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Social Enterprise Masterclass Challenges Delegates to Build Sustainable Organisations

The concept of social enterprise has gone mainstream over the past few years, reflecting a desire for new ways to create economic value in a manner that delivers measurable social impact. This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week kicked off on 10 November at the continent’s largest start-up campus, 22 on Sloane in Bryanston. On Wednesday 15 November, the venue hosted masterclasses on various aspects of entrepreneurship such as social entrepreneurship, funding strategies for small business, purpose-driven enterprise, as well as inclusive growth.

The first session, Social Enterprise and Impact Investment, kicked off with Mbali Zamisa, enterprise Programme Coordinator of the South African Breweries Foundation talking about various SAB Foundation enterprises that seek to fund various small businesses. These include the Tholana Enterprise, which seeks to empower marginalised groups such as women, youth and rural business.

The room comprised mostly of determined and engaged entrepreneurs whose business’ life span ranged from one to five years old. Rudzani Mulaudzi from Grades Match and Nneile Nkholise from Likoebe Innovation Consultants spoke about impact investment and measurement.

No let-down was The Disruptors author Kerryn Krige’s talk on the complexities and contradictions of social entrepreneurship and especially what it really is. Her talk featured many salient questions and statements that served as food for thought for entrepreneurs:

  • How am I going build stability in this organization?
  • Legitimacy and authenticity are inextricably linked
  • Funding social value in a sustainable way
  • Social enterprise blends income methods which enables you to have control over the types of income you bring in
  • It’s not about how much money you get!


Other important take-aways were about were remembering that ‘‘your story is more important than your numbers but use numbers to back up your stories (“finance people aren’t as stupid as they look!”), and the importance of doing homework on your investor, needing your investor to offer more than just money, and enhancing your own ‘‘investability’’.

The Future of Sustainable Job Creation talk with Managing Director Zanele Luvuno of Transcend Talent Management explored the ways in which policy creation can aid job creation and exposed challenges with implementing BEE legislation. The objective was to invite professionals to see beyond corporate life and tap into research and business development facilities to pursue small business development.

The last session on Integrating the Township and Informal economy by Sifiso Moyo was a dialogical sitting that had all delegates debating on the ways in which the township could benefit more from entrepreneurial ventures. Moyo asked critical questions that involved historical facts, relevant statistics and real-life case studies to observe and analyse successes and failures of a few entrepreneurial ventures in the township. The theme of the Township Renaissance was an indispensable topic that pushed the entrepreneurs, many who are from the township, to shift mentality and think of innovative ways of serving their communities with the intention of creating a strong township eco-system in which the rand would circulate numerous times and not only once in a context where R2.2 billion rand is generated out of township economy annually. This challenge presented the opportunity for township entrepreneurs to become real and legitimate competitors with big competitors and franchises.

Global Entrepreneurship Week endeavours to host more events in which more entrepreneurs will actively and consciously engage with like-minded peers who have succeeded such as Vusi Thembekwayo, who graced this week’s first event. The Masterclasses were informative, thought-provoking, and mostly motivating to the passionate and driven young youth who came to learn from the best in the business.

Written by: Gabaza Tiba (Makhaya Advisory)

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Fate of democratic ideal is in the hands of ordinary people

We enter 2017 as a nation in trouble: from submerged rage, from politesse that hid raw racism, from complacency, from unfulfilled dreams. Last year was not pretty. But is this atmosphere of pessimism, hand-wringing, finger-pointing and lamenting justified? I don’t think so. And I hope this year heralds the beginning of a correction.

The South African project is a work in progress. Indeed, no nation has perfected this kind of creature: a diverse, open and democratic society. The US may come to mind as a prosperous melting pot built by immigrants, but even today it still matters whether you landed on those shores on the Mayflower or in chains. As outgoing President Barack Obama likes to point out, the American ideal has yet to be perfected. There is a gap between ideal and reality that each generation must grapple with.

The South African project was, is and always will be vulnerable to attack. In the early 1990s there was no shortage of critics who predicted how “black rule” would surely fail. The ideal of a diverse, open and democratic society is an abomination to supremacists and nationalists of every hue.

The first generation to lead after apartheid, men and women who became free after a lifetime of battle, rallied around the “rainbow nation” as the vision for the new SA.

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Ratings reprieve for now…S&P affirms SA’s ratings

Extracts from S&P statement:

Low GDP growth is putting South Africa’s economic metrics at risk and could eventually weaken the government’s social contract with business and labor.

Rising political tensions are accentuating vulnerabilities in the country’s sovereign credit profile. Still, energy sector improvements will likely reduce some of the economic bottlenecks and pending finalization of labor and mining reforms could engender a positive confidence shock. On the fiscal side, the government is showing greater resolve to reduce fiscal deficits at a faster pace than we expected.

We are therefore affirming our ‘BBB-/A-3’ foreign currency and ‘BBB+/A-2’ local currency ratings on South Africa.

The outlook remains negative, reflecting the potential adverse consequences of low GDP growth and signaling that we could lower our ratings on South Africa this year or next if policy measures do not turn the economy around.



South Africa’s weak economic growth, relative to that of peers in similar wealth categories, continues to be hurt by a combination of factors, in our view. On the external side, adverse terms of trade and weak external demand have created headwinds. On the domestic side, drought and subdued mining and manufacturing output, coupled with structural constraints, remain key negative factors. Largely due to some of these cyclical factors, we have revised down our real GDP growth assumptions for South Africa to 0.6% in 2016 from our 1.6% forecast published in December 2015. As weather patterns and terms of trade revert to mean levels, economic growth should improve.

However, to place South Africa’s economy on firmer footing and to maintain our investment-grade rating, we see several structural measures as key. The first is the provision of a reliable source of energy, where we have observed progress. Eskom, the state-owned power utility, has improved the energy supply through a better maintenance program, managing demand in peak periods, and by additions from its new power plants and from independent power producers. The combined measures have helped eliminate load shedding, which was prevalent in the last winter cycle and depressed overall 2015 economic growth.

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Share your story as an entrepreneur, creator, small business owner…

So you are a creator/entrepreneur/small business owner and you’d like to be featured on like Julie Taylor of Guns and Rain here? To be considered for the mzansiQ+A, please answer at least five questions. No essays, please keep your responses succinct. Email responses to

  1. Please tell us about yourself (founder/s, the people behind the venture).
  1. Please tell us about your products/services. [What do you produce/offer, what need are trying to meet with your products/service, what makes your product stand out in the market, why should customers buy from you?]
  1. Where do you manufacture the product that you offer (country)?
  1. Please tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur. Have you always wanted to become self-employed? What inspired you to become self-employed?
  1. Do you employ other people (if yes, how many)?
  1. Do you think that entrepreneurs are supported and encouraged in South Africa? Please share your thoughts on the business environment as it has impacted on your business.
  1. What have been the major challenges you have confronted in setting up and running your business?
  1. Do you compete with any major corporates (or state institutions)? If so, what has the experience of competing with “giants” taught you?
  1. Do you compete with products/services from other countries (imports)? If so, how is your product differentiated from these imports?
  1. Do you export your products/services to other countries? If so, what have you learnt from the experience of competing internationally?
  1. What has been your funniest moment to date in business?
  1. What are the achievements you are most proud of?
  1. Are you looking to raise finance in the next six months? How much?
  1. Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time? And 20 years’ time?
  1. If you ran things (the country, a province, a government department), what changes in policy or legislation would you make to improve the business environment?
  1. Anything else you would like to share with our readers? (including upcoming events, promotions etc.)?

Do send us any pictures, graphics and videos that you would like to accompany the story, with copyright details (i.e. whom to credit).

Many thanks for your participation.

Team Mzansipreneur

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Corrosive emphasis on black victimhood

What Hammanskraal taught me about black economic success:

This was a tough place, not designed to nurture hopes and aspirations but, at best, to provide labour for the city of Pretoria and the farms surrounding it. But people made a life in the melting pot of languages and cultures that drew from each other’s strengths. In particular, Ndebele-speaking families were known to pool their resources in exceptionally successful rotating schemes, using them in two main ways — building sizeable houses and starting businesses, including entering the nascent taxi industry. They took the little that Hammanskraal gave anyone and multiplied it many times over.

There were other role models. A certain Habakuk Shikwane also once took refuge in Hammanskraal and built a thriving business there. This was a man who had started his cane manufacturing business from nothing to become an industrialist and an exporter. Herman Mashaba also comes to mind as an industrialist from those dusty streets.

This is to say, as a child in a place often dismissed or written about in horribly stereotypical ways, one was not short of good role models for economic success.

Studying economics and business in elite institutions did not make me feel as though I was being inducted into an unknown world. I did not harbour any doubt about my own people’s capability to achieve prosperity, even under the most difficult circumstances. Despite apartheid, some black South Africans found a way to attain some financial security. They would have been wealthier, no doubt, if left to flourish unconstrained.

So, I’m confused by the popular characterisation, perpetuated by racists, do-gooders and some black people, of black South Africans as economic innocents and illiterates who need every crutch imaginable to succeed. Or as superficial consumerists who can’t resist bling and debt. I see ordinary black people buckling under the weight of these stereotypes and assumptions, which threaten to be self-fulfilling.

Trudi Makhaya is CEO of Makhaya Advisory.

Read the rest here: Business Day