Bringing Soweto and Sandton business together over breakfast
The Sandton Region of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is spearheading an initiative to bring together Sandton corporates and township entrepreneurs from Soweto and other regions within Gauteng.
Taking the form of a business breakfast, the aim is to close the perception gap between largely northern suburb-based corporates and Soweto’s entrepreneurs.
The first of these breakfasts, sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) is to be held on May 9th, 2017 in Soweto.
According to Vincent Charnley, Chairman of JCCI Sandton “Soweto’s economy is estimated to be around R560-billion annually and is serviced by a broad spectrum of business. The challenges entrepreneurs face here are similar to those facing all emerging entrepreneurs (township industrialists) in South Africa.”
These challenges include lack of access to affordable skills training, mentorship, access to markets - particularly those traditionally serviced by large corporates, as well as capital and growth constraints.
“Through these regular networking sessions we hope to create a better understanding among corporates of some of the difficulities these emerging entrepreneurs face and what can enable them to achieve sustainable growth,” he added.
We urgently need a plan to assist and help grow entrepreneurs in townships otherwise we will see increased crime, impoverishment and a general breakdown in our wider society,” said Sakhumzi Maqubela, founder and owner of the well known Sakhumzi Restaurant and Chairman of the JCCI in Soweto.
Entrepreneurship and management consultant Riaan Steenberg will be guest speaker at the May breakfast, while Entrepreneurship trainer Henry Sebata will assist in facilitating the discussions between corporates and entrepreneurs.
It is envisaged that 25 CEO’s or senior executives from Sandton will attend this breakfast with a further 25 entrepreneurs from Soweto. The latter range from the hospitality and tourism sector, retailers (large scale to smaller mid-sized and Spaza shops), automotive and panel beaters, property developers and agents as well as building and construction representatives.
Those interested in attending the breakfast should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Charmain Hawtrey on 011 726 5300.