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The 7% Tribe Event Supports South African Businesswomen

South African media has joined forces in the 7% Tribe, a new initiative to empower and advance South African women.

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South African women are a force to be reckoned with. Just look at how the 20 000 women who marched against pass laws on 9 August 1956 helped to change the course of history; or how Advocate Thuli Madonsela, as then Public Protector, took a stand against forces far greater than herself in her quest to uphold South Africa’s democracy.

The sad fact, however, is that – in spite of their skills, talents, grit and determination – women do not receive the support they require in the workplace.

Perhaps that’s why, when Steyn City first planned a Women’s Day Event to salute its female residents – many of whom are corporate executives, entrepreneurs and social activists – enthusiasm for the project propelled it forward until it became a movement; specifically, the 7% Tribe. Says Tammy Menton, Group Head of Marketing and Events at Steyn City, who co-founded the movement with Janez Vermeiren and Yusuf Stevens of Cheeky Media, “The response to the concept was overwhelming. We realised this was becoming something far bigger than we could have imagined. From being a celebratory event, it has become a movement with potential to effect real change.”

Adds Giuseppe Plumari CEO of Steyn City Properties, “We are delighted to co-sponsor this women’s event and acknowledge that women have an enormous role to play in our society and workplace.”

Related: Watch List: 50 Top SA Business Women To Watch

Why the 7% Tribe? Because, according to statistics from the latest Bain & Company Report on Gender Disparity, which cites the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s (BWASA) census on women in leadership, 22% of board directors are women, but only 7% are executive directors. This is in spite of the fact that they make up 50% of the working age population. Added to this, the growth in the percentage of female leaders has remained flat for several years. Several reasons are given for this, including a lack of support in organisations. While most corporates indicate that they understand the need for change, they implement few practical interventions to drive this change. Women – especially those at middle management level – become fatigued by the ongoing battle and all that they are forced to sacrifice in the process. The result? Although women graduates outnumber men at South African universities, you wouldn’t know it to look at corporate demographics.

The 7% Tribe is kicking off with outstanding support from South Africa’s media, with the likes of Independent Media, Metro FM and The Morning Show signing on to amplify its message: the message that it’s time women were equitably represented, and receive their dues, in the workplace. In short, although government has laid the foundation for equitable workplaces through the stipulations of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, corporate South Africa is lagging behind in their implementation. The tribe plans to change this.

Vermeiren agrees. “It’s time that female empowerment became part of the national imperative. We are proud to be part of an initiative that has such crucial implications for dignity, growth and social regeneration.”

The 7% Tribe kicks off with a gala dinner (exclusive to women), hosted at Steyn City by the dynamic and inspiring leaders of the movement, on Friday 31 August 2018. Tickets sell for R2 200 each or corporate packages from R25 000 for a table of nine, hosted by one of South Africa’s leading women. These packages are an ideal vehicle for organisations serious about female empowerment to show their women staffers that they are valued. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to charities supporting young women. More than a glamorous event, this is a catalyst for change: it is here that South Africans will start a conversation that will continue long after Women’s Month, and which will give women the encouragement and know-how to transform their lives.

This is, however, just the beginning: the 7% Tribe is set to go national, with a series of events rolling out throughout South Africa. The tribe’s work will culminate in the establishment of a foundation, which will function as a vehicle to uplift education for girls and promote females in business.

To purchase a ticket to the 7% Tribe’s gala dinner or find out more about how to join the movement, contact www.sevenpercenttribe.com or book online with computicket https://online.computicket.com/web/event/seven_percent_tribe/1239890888/599713066

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The Innovator Trust And Citi Are Searching For Black-Owned Smes Who Are Ready For Growth

The Innovator Trust, an enterprise development organisation, and the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), Africa’s oldest incubator, are calling on Cape Town-based growth-stage ICT entrepreneurs to join the intensive 2-year enterprise development programme.

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The ICT sector has gone from strength to strength and is one of the fastest-growing industries on the African continent. Yet African entrepreneurs are still finding it a difficult business landscape to navigate. That is why The Innovator Trust and CiTi, through exposure, training and mentorship, now aim to equip entrepreneurs and businesses in the sector with tools that will keep them on track, assist them to achieve their goals and create tech leaders of the future.

ICT entrepreneurs in need of mentorship, skills development and business support who have been operating for more than 2 years and are fiercely committed to growing their business, can now apply to the prestigious 2-year Innovator Trust programme, co-developed and run by CiTi at the Woodstock Bandwidth Barn and remotely in Cape Town. Applications close on 22 February and the selected candidates will be announced on 4 March.

The Innovator Trust programme aims to support the: increase annual turnover, equip businesses with the necessary accreditation to remove red tape, as well as increase profitability and number of employees. Get ready to move the dial on your business.

Celebrating its 20th year of supporting entrepreneurs, CiTi currently runs a number of incubation programmes from idea to growth stage. After a very successful first cohort of the programme, completed in 2018, CiTi confirmed a second collaboration with the Innovator Trust to support further Cape Town businesses over the next two years. Applicants need to be in “ICT”, but this has included a broad range of focusses in the past, from IT recruitment, network security to cabling service provider and software solutions.

Related: Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

The programme, designed by CiTi and Innovator Trust, is not to be taken lightly. Monthly training, mentorship sessions with industry experts, and a strong focus on technical improvements means a substantial time and focus commitment by the entrepreneur. But this intensive design enables significant business progression over the two years.

 “Once the entrepreneurs who take part in our Enterprise Development programmes become more established, they turn their focus to growth. This accelerator is especially for entrepreneurs who’ve created businesses with high-growth potential and provides them with the skills to scale at speed and responsibly,” says Tashline Jooste, CEO of the Innovator Trust.

Cape Town was recently confirmed as the Tech Hub of Africa, by an Endeavor Insight Report commissioned by CiTi and partners, presenting growing opportunities for those businesses serious about growth, and with the right support.

“I believe strongly that ICT entrepreneurs are going to be critical to South Africa’s economic growth, which is why we need to focus on equipping these businesses with the skills they need to grow, create jobs and stimulate our economy,” adds Jooste.

In order to be considered for the programme, prospective applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • A company defined in South Africa as an SMME, QSE or EME;
  • Must be operational and trading for two or more years;
  • The business should be at least 51% black-owned;
  • A minimum Level 1 – 4 BBBEE status according to the DTI or ICT Codes;
  • The business must be a registered company with key focus in ICT and be based in Cape Town and surrounding areas.

In addition, applicants will need to supply copies of their company registration, company profile, and annual financial statements along with their BEE certificate and IDs with their applications.

Related: Attention Black Entrepreneurs: Start-Up Funding From Government Grants & Funds

“We had a fantastic experience on the Innovator Trust programme, perhaps most beneficial was the advice and mentorship on our financial management, up-skilling of our team, and establishing a 3-year budget and growth plan for the business. Our advice to entrepreneurs considering the course is “JUST DO IT!!!” The skills and knowledge you gain are invaluable and put us on a serious growth trajectory.” states Jennifer Classen, Founder of Ngaphaya Y2K10, and Participant in the 2015 – 2018 Innovator Trust programme.

Ready to grow your business? Learn more about the programme and submit your application HERE.

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Rocket Challenge Targets Local Coding Skills

The Rocket APT Challenge is open to undergraduate students 18 years of age or older who are currently studying engineering, science, or technology at an accredited college or university.

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Addressing the growing skills gap within software development, local information technology value added distributor, Axiz has sponsored the Rocket APT Challenge and encouraged 39 students to participate in the regional round of the Rocket.Build coding challenge. This comprises 40% of the total numbers of entries received globally. Hosted by Rocket Software and APT Solutions, this annual challenge provides a forum for participants to develop applications on Rocket’s MultiValue platform.

Colleen Becker, Axiz pre-sales engineer, says that the response to the challenge was exceptional and the company is excited to be part of this global initiative: “This is a fantastic innovation challenge that provides students with an opportunity to hone their coding skills on a leading software platform. South Africa is by far the bigger pool of entrants and we are excited to see who is selected for the global Rocket.Build 2019 Hackathon.”

Participants are required to design an app on Rocket’s MultiValue application platform in support of the challenge theme: ‘Improve your Community’. Consisting of three regions: EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas, three winners from each region will be selected and awarded a cash prize of:

  • $1,000 (USD) – third place
  • $2,500 (USD) – second place
  • $5,000 (USD) – first place

Related: Want To Take Your Coding To The Next Level? Check Out These 7 Productivity Hacks

The nine developers will also be given an all-expenses-paid trip to Massachusetts, USA in June 2019 to participate in Rocket.Build 2019, where they will compete in teams of three to decide the global winner of the Rocket APT Challenge. The winning team will share a grand prize of $24,000 (USD).

Becker says that this is the first year Axiz is participating and the company will definitely register for the 2020 challenge, recruiting of which starts in September 2019: “We are committed to grow the number of young coders on the Rocket platform. There is a global opportunity for students to graduate into a developing industry and support the growing shortage of MultiValue-certified coders. Participants also stand the chance of receiving an internship from participating partners across all industry sectors.”

The Rocket APT Challenge is open to undergraduate students 18 years of age or older who are currently studying engineering, science, or technology at an accredited college or university.

For more information, contact colleen.becker@axiz.com

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SMEs: Have You Completed Your Financial Planning For 2019?

While small to medium enterprise (SME) owners may not have a great deal of control over South Africa’s broader economic issues, they do have control over how they plan and manage their finances, says EasyBiz Technologies Managing Director, Gary Epstein.

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“The failure of many SMEs to make it past the critical 3.5-year mark is more as a result of their inability to get the fundamentals right, rather than being able to deal with issues such as political uncertainty, crime or credit-rating downgrades.

“Several SMEs do not gain an adequate understanding of their markets or the competition they are up against. In addition, failure to manage their finances properly or to access funding and adapt to changes in the marketplace can also be serious hindrances to success.”

Epstein believes without proper financial planning and management, businesses place themselves on the back foot. “Business owners can only make informed decisions when they have a clear view of what is happening with their finances.”

That’s why having the proper financial management tools in place is so important for start-ups and SMEs. “At EasyBiz Technologies, we offer accounting solutions that are aimed at helping businesses manage their finances properly and placing them on a sound financial footing,” adds Epstein.

Tangible outcomes of a good system include increased productivity, reduced monthly expenses, improved accuracy, simplified tax compliance and better financial security. An effective system can also provide critical business insights and allow business owners to make informed and proactive decisions.

Epstein says efficient accounting solutions can help speed up business processes, affording business owners more time to focus on their core processes and growing their operations. “After all, time and money are the most precious resources when it comes to running a small business.

Related: 6 Steps Of Financial Planning

“Our solutions include analysis tools, report making applications and payroll assistance. In addition, income and expense trackers provide valuable information for tax and audit preparations,” he adds.

Epstein urges SMEs to plan for 2019 if they haven’t done so already. “It’s not too late to prepare for the year ahead and, with the financial year end for many businesses looming, now is the time to get a good system in place.”

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