Johannesburg, 28 January 2016 – In a bid to empower its incubatees, Riversands Incubation Hub held its first Business Club on 21 January 2016 with much success. Facilitator at local business schools in areas of strategy, finance and leadership, Thabo Mosala was the key note speaker. He gave business owners valuable lessons to help them succeed on their business journeys.
About ten small business owners from various industries such as construction, engineering and communications, clothing and textile as well as financial services attended the event. While the group was small, the session was highly interactive and engaging. Mosala touched on a number of issues including strategy, finance and leadership. He urged entrepreneurs to constantly be aware of what’s going on around them such as the economic and political situation.
According to Mosala, what kills small businesses the most is what’s happening in the external environment and not so much the internal environment. “As a small business owner, you must immerse yourself in research so you can evaluable opportunities and threats,” he said. To drive home the importance of being innovative, Mosala said, “we are all endangered species.” He explained that business lifecycles are becoming shorter and there’s intra industry competition.
To survive, strategic entrepreneurship is what’s needed according to Mosala.
“Nowadays everyone is playing in everyone’s field. You can’t afford to relax, your competitive advantage is temporary. You must constantly evolve and explore new ways to grow your business, otherwise somebody is going to eat your lunch,” said Mosala.
Some of the things Mosala suggest entrepreneurs do evolve are to consider disruptive innovations, forming mutually beneficial alliances as well as freemiums – a business model that allows a consumer to receive basic services for free, but requires them to pay for any service deemed to be premium.
When it comes to finances Mosala stressed the importance of being disciplined when paying yourself as a small business owner, managing working capital and minimising credit.
Entrepreneurs pleased with Mosala’s insights
Small business owners who attended the event praised Mosala for his insights and said they’ll use what they learnt to improve themselves and their businesses.
“The event was exceptional. I’ve never been exposed to such useful information in a short space of time. Coming here was worth it,” said Theo Kwete from Techneg – an engineering and communications business. Another business owner, Fatima Mofokeng from EKARES Twilight – a clothing company – said the Riversands Business Club was interesting, she loved everything and learnt a lot. Like many of the entrepreneurs who attended, Mofokeng said she would like to see more events like the Business Club being held at Riversands. The good news is the Riversands Business Club is a monthly event and the February event is already in the works. The Business Club is open to all business owners.
According to Nicola Neal, Head of SME Development at Riversands, in 2016 SME Development will extend its training offering by having a range of programmes entrepreneurs can access, including the Riversands Business Club. Neal added, the Business Club is one of the ways SME Development is using to deliver services that speak to the requirements of entrepreneurs and enable business growth.
By Simangele Mzizi