competition economic development economic freedom economic policy enterprise development entrepreneurship Events Featured finance funding innovation insights inspiration Investment media Opportunities public policy social enterprise start-ups wealth youth entrepreneurship

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)


Reward innovation and waive incumbency

IN THE dark ages, circa 1997, I used to know people who would look askance at fellow taxi passengers who asked to disembark at Gross-vena, instead of Grow-vna, the way such people insisted it should be pronounced. It’s not a name you can easily ignore, as it features on both the Bryanston and Rosebank taxi routes. Being neither posh nor street, I was a little unsure on this matter, but the Grow-vna types seemed to have the upper hand.

This strange name pops up around other parts of Johannesburg and many South African cities. It would be a few years before I lived in England and the “right” pronunciation was confirmed. But I did wonder why the English chose the path of soft enunciation when it came to this particular name. The matter was finally settled for me when a man named Gerald Cavendish (another name that pops up everywhere in the South African landscape) Grosvenor, otherwise known as the Duke of Westminster, died last week in Britain.

The story begins with a Frenchman who settled in England during the 11th century as part of the Norman conquest. He was William the Conqueror’s chief huntsman — grand veneur — who was nicknamed Gros Veneur because of his size. It is this French etymology that has left many South Africans twisting their tongues as they go about navigating their cities. A small mercy is that the twang police are a spent force.

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor’s life story is interesting for other reasons too, as it is a study on how great wealth reproduces itself, often from fairly accidental origins.

achievement entrepreneurship political economy start-ups wealth

Majority cannot remain bit players

A SENSE of entitlement. Rent-seeking. Poor work ethic. Crony capitalism. Incompetence. Lack of merit. Victimhood. Race-based policies. These are words and phrases that I, and many others, use as we grapple with what ails the South African economy and society. For a high-growth, inclusive and sustainable economy to flourish, we need clean institutions, efficient business and productive employees.

But these words and phrases have also become code words, part of a lexicon that is deployed to demonise black aspiration. They have become weapons in a war of words about black people’s role in the economy.

entrepreneurship wealth

How BEE fell under the sway of financialisation

Finance over substance?

THE more ambitious among us in my undergraduate years in the 1990s pored over John Pierpont Morgan’s biography. The world was in the clutches of finance capitalism and there was an urgent need to learn how to play this game.

We were merely catching up to a wave of financialisation that had already transformed the major economies, such as the US and the UK, from being industry-led to finance-led. The historical role of finance as facilitating economic activity in the real economy was turned on its head — financial products became the source of value in and of themselves. Even traditional industrial companies such as car manufacturers began to earn a significant share of their profits from consumer-financing activity.

The term financialisation came into use to try to explain this phenomenon; this waning of Main Street in favour of Wall Street, in US-speak. With financialisation, the role, relative size and the influence of the financial sector increases in the economy and in policy making. Resources shift from what economists call the “real” economy of production into the intermediary sector.

Financialisation is more than just the growth of the financial sector. It is also about the supremacy of a view that values financial engineering over substance, ephemeral returns over sustainable growth. In such a scenario, is it not surprising that when it came to conceptualising one of the most important tasks of post-apartheid SA — restoring black South Africans to a meaningful role in the economy — the logic of financialisation took hold. In this context, the idea of creating wealth by building a portfolio of assets through complex and often leveraged financial structures, with little operational input from the new shareholders hardly raised any eyebrows.

The rise of JP Morgan first gave the world the idea that a master of financial wizardry can mould industries just as effectively as an old-school industrialist. But financialisation had not quite set in yet in his time. Far from being just a disinterested financier, Morgan directed the development of key industries in his time, especially the railroad and steel industries. His activism in the real economy provoked the passing of key microeconomic reforms in the form of competition legislation in the US. In our times, the holding company model that Warren Buffett so excels at is not only testament to his financial skills but has much to do with his authority to reorganise businesses according to his vision.

In the case of early black economic empowerment (BEE), the young were nudged into marriages of convenience with the aged. It’s easy to see, with hindsight, how BEE fell under the sway of financialisation. Not that the financial instruments it generated were particularly exotic, but much of it was inspired by deal-making, not being embedded in the real economy.

The necessity of BEE is indisputable. The challenge has been how to get the incentives right. Financially driven structures do not prioritise the genuine development of capability. The new drive to support the emergence of black industrialists would do well to keep finance in its place as an enabler and to focus on creating real wealth.

You can find the rest here: Business Day

competition policy economic development economic policy political economy wealth

The path to riches is paved with crony capitalism

In the wake of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, many of us are reflecting on the type of society we have become. What the report reveals, in line with many other scandals, are the dysfunctions that may emerge in the relationships formed between private service providers, and public sector officials and politicians. The Economist just last week ran with a cover story on ‘The new age of crony capitalism’ based on an index it had created of countries that are friendly to that form of wealth accumulation.

Full article at Daily MaverickThe path to riches is paved with crony capitalism