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VALUE FORUM: SA entrepreneurs expanding their horizons

South African businesses need to start considering themselves as part of the global economy and putting in place structures that allow them to operate in a global marketplace. This was one of the key takeaways from the first “Value Forum” entrepreneur networking event hosted by Addison Advisory in conjunction with Peregrine Treasury Solutions, marketing consultancy Firejuice and financial Problem-Solving resource Decusatio in Rivonia recently.

Guy Addison, CEO of Addison Advisory said: “If you read the news headlines, you would be hard-pressed to find positive news stories around South African business levels. It was great to be able to share some insights – and good news – around a recent transaction we were involved in. I got the sense that entrepreneurs left the event with a realisation that while the South African market is tough right now, there remain entrepreneurs building investable businesses and so creating significant wealth in the process”

value-forum-sa-entrepreneurs-expanding-their-horizons

Value Forum hosts first entrepreneur networking event

“As South Africans, we tend to be very inwardly focused when it comes to our business activities,” said Bianca Botes, Peregrine Treasury Solutions adding: “Economic growth in South Africa over the last decade has been benign at best and we tend to think of these as “normal”. We forget that developed markets like Europe and the US as well as Asia continue to offer very real opportunities for South African businesses but they need to start structuring their businesses to play in a global marketplace.”

Bernard Jansen the founder of marketing consultancy Firejuice said: “Listening to the discussions around the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the global marketplace, it struck me that marketers themselves love to use global platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn as their “go-to” platforms for marketing their businesses but there was little focus on how to make their brands relevant and personal to the needs of customers. I think this represents a fantastic opportunity for SA marketers and entrepreneurs both locally and globally.”

Marc Ashton from financial Problem-Solving resource Decusatio: “As somebody who is an investor in a healthcare start-up with global aspirations, it has required a mind-shift around how I look at the global marketplace. Where do I place my Intellectual Property? Where should we think about putting our cash? How do we build up international distribution?

These are all key issues for us and we are having to apply our minds to finding partners who can help us ultimately take this step.”

Addison concludes: “I was encouraged by the demographic of the event with entrepreneurs representing a variety of sectors including food, financial services, stock exchange operators, healthcare and technology. These were entrepreneurs who had opened their minds up to the global marketplace and were looking to collaborate with credible partners to help them achieve their goals. At a time when the news cycle is often negative, I thought this was an encouraging sign.”

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