This year marks the first time that black business advocacy organisation the Black Business Council (BBC) will participate in Empowertec Africa – a biennial expo that showcases small business opportunities in Africa.
BBC president Ndabe Ntsele says the council’s attendance at Empowertec is a sign of the BBC’s commitment to help address sustainable enterprise development by the historically disadvanted in South Africa.
Empowertec Africa will take place from May 20 to 22 at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand.
“We have decided to throw our weight behind the expo, which focuses on addressing sustainable enterprise development and building viable businesses and committed entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities,” says Ntsele.
Focusing on small business development, Empowertec Africa provides a networking platform designed to showcase opportunities for small, medium-sized and microenterprises, and to facilitate networking opportunities with established businesses.
The expo forms part of the South African Industry and Technology Fair (Indutec), which is a 12-shows-under-one-umbrella event that started in 2013 to promote African economic opportunity. It aims to cultivate worldwide interest in doing business with African countries and companies.
Indutec is a synergistic mix of 12 events targeting the manufacturing, engineering, water, petrochemicals, plastics, energy efficiency, waste and recycling sectors.
Ntsele says the BBC is excited to be part of the conference, as Empowertec dovetails with the BBC’s focus on promoting the incubation of small businesses and its black industrialists development programme in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry.
He explains that the BBC’s participation in the event builds on the council’s decision to prioritise the manufacturing, energy, water and waste treatment, recycling and green-economy sectors. “These sectors have concurrent government support programmes to which we can add impetus,” Ntsele adds.
The BBC is an overarching confederation representing professional business associations and chambers. The main purpose of the organisation is to lobby government on policies and to accelerate the participation of black South Africans in the mainstream economy.
The organisation focuses on job creation, skills acquisition, mentorship, knowledge transfer and the creation of enabling platforms and opportunities for committed entrepreneurs, Ntsele elaborates.
Meanwhile, Empowertec organiser Exhibition Management Services MD John Thomson says his organisation is excited to have the BBC on board. “This will help us improve the show even more and give exhibitors the perfect platform to showcase their products and services to black entrepreneurs and professionals, which form part of a booming market segment.”
He adds that the expo is also the perfect platform for the BBC to find business opportunities and new contacts for their members, and to promote small business development.