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Staff Writer | 15 August 2023

Small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and stakeholders are invited to participate in the inaugural Vodacom Business small and medium enterprise (SME) summit.

The SME Thrive Summit, a hybrid event, will take place on 18 August, from 9am to 2pm.

In a statement, Vodacom Business says the SME Thrive Summit aims to provide small businesses with resources, knowledge and networking opportunities.

The day will feature a series of informative sessions, exhibits by small business owners, keynote presentations, live master classes and panel discussions, it states.

Topics to be covered include access to finance, how to leverage digital marketing tools, and tips on how businesses can protect themselves against cyber security threats.

“SMEs remain a crucial foundation of the South African economy,” says Buhle Vilakazi, executive head of SME at Vodacom South Africa. “We recognise their vital contribution in fostering innovation, creating jobs and spurring economic growth throughout the country.

“With the introduction of this summit, we are hoping to foster financial change and help SMEs grow their business, which will influence the country’s economic performance.”

Data shows SMEs account for approximately 98% of South Africa’s business network. However, SME businesses continue to take strain and face challenges preventing them from fulfilling their potential.

Expert speakers and industry leaders, including William Mzimba, outgoing Vodacom Business CEO; Mandisa Mpeko, supplier development manager of The Innovator Trust; and Nkgabesing Motau, co-founder of Think Creative Africa, will share their insights, experience and best practices to guide SMEs in overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.

By attending, two entrepreneurs will stand a chance to win a full-day business consultation with Vodacom South Africa CEO Sitho Mdlalose and other executives, as well as a cash prize of R50 000 towards expanding their business. Other prizes include business tech, digital marketing credits and point-of-sale devices.

“We’d like to call on small business owners to collaborate with Vodacom to co-create the solutions required to address their business challenges,” states Vilakazi.

The in-person event will take place at Vodacom World in Midrand.

To participate in the online version of the event, register here.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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