Small business ownership: Harsh realities and innovative solutions in the spotlight at Small Business Expo

For South African entrepreneurs, the road to business success is paved with unexpected pitfalls and new pressures. The top challenges and solutions will be outlined at the Small Business Expo next week.
At the Small Business Expo, SA’s premier small business development platform and showcase, will be staged in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation from 6–8 September at the Ticketpro Dome, business experts will deliver workshops and free training sessions to help small business owners overcome key challenges.

Among the highlights of the event will be the Standard Bank Women in Business theatre, the Nedbank Money Matters theatre, Business Services theatre and the Eskom Powering your World theatres.

The Nedbank Money Matters Theatre will focus on funding and financial management for small business, including:

Nedbank small business experts Thapelo Tsui, Regina Gounden and Freddie Vos will outline Nedbank’s portfolio of services, financial solutions and banking products for all levels of small and medium-sized businesses. Delegates will discover Nedbank’s involvement in small business incubators, its efforts to grow clients from startup phase to big business, and what its Simplybiz platform and community offers SA small business. Says Gounden: “The perception is that all small business needs is capital injections, but there are so many other value adds a bank can afford a client. Nedbank believes that small business is big business, and we want to help our small business clients grow.” In addition to discovering the range of solutions and tools available to small business, delegates will also receive free copies of the Nedbank Essential Guide for Small Business Owners – an invaluable toolkit for small business financial management. “We see money differently,” says Vos. “It’s not just about finance options, it’s about financial solutions and being a partner in responsible financial management.”

Megan Dedekind, senior investment manager at Business Partners, will outline SME funding, why many SMEs are unsuccessful when applying for funding, and how to prepare an application for the greatest chance of success. She will also advise on how to determine whether funding is really the solution.

Darlene Menzies, CEO of Fin Find, will outline alternative sources of business funding – from VC funds to crowdfunds, and introduce delegates to FinFind, a platform aggregating over 250 funders and 450 products for small businesses.

The Women in Business Theatre presented by Standard Bank will feature, among other highlights:

Marang Marekimane, Founder of Business Process Mechanics, will discuss the impact small business ownership on the entrepreneur’s health and personal wellbeing, and elaborate on coping strategies to ensure that neither the business nor its owner suffer during the early stages of starting up.

Small business specialist Nokwazi Mzobe, Founder of Matoyana Business Solutions, author of the Small Business Handbook and driver of the Fearless Women campaign will outline the many free and low-cost business tools available to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Eskom Powering Your World Theatre will feature, among others:

Willem Gous, Entrepreneur and Life Design Consultant, on ‘The Great Entrepreneurial Con – Why owning a business does not work and what to do about it’. “Entrepreneurship is designed to look after your customer’s needs – not yours,” he says. His presentation aims to show delegates how to make entrepreneurship work for them so that their business is there to provide the money, the time and the resources for them to have and be all they ever wanted to be.

Langa Manqele, Founder and Head of Strategy at Fintech4africa, will focus on emerging business models behind the growth strategies of the latest start-ups, exploring the ground-breaking business models of our times, from Apple to SweepSouth. In explaining how to remain relevant and resilient, he will examine what has remained unchanged (continuities), what keeps coming back (cycles) and what’s new (novelties, as well as the “built to last” business models of Coke and others.

Rick Ed, mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs, says: "No! You don't have to fail". His presentation will include simple advice to follow to avoid losing everything on the way to success.

The Business Theatre will include business management and digital business highlights such as:

Ashley Watts, Director at the Algorithm Agency, who will elaborate on the digital landscape, and how to create targeted marketing strategies that effectively utilise your data, and ensure you become highly visible online.

Graeme Stiles, Director at the Algorithm Agency, will explain SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ‘without the BS’. He says: “Unfortunately, SEO is often misunderstood and many suppliers, especially in the small business space fail to provide value for the money their clients invest in SEO services. We will briefly break down what SEO is and how it works and how it can help your business reach new customers.”

Kamal P Timmal (CEO) and Jivesh Timmal (COO) of Eskilz College will advise on how to succeed as an effective young leader, illustrating how anything is possible in life with motivation, drive, passion and a great idea.

York Zucchi, Chief Coffee Drinker at the SME Movement, will host a highly interactive session where participants will learn how to use the many tools that are available all around them for free to help them find clients to grow their businesses based on my 24 years in business. By the end of the session participants will have a better understanding how to use technology (including emails) to find leads for their services and products.

For more information about the free workshops at Small Business Expo, visit

About the Small Business Expo

The Small Business Expo, running alongside #BuyaBusiness Expo, 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 business leaders and corporate companies. This expo exposes visitors to a wide range of business models, incubation programmes, business contacts, speakers and other entrepreneurs who will engage them on starting or growing their business.

The Small Business Expo features numerous highlights, including free workshops and talks in the Nedbank Money Matters Theatre, Standard Bank Women in Business Theatre, Eskom Powering Your World theatre and Business Services theatre. Explore exhibits, visit the #BuyaBusiness expo alongside, and explore new business opportunities.

The Small Business Expo is presented by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation and its Business Investment Competition, and will be held from 6–8 September 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome, Northgate. The expo is supported by the Randburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Minara Chamber of Commerce, and is endorsed by the Black Management Forum (BMF) and approved by AAXO.

For more information, visit

31 Aug 2018 11:26


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