SA desperately needs jobs and economic development but with government coming under increasing pressure to reduce its wage bill, and the corporate sector similarly pushing for greater efficiency in a recessionary economy, the only remaining hope for job growth is the SME sector. In order to significantly grow SMEs, we need to provide them with access to market opportunities, finance, technical support, and mentorship.
Since the revised B-BBEE codes came into effect, many corporates have ventured down the path toward becoming ESD champions. However, apart from a handful of notable success stories, this has largely proven to be a frustrating exercise with limited impact on emerging black-owned SMEs. Successful ESD has the potential to substantially drive real and lasting change in South Africa but we need to start respecting the intention of the legislation, develop platforms for collaborative ESD initiatives, and move away from the notion that ESD is merely a compliance exercise.
Join us as we hear from Adam Ismail, Partner in Corporate Practice at Webber Wentzel, who will sketch the background as to why ESD has become so important for corporates in relation to the B-BBEE codes. Tanner Methvin, Partner at Impact Amplifier, will take us through the findings of the report that they partnered with New York University (NYU) on, around the impact of Enterprise Development in SA. Pavlo Phitidis, CEO at Aurik Business Accelerator, will share some of their initiatives that have had a massive impact. Aurik was born in 2000 from a genesis of starting, investing and building business into Assets of Value, and has since gone on to build over 400 early-stage and growth-stage businesses into Assets of Value.