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Entrepreneur Today

Who’s Your Spare?

Consider this scenario: Your company has taken a hammering with bad press lately and its affected profitability.





The CEO is about to stand up and address important members of the company about a strategy to turn things around but suffers a fatal heart attack just hours before the meeting.

What do you do?

This isn’t just a scenario. It actually happened to the most well-known company on the planet: McDonald’s. Back in 2004, McDonalds was taking a beating in the media because of its products’ high fat and salt and general unhealthiness.

Incumbent CEO, Jim Cantalupo, was about to address a delegation of franchise owners about the company’s plans to adjust the menu’s nutritional value and change the public’s perception of its offering. With a few hours before the presentation, Cantalopo suffered a major heart attack and died.

What next?

Fortunately Charlie Bell had been steadily working his way through the McDonald’s ranks and was presently the company’s president and chief operating officer. Within moments of the crisis striking, Bell was promoted to CEO, was briefed, and presented to the delegation.

During his time as CEO, Bell spear-headed campaigns to make McDonald’s menu healthier as well as introduced the McCafe concept, resulting in a successful turnaround in McDonald’s flagging share value and general fortunes. Had McDonald’s not had a person in line to immediately step up to the helm, the story could have been very different.

Your business without you

Whether you’re planning on extricating yourself from the driver’s seat of your business or want a back-up plan in place in case of an unexpected crisis, the bottom line remains that you should rather have a succession plan and never use it, than face a crisis with none.

When you’re in the thick of running a business though, it’s generally not a priority figuring out who will take over the reins should you no longer be able to.

So how do you identify your heir and how can you best prepare for it? Here’s four steps:

  1. Put time on your side. While you might only be planning on retiring in 25 years’ time, you should still have a good idea of when you’re going to step down. You should also have someone lined up who can run the place if you’re incapacitated or die unexpectedly. When sussing out your heir, promoting from within gives your heir the advantage of knowing the business from the inside out, and knowing many more levels of the job than an outsider.
  2. Think skills not relationships. While the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” has been around forever and exists for a reason, don’t let nepotism or friendship influence who your successor will be. While you may upset people by selecting the individual who is most capable rather than the one who is schmoozes best, your selection should be about the survival and growth of your company. Have a look at your business’s timeframe of where you want it to be in five, ten and fifteen years. What experience and skills will be necessary to lead the business then? Make a list of the skills you would need during such a time and match them to someone who can be trained to suit.
  3. Heirs are like suits. You need to find the right fit. Once you have a clearer understanding of what the new leader’s job description will be, start looking. You may find a business partner who’s fought in the trenches building the company, or you may find a bright young thing who, once trained and more experienced, will be ideal. Where a successor is not obvious, find an independent management consultant and get outside opinion.
  4. Dry runs. It’s all well and good having identified an heir, but without practice and preparation they could drop the ball when it matters most. Start giving them challenges that stretch or develop the skills they’ll need to lead the company. This way you can test their leadership skills and gain confidence in your pick. In the early stages, supervise and advise your heir to ensure your knowledge is passed on and the candidate has proper understanding before you begin slowly extricating yourself.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Entrepreneur Today

Annual Show Fundex To Reveal Entrepreneurs Funding Secrets

Riversands Incubation Hub is set to host its third annual FundEX event at Riversands on Thursday 16 August 2018.





Last year’s FundEX brought together more than 600 entrepreneurs seeking funding for business expansion. This year’s one-day conference and expo is set to create numerous golden opportunities for entrepreneurs needing access to funding.

FundEX carries the theme ‘Secrets of Scale’, and will unpack what it takes to build a ‘fundable’ business, featuring entrepreneurs who have attracted funding and built successful businesses.

“We measure the success of FundEX against the number of entrepreneurs who secure funding after the event. Contrary to popular belief, there is funding available. This event aims to provide practical guidance on what funding is available and what it takes to access this capital,” says Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub.

While Riversands does not provide funding, the organisation plays a role in bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and the many players in the funding space.

Related: Government Funding And Grants For Small Businesses

This year’s FundEX will extend beyond the one-day event and includes 10 places for entrepreneurs to work with a finance coach with insights from funding experts to prepare for funding. “We will walk this funding journey with these selected entrepreneurs,” adds Retief. Entrepreneurs attending FundEX can apply to be selected for this ‘fast-track’ process.

Entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to interact with a variety of funders including banks, government funders and alternative funding platforms in the funders’ lounge during the show. Appointments with funders can be booked on the day, with the lounge opening at 10:00 and running to 15:00.

The one-day event runs from 09:00 to 16:00 and is open to the public, with tickets available online at priced at R350 per head.

Riversands Incubation Hub is located off William Nicol Drive near Dainfern.

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Entrepreneur Today

What Is South Africa Day?

Celebrated annually on the last Saturday of November, South Africa Day is dedicated to nation building where South Africans are inspired by the spirit of our common citizenship, values and constitution to forge a unity that is unique to our land and people.





Drawing inspiration from an auspicious moment in South Africa’s history when 26 political parties signed the Interim Constitution in November 1993; South Africa Day is not a public holiday, but a day of celebration and of community togetherness that is supported by South African business, and driven by ordinary citizens.

South Africa Day is therefore a day on which projects, celebrations and events aimed at community building are undertaken throughout the nation. While South Africa already has many specific focused days viz. Youth Day, Women’s Day, Worker’s Day, Mandela Day (service to humanity, with international focus), Heritage Day (cultural diversity), there is no day set aside for the deliberate bringing together of South Africans as a whole. South Africa Day is intended to bring a sense of urgency to addressing the challenges facing South Africa within the global economy, and those facing the nation in its politics and in the fracturing of social cohesion.

South Africa Day is the brainchild of Dr Bheki Shongwe; whose vision was brought to life through the support of prominent members of South African society who have dedicated their lives to building our country. Archbishop Thabo Magkoba, Advocate George Bizos, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu and Dr Enos Banda are patrons of South Africa Day. Of course, the contribution of our sponsors and the value they have added cannot be stressed enough.

Noteworthy activities to date include The Foschini Group’s vibrant approach to an in-house display in celebration of South Africa Day in November 2017 where staff where encouraged to sign the South Africa Day Pledge and Declaration. The Foschini Group has set in motion what South Africa Day hopes will be one of hundreds of events that will be organised by South Africans citizens in the future.

Related: 6 Of The Most Profitable Small Businesses In South Africa

Nation building is important to inculcating a feeling of belonging and with it accountability and responsible behaviour (National Planning Commission: 2011). Central to South Africa Day’s efforts toward nation building is active citizenship in community upliftment in partnership with business and community organisations. As such, the organisation has a number of Flagship Projects that are being activated.

One project that is already coming to fruition is that of the South Africa Day Towns Makeover Initiative; wherein NWK is the proud premier sponsor.  Spearheaded by South Africa Day Chief Operations Officer Barend la Grange, the town of Coligny was selected out of 6 towns in the North West province.

Coligny was a town plagued by racial fragmentation and tension following the death of sixteen-year-old Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu and the subsequent riots; and rising out of such a difficult situation especially with the events that have further divided the society being so recent, is not an easy feat. However, the Cleaning, Reparation, Painting and Planting (CRPP) beautification process, through the commitment and efforts of the local community and local business saw sponsors from outside of Coligny viz. Promac and PowerRock step in to work with the local community and business by sponsoring products and service. Prior to implementation and for the purpose of this project in Coligny, research was undertaken by the Urban and Regional students of the North-West University, under the leadership of Prof Juaneé Cilliers.

South Africa Day is immensely proud of the progress to date and plans are already under way to ensure that the objective is not just to make the town attractive in an effort to instil pride in its residents and visitors but to create an environment that is investor friendly. Chris Hart, Marius Joubert and other key economic and financial experts and interest groups are collaborating with the Coligny Forum around medium and long term investment in the town that will have sustainable impact through job creation for the local communities of Coligny, Scotland and Tlhabologang.  After all, the beautification process of the town has to be accompanied by improvement of the socio-economic circumstances of citizens for the South Africa Day Towns Makeover Initiative to have a more long term, meaningful impact.

South Africa Day would love to see all South Africans get excited about and pledge support for, South Africa Day by adopting the South Africa Day Pledge and Declaration:

For more information about South Africa Day, kindly visit or

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Entrepreneur Today

Africa’s Biggest Business Show Celebrates Ten Years

Register now and get your free ticket.





There is an unmissable opportunity in August for anyone looking to kick-start their own business or wanting growth and success from existing entities. This one-day showcase takes place on 2 August 2018 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg and is hosted by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and World Famous Events. The Business Show :: South Africa 2018 is the largest one-day business exhibition, conference and networking event for anyone starting or growing a business.

Mike Anderson, NSBC Founder and CEO, says that the 10th show is going to be more stimulating than ever: “With over 150 exhibitors, sessions and seminars, this entrepreneurial show offers critical advice to all who attend, knowing and understanding that anyone who is an entrepreneur today, always needs support, advice and encouragement.”

Anderson says that The Business Show is a much-anticipated entrepreneurial event and is the place to be to learn and understand how to get ahead: “Each interactive exhibit, event, seminar, panel discussion and presentation is an ideal opportunity to gain valuable, practical insights. It’s a melting pot of professional speakers, business experts, interactive exhibits, progressive solutions, new trends, networking, new ideas and opportunities, in-depth education and memorable experiences.

The programme was shaped around the findings of the NSBC’s Annual National Small Business Survey. It revealed that SME’s still face significant challenges such as funding, cash flow management and marketing.

“The objective of this event is to address these challenges, and the many more that arise following discussions and from working closely with business owners. The NSBC remains committed to providing enterprising and aspiring entrepreneurs the knowledge and tools they need to get ahead and become tomorrow’s legendary entrepreneurs,” says Anderson.

Related: 6 Of The Most Profitable Small Businesses In South Africa

Key reasons to attend if you own or run a business:

  • Gain further insights, tips and knowledge at the hundreds of exhibits and sessions
  • Network with thousands of like-minded go-getters
  • Gain exposure to cutting-edge solutions and discover new trends
  • See all the latest business and franchise opportunities
  • Develop skills on the tools you need to start-out and succeed as an entrepreneur
  • Find out more about accessing funding
  • Discover new business ideas
  • Be inspired by visionary speakers, industry experts and thought leaders

To get your free delegate ticket now, register at Tickets are limited.

For exhibitor enquiries, email

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