Building South Africa as a Nation with SME’s
On 20 June SME.Africa had their first conference in Cape Town at the beautiful Mothership Studios situated in Philadelphia, owned by South African Rockstar Karen Zoid. It was an absolute honour to attend the event, to say the least, and a truly inspirational evening.
Firstly, you must be wondering who is SME.Africa and what they do?
SME.Africa is led by Marnus Broodryk, a young and successful entrepreneur who has a passion for developing South Africa’s economy and empowering small and medium companies by providing them with network and business opportunities. SME.Africa provides practical-support for SME’s by making accounting, tax, labour, legal and other specialists’ advice easily available to business owners. Broodryk understand the necessity of business owners having to stand together in order to continue inventing new products and services, creating jobs, and building the nation.
About the conference:
Upon our arrival at the venue we were greeted by the young, bright eyed and bushy tailed, SME.Africa team. After registration, full of spirit and genuine smiles they pointed us in the direction of the welcome drinks, which was the perfect opportunity to get to know some of the other delegates, share some business information and exchange contact details. Thereafter we were blessed with one of the most magnificent buffet dinners, prepared by the chefs of “De Malle Meul”.
After dinner we all migrated to the atmospheric studio for the speeches of Marnus Broodryk and Pepe Marais. Zoid opened the evening with a couple of songs, which was followed by Broodryk, who shared his experience of being an entrepreneur and all the lessons, do’s and do not’s, that he has accumulated over the past couple of years. He spoke of training the mind in such a way that it gets conditioned to be more productive, changing your lifestyle and surroundings to create the perfect environment for success and growth.
Pepe Marais, group chief creative officer at Joe Public United and a creative inspiration to many, shared his views on leadership and entrepreneurship. Marais has an exceptional view on life itself and how the development of the “self” influences your work environment and etiquette. He strongly believes that if you and your company’s only goal is to make money, failure becomes inevitable. Marais postulates that in finding your personal purpose and how you can serve others with that purpose is what will pave your road to success. If your core beliefs, values and mission has a strong foundation and you live according to your purpose, the money will come, along with genuine joy and self-fulfilment.
The highlight of the evening, without a doubt, was when Pepe Marais picked up a guitar at the end and revealed his “Closet Afrikaans Rocker”.
The evening was filled with laughter, mutual respect between the speakers and delegates, and a sense of belonging was definitely present. I trust that all the delegates walked out of the conference with a shared goal and a need to help the South African economy grow. To start taking action. In essence, live meaningful and happy lives, and serve others with the work we do.