|What an absolute privilege to have been part of the The Emerald Foundation Vaal and Lusa Community ChestΓÇÖs recent SMME conference!
I have attended many conferences in my line of work and this one ranks with the best. Along with the important factors ensuring the success of a conference, such as the sound system working marvellously, ample toilets, parking and great food, was the very rare gift of each speaker contributing in a meaningful way.
At no time was I ever bored with any speaker, including the master-of-ceremonies. The communications prior to and during the conference were top notch.
How wonderful and inspiring it was to hear first-hand how Eric Tocknell (the founder of Wimpy) started up with his dream in spite of having no capital, and the inventive way in which he acquired it; to learn from the incredible Edith Venter on how to prevent and overcome disastrous mistakes; to be inspired by Linda NtuliΓÇÖs rise from Soweto to his destiny; to be completely awed by Daddy KhuseloΓÇÖs intelligence and grand attitude.
Not to forget the benefit of listening to more top-calibre speakers such as Judi Sandrock (Richard BransonΓÇÖs SA representative) and Paul JonesΓÇÖs entertaining look at creativity and innovation ΓÇô essential qualities for an entrepreneur.
Technical representation was delivered exceptionally by Carel van Aardt from Unisa, Kris Dobie of Ethics SA, Martin Mahmohan of ChemCity (Business Analyst) and an informative Emfuleni manager.
The overall positivity and encouragement received from the speakers for small business owners, especially in the light of a dampened economic environment, was truly heartening.
I, and IΓÇÖm sure all of the delegates, left the conference with a more positive attitude towards the SMME environment in the Vaal, and indeed all of SA. We now know that we made the right decision to start our own businesses.
The Emerald Foundation and Lusa Community Chest clearly showed how much they value SMMEs by organising such an event and for the incredible, free, business training the Foundation provides. And to encourage us even further by awarding prizes and recognition to those business owners who, after being trained by them, succeed in transforming their businesses.
Huge ΓÇ£kudosΓÇ¥ to the sponsors, of which there are too many to mention here. If you missed out on this incredible opportunity this year, be sure to diarise next yearΓÇÖs event on the 15th & 16th of August 2012.
* In conclusion, I and many other delegates were thrilled that almost all of the speakers were not too shy to praise God for their strength and successes. God Bless South Africa.