What we learned from the Small Business Expo

2018’s instalment of the Small Business Expo brought together a host of small and medium enterprises in a space that ultimately sought to empower them. The Small Business Expo is an annual trade show held at the Ticketpro Dome. It exposes visitors attending to a wide range of businesses, incubators, contracts, speakers and entrepreneurs in general. As such, the Thriving Team was in its element!

Brought to you by Reeds Exhibitions, the event saw an array of entrepreneurs engaging on starting and growing successful businesses. Reed Exhibitions is identified as the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 30 countries, and serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events.

So, what was our biggest lesson at this year’s Expo? It’s simple: SMEs matter.

To begin with, we noted that SMEs are responsible for 65% of employment across the world and as dire as the unemployment issue is in South Africa, matters could be much worse without the existence of SMEs. Many of the speakers at the event, including serial entrepreneur York Zucchi and founder of Business Process Mechanics, Marang Marekimane, agreed that SMEs are the drivers of economic growth and development in South Africa.

Furthermore, it became clear that SMEs have a lot to benefit from each other! Picture this: an economy in which SMEs had the power and resources to create an ecosystem in which they could support and depend on one another. This was a strong suggestion from Dionne Kerr, CEO of Siyakha Consulting. She mused that if SMEs could supply for and buy from one another, as opposed to reaching out to large corporations, they could experience significant growth…

Lastly, while surrounded by all of this brilliance, the Thriving Team learned that the entrepreneurial dream is well within reach and attainable. A single space buzzing with the Dream Chasers, the Game Changers and the Boss Ladies showed us that South Africa, and Africa at large, are filled with nothing short of a Thriving Spirit. So if you’re reading this and you’re looking for something or someone to tell you that your dream is valid, we have this to say: Go forth and thrive!

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