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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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Business Linkages And Investment Readiness

The Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) is hosting its flagship Growth Accelerator Programme for 2018, sponsored by Nedbank.

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The Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) is hosting its flagship Growth Accelerator Programme for 2018, sponsored by Nedbank. AWIEF is seeking 25 ambitious, innovative and committed early-growth-stage South African women entrepreneurs, from a variety of sectors, looking for support to scale their businesses.

Access to finance is the most cited challenge to the growth of women-owned businesses in Africa. Bankability and investment readiness are major impediments to attracting business finance.

This is an intensive six-week programme designed to support participants with the business modelling and growth strategy required to scale their enterprises, become investment ready and develop entrepreneurial leadership. The programme will cover:

  • purpose and values
  • target market, competitive landscape and value proposition
  • delivery model
  • financial modelling
  • conduct a creative force
  • growth strategy
  • financing for scale
  • pitch training.

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

Nirmala Reddy, Senior Manager of Nedbank Enterprise Development, says: ‘We support initiatives such as this in line with our pledge to help clients see money differently, which is aimed at making a difference in South Africa, not just for women and children and business, but also for communities throughout the country. The bank strongly focuses on the development of female employees and black-women-owned suppliers, and this can be seen through our development and training programmes. We are also proud that women make up 62% of the workforce at Nedbank.’

The 2018 AWIEF Growth Accelerator, with its first 25 participants, is implemented as a build-up programme that will culminate at the 2018 AWIEF Conference, Exhibition and Awards event taking place on 8 and 9 November at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where participating entrepreneurs will pitch their business to an audience of investors, business leaders and corporate decision-makers.

The three best ventures stand to win monetary prizes from AWIEF and financial management advice from Nedbank.

The programme details are as follows:

  • Dates: Starts on 17 September and culminates on 8 and 9 November 2018
  • Location: Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • Participation fee: Free 

Eligibility

Businesses must be:

  • in a post-revenue phase;
  • scalable and innovative ventures;
  • in operation for not less than two years (ideally three to five years);
  • owned or led by ambitious and committed women entrepreneurs; and
  • seeking investment or funding to grow.

If you are interested in participating, click here to apply. Applications close on 31 August 2018.

The event is hosted by AWIEF and sponsored by Nedbank.

Read next: Kid Entrepreneurs Who Have Already Built Successful Businesses (And How You Can Too)

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Investing In Women Key To SA Socio-Economic Development

Investment in women’s empowerment delivers long-term socio-economic returns, says Novartis. Women’s networks and mentorship engagements can help unlock personal and career success.

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Empowering women has long-term positive socio-economic impacts, making women’s empowerment, career development and mentorship programmes a compelling narrative for companies.

This is according to Sibonile Dube, Head of Communications & Public Affairs at Novartis South Africa and a mentor at Phakama Women’s Academy. Marking the start of national Women’s Month, Dube cites Bain & Company research into how and why the career paths of South African women and men differ, which found that in 2017, 31% of South African companies had no female representation in senior leadership roles. The research noted that the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (BWASA) census on women in leadership indicated that 22% of board directors were women, but only 7% were executive directors. Only 10% of South African CEOs and only 2.2% of JSE-listed company CEOs were women.

“Considering that recent research by MCSI concluded gender diversity on the board has significant benefits for both productivity and profits, South African enterprises need to become more proactive about supporting women’s empowerment in the workplace,” says Dube. But Dube adds that while formalised empowerment and mentorship programmes are important, South African women hold some of the keys to helping both themselves and other women unlock success.

She outlines three key factors that hold women back from corporate and entrepreneurial success, and how these challenges can be overcome:

Lack of confidence

A key factor holding women back from achieving their true potential in the workplace – and as entrepreneurs – is fear and a lack of confidence, says Dube. “As women, we often undersell ourselves – we underestimate our potential, our power and the amount of influence that we have. In contrast, men are typically quite confident in themselves and their capabilities,” says Dube.

The Bain & Company survey of over 1000 women found an apparent loss of confidence amongst women in junior- and middle-management positions that they could rise to the top. At this level, some respondents noted political imbalances that were difficult to navigate; while their male colleagues had access to a sponsor or mentor (normally of the same sex and colour) to help navigate these issues.

Dube believes women need to become more proactive about empowering themselves, equipping themselves with a broad range of skills, and actively working on building their self-awareness and self- esteem. “Building skills goes beyond developing academic or technical expertise – we need to work on our relationship skills and communication skills, because human relations are crucial for success in a setting where you are looking for influence and significance.”

“Dealing with fear and lack of confidence is important, because this enables us to have relevance and contribute more meaningfully to in the workplace and in business,” says Dube.

Related: 13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top In SA

Lack of support networks

More than women, men generally back one another be it in corporate or in business deals and this has supported their career success a lot, says Dube. “Having a network is important – it is through these networks that opportunities are shared and support is gained. Having a strong network of people that back your career becomes an effective reference point especially in times of challenges. And through these networks, people are also able to find mentors.”

Dube believes mentorship is a crucial component of career success, offering both mentor and mentee opportunities to learn and grow. “We need more mentorship. With mentorship, training and coaching, women can actually pull out some of the strengths they possess which they may not be aware of. One is challenged and pushed to aim higher,” says Dube.

Bain & Company research found that sponsorship of individuals, especially at the mid-management level, ensures that contributions and performance are recognised and attributable to the individual. Often women, particularly in middle management, feel marginalised, ignored or simply worn down by trying to get their efforts recognised.

Dube, who mentors a number of women, says mentorship can be formalised through a corporate career development programme, but can also extend to informal and virtual mentor-mentee relationships. “You can be guided by simply reading the books, reading articles and watching videos and talks of inspirational leaders anywhere in the world on social media,” says Dube. Dube points out that good mentorship can be a mutually beneficial in the exchange of ideas and meeting of minds. “In an effective mentor-mentee relationship, reverse mentorship takes place. In an era where we now have four generations in the workplace, the digital and tech savvy younger generation have a lot to offer to the rest,” says Dube.

Poor Health and Wellbeing

In order to cope and remain competitive in the workplace, women have to ensure they take care of their health and maintain some resilience especially when pressure mounts. Recently, there have been a lot of conversations about mental health in South Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), gender is a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness. Gender determines the difference in power and control that men and women have over the socioeconomic factors of their mental health and their exposure to specific mental health risks.

“Women are under immense pressure to perform in various spheres of their lives. Juggling a career, motherhood and marriage or a relationship can be emotionally and physically taxing to the extent of affecting one’s health, especially mental health. It is therefore imperative that women take good care of their health and wellbeing amid the demands of a competitive and fast paced lifestyle presented by the demands of modern society,” says Dube.

Depression is not only the most prevalent women’s mental health problem but may be more persistent in women than it is in men. There is more research needed to determine the reasons for this and what can be done to address it.

Related: 30 Top Influential SA Business Leaders

Unlocking empowerment

This Women’s Month, Dube says women should feel encouraged to be proactive about their own career development, and about helping other women to grow – both personally and professionally.

“As women we should be firm believers in one another. We hold the keys to opening doors for other women. By creating a support structure for one another, we can create phenomenal opportunities to make a difference for fellow women, with the aim of creating leaders and catalysing empowerment that has a ripple effect, benefiting all of society and the economy as a whole. Studies have revealed that women reinvest up to 90% of their income into their families compared to men who reinvest 30-40%. This has far reaching socio-economic gains for any society,” concludes Dube.

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Leaderex Drives Digital Transformation Agenda For 2018 Summit

Leaderex, Africa’s largest gathering of business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs, returns to Johannesburg on 4 September 2018.

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Building on a successful debut in 2015, the organisers, Leader.co.za, in association with the JSE and leading think tanks, will host 250 masterclasses on key priority areas to drive digital transformation, including agile leadership, innovation, fintech and blockchain, AI, IoT, ecommerce and the future of work.

“Our programme has been designed around peer-based learning, allowing participants to gain practical knowledge from the trenches, engage with the best in the business, and thrive in a disrupted world,” says Leader.co.za.

Over five hundred CEOs and industry leaders will share actionable insights and advice on the day, representing one of the largest collaborations of its kind in the country.

Delegates will have the opportunity to connect with incubators, accelerators and start-up platforms, explore MBA programmes and business schools, and participate in one-on-one sessions with respected coaches and consultants.

South Africa’s lack of a savings culture will be another talking point, and investment vehicles, from tax-free savings to ETFs, will be thoroughly unpacked.

“We are pleased to be working with Leaderex again this year because we have seen the impact that the event has had since inception,” adds Mpho Ledwaba, Head of Marketing at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

For executives and entrepreneurs looking to unlock value through new technologies and ways of thinking, Leaderex 2018 represents a highlight on the business calendar.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.leaderex.com.

Read next: 22 Qualities That Make A Great Leader

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