objectives.

Related: 3 Things You Must Have In Place To Get That Start-up Bank Finance

At the end of the day, an enterprise should leave an ESD programme empowered to stand and survive in the business world. We know that we are losing the challenge when time and time again we see developing enterprises moving from one ESD programme to another with nothing to show for it. Monitoring and evaluation of these enterprises is therefore also essential to track growth and success – but also to identify areas of weakness or need for further intervention.

At the heart of ESD is the notion that larges businesses/ corporates should move beyond compliance (aka box-ticking) and toward the heart of transformation. Intertwined here is the responsibility to use development interventions and activities in a deliberate and focused manner so that the skills level in small businesses can move upwards and ensure the longevity and success of growing enterprises.

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Become The Number One Pitch Hustler With The ENGEN Pitch & Polish Programme

The ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme, hosted by Engen Petroleum Ltd and Nedbank, powered by Raizcorp and supported by national media partner, Caxton Local Media, is based on teaching entrepreneurs to present a winning pitch that is clear and focused.

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ENGEN Pitch Polish final 30 Nov 17

The word “hustle” comes from a Dutch word that means “to shake things up”. Traditionally, the English word “hustler” was used to describe a dishonest person, who would do anything to make money. Hustling is, however, no longer a dirty word; nowadays, a hustler is someone who makes things happen. Hustling is about movement, activity and shaking things up in a positive way – the very things that entrepreneurs need to succeed!

Successful hustlers exist everywhere, and all entrepreneurs have much to learn from those who have mastered the art of the hustle! Whether they are building a business, selling a product or offering a service, hustlers focus on their goal and do whatever it takes to achieve the goal. Hustlers put in the hours and don’t waste time doing things that don’t contribute to their success in some way.

Hustlers grab every opportunity to pitch their business to potential funders and clients. They are seasoned pitch artists, and having secured the opportunity to pitch, know exactly what they want to say. Hustlers present a polished pitch! For this reason, the ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme, hosted by Engen Petroleum Ltd and Nedbank, powered by Raizcorp and supported by national media partner, Caxton Local Media, is based on teaching entrepreneurs to present a winning pitch that is clear and focused.

Related: What Type Of Pitcher Are You?

“With us you are number one”, the headline sponsor Engen’s slogan, could just as easily apply to the hustler’s attitude towards his clients and business. Hustlers put their clients first. Their elevator pitch is ready to go and hustlers, always thinking on their feet, can adapt their pitch to meet the needs of different audiences.

Nedbank, a co-sponsor of ENGEN Pitch & Polish, encourages people to “make your money hustle for you”. Hustlers know how to do this. They think carefully about their pricing model, know how to calculate profit, and make their money work for them!

Hustlers do not give up when they hear “no”. They see rejection as an opportunity to be overcome, not a roadblock. At ENGEN Pitch & Polish, entrepreneurs are subjected to many “no’s” as they learn to perfect their pitches. Those who learn to use this feedback to their advantage – are the hustlers!

engen-pitch-polish-bruce-diale-30-nov-17

Bruce Diale

The pitch that was delivered from the heart, with the greatest ease, confidence, and precision – as well as energy and enthusiasm – were the qualities that caught the eye of the judges, and resulted in Bruce Diale, from Polokwane, winning the 2017 ENGEN Pitch and Polish programme, at an exclusive and prestigious event, held in Johannesburg, on 30th November. Bruce’s Agri-consulting business has developed, and patented, Gardenizly, an innovative vegetable gardening product, which is both water and space efficient.

This was not the only reason for his victory. “We chose Bruce as this year’s winner,” says Joe Mahlo, GM for Sales and Marketing, from Engen Petroleum Ltd, who was one of this year’s judges, “because he was clear on the value that his product and business will add to his clients and, indeed, to the world.” This is yet another indispensable quality of the hustler. Watch this space. A hustler has been born!

Related: 10 Ways To Beat The Odds And Get That Funding For Your Start-Up

engen-pitch-polish-refilwe-matsaneng-30-nov-17

Refilwe Matsaneng

Second place was awarded to Refilwe Matsaneng, from Welkom, for her hair products business, GloLooks. Third place went to Renschia Manuel, from Cape Town, for her portable urban veggie growing boxes, GrowBox, business.

“It’s intimidating and unnerving to ask for money,” says Grace Govender, Head of New Business and Support for Relationship Banking, Nedbank. “To overcome this, entrepreneurs must focus on being properly prepared and authentic.”

To further help the entrepreneurs, Caxton Local Media, with over 140 publications, whose roots, too, are deeply embedded in the country, awarded the winner with R20,000 in advertising. “Caxton is firmly established in, and supportive of, local communities in South Africa and the partnership with ENGEN Pitch & Polish, along with Engen, Nedbank and Raizcorp, is a natural fit. We all believe in building small business, from grassroots up,” explains Dejane Poil, Head of Innovation at Caxton.

There was magic on the night as esteemed guests offered these three entrepreneurs further opportunities for growth and expansion.

ENGEN Pitch & Polish’s power lies in its ability to identify, through their pitch, the entrepreneurs that are number one hustlers. “These are the entrepreneurs who demonstrate the ambition to excel and the motivation to put in the work,” says Allon Raiz, the originator of the Pitch & Polish concept, now in its eighth year of identifying entrepreneurs who truly understand what it means to up the hustle!

For more information, visit www.pitchandpolish.com.

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R33 Million Available In SME Grant Funding

The Craft + Design Institute (CDI) has launched three funds to support the growth, job creation and innovation of SME’s.

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The Craft + Design Institute (CDI) has raised R33 million to establish three funds to support SME growth – a Growth Fund, a Design Innovation Seed Fund and a Loan Book. These three funds will be managed by the investment arm, CDI Capital.

“In most countries, SMEs play a vital role as drivers of economic growth, innovation and job creation, but in South Africa this value is yet to be properly realised. To achieve this, the challenges experienced by SMEs need to be addressed, namely access to markets, finance and credit, infrastructure, resources for R&D, and access to adequately skilled and work ready labour,” explains Erica Elk, Executive Director of the CDI.

The funding’s aim is to create 60 growth-orientated SME’s and 20 innovation technological solutions, which in turn will create 600 permanent jobs over the course of three years.

Related: 3 Things You Must Have In Place To Get That Start-up Bank Finance

“We have put a significant amount of work into developing these offerings, not only ensuring good governance and appropriate monitoring and evaluation measures, but realising real and sustainable impact with the businesses we support. We are excited to have raised R33 million to launch this new funding for SMEs, and we thank our funders and supporters – we look forward to making meaningful investments,” says Elk.

The Growth Fund

The Growth Fund is targeted at business with a turnover of assets of more than R1 million, with the ability to create permanent jobs. Applications for this fund open on the 27th November and close on the 31st of December 2017.

The Growth Fund invites SME’s that are experiencing growth or equipped for expansion and able to create sustainable quality jobs to apply for grant funding.

Criteria for the Growth Fund

  • Controlling interest in the business (51%) must be a South African citizen with valid South African Identity Document or legal entities controlled by South African citizens with valid South African Identity Documents or permanent residents who hold a valid RSA ID document.
  • All business operations must be conducted within the borders of South Africa.
  • Must be an existing business, preference will be given to businesses that have been trading for two years or more. The business should operate in the craft, design and light manufacturing sectors, but other industries will also be considered.
  • The business will need a turnover or assets of more than R1 million and a willingness to create permanent employment. It must demonstrate year-on-year growth and/or the potential for sufficient growth, while being tax compliant.
  • The applicants business will need to create one permanent employee job per grant investment of R21 000 and prepared to contribute an additional 20% of the grant amount in cash to be used in the business.

For more information and further criteria visit here.

Related: If You’re Trying To Raise Money, Doing Any Of These 9 Things May Scare Off Investors

The Design Innovation Seed Fund

The Design Innovation Seed Fund is open to investors who have protectable innovative technological solutions that can impact specific sectors and create permanent employment. Applications for this fund open on the 27th of November and close on the 31st of December 2017.

This fund is available to individuals and SME’s with pre-revenue innovative technology and tech-enabled ideas and products within specific sectors to apply.

Criteria for the Design Innovation Seed Fund

  • Western Cape based early-stage SME’s/entrepreneurs/researchers.
  • Students at Western Cape tertiary institutions where the institution doesn’t have an Intellectual Property claim to the product/service. Please consult institution’s Intellectual Property policy.
  • Pre-revenue businesses in incubation or entering incubation or existing SMEs with new products/innovation that is still pre-revenue.

Sector focus 2018/2019:

  • Agriprocessing
  • Biotechnology
  • Health
  • Manufacturing
  • Water Conservation
  • Alternative Building Materials
  • Wild Card* (*projects outside these sectors can be considered).

Related: The Truth About Venture Capital Funding

How to Apply for Funding

Click here for more on the criteria and further information visit here.

Loan Book

In addition to the grant funds, CDI Capital is also launching a R3.5 million working capital and term loan facility as reduced rates for the entire three year project. This will provide access to cash flow during the growth stages of SME’s that qualify for these funds and others.

For more information visit CDI Capital.

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