Essence Festival continues to empower entrepreneurs

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Essence Festival continues to empower entrepreneurs

The second day of the Essence Festival Business Conference at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre presented much need guidelines for entrepreneurs on how to run successful companies in a rapidly changing business world.

Addressing the business community on 9 November, seasoned entrepreneur and former Toyota Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brand Pretorius said the key to a successful business is to embrace change.  “Utilising technology is the key to success in the forever revolving business environment as it ensures that you are ahead of the market and helps you cut unnecessary costs,” he said.

Good leadership skills are also critical, said Pretorius, adding that sound morals and emotional intelligence are also high on the list for a successful business recipe.

Social responsibility and retaining a positive vision was also among Pretorius’s business guidelines, which received huge applause from the audience.

Discussions aimed at empowering local entrepreneurs with critical business information focussed on “access to finance and financing opportunities”, with speakers saying this is one of the biggest obstacles that leads to business failure.

Speakers included Hlengiwe Makhathini, from the National Empowerment Fund, Busi Skenjana, the founder of Stokvel Voice Magazine Publisher and Cynthia Peinke, from Industrial Development Corporation.

Makhathini informed emerging business owners about how to obtain funding from her organisation, while Skenjana, who runs a successful stokfel advised entrepreneurs on how to save and efficiently run their own businesses.

Peinke said the core role of her organisation is to fund manufactures, adding that they also provide assistance on how to construct a business plan.

Acceleration of economic transformation in Africa and promoting sustainable industrialisation was also discussed.

In addition, a meeting between the California Black Chamber of Commerce, Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, KwaZulu-Natal Trade and Investment and KwaZulu-Natal Coalition was a success and helped create business linkages.

Bongiwe Mkhize, from the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Unit said: “What emerged during the meeting is that the United States of America is benefitting greatly from online sale while it is very slow on our side.  We agreed to come up with a strategy that will help more of our entrepreneurs to do online sales.”

The festival will kick off with a Women Empowerment Breakfast and a Lifestyle Seminar on, 10 November.

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