The 7th Annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo A Resounding Success
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The 7th annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo took place over 2 days in March and was a resounding success on every level.
Day 1: Inspiring Local Speakers
Day 1 saw some 800 SME and entrepreneur delegates looking for inspiration and direction on ways to leverage the buy local message.
Inspiration came from speakers that set the room alight including small business guru Pavlo Phitidis, the so called ‘brandfather’, Jeremy Sampson, DStv Delicious Festival founder Lloyd Cornwall who burst on to the stage to LL Cool J’s “I’m bad” (but he was good), businessman and radio business show host, Rams Mabote and the irrepressible Vusi Thembekwayo.
Delegates learnt where to find money, where to look for new markets, how to build brand love, and even how to dress for success, courtesy of Edgar’s (outfits all locally made, of course).
We even brought in 14 different entities in a One Stop Shop to help our delegates resolve admin, red tape and legislative issues with the likes of SARS, dti, UIF and others.
Case numbers were created, reference numbers generated and plenty of simple answers to complex solutions were given. Sorted. Once you’re fully compliant and registered with all the correct bodies, you’re good to go and chase those contracts.
Day 2: Expo Success and Invaluable Business Insights
Day 2 and 200 Proudly South African member companies had set up shop in our Expo Hall (all free of charge to them, by virtue of their membership) and they did brisk business all day, thanks in part to a business match making service we introduced this year for the first time.
We are still calculating the value of the deals done, with many more in the pipeline but we know from feedback from our members that is was extremely lucrative for many of them. And a new contact is a new lead, whatever the outcome.
Meanwhile, down in the plenary hall we were talking all things local procurement. Minister Rob Davies gave the keynote address - he’s a fierce supporter of the buy local movement and set a great tone for the day. Radio personality and businessman Andile Khumalo steered proceedings and ran a panel on the roles and responsibilities of each of the public and private sectors in supporting smaller, local businesses. And the conclusion was, it’s a collective responsibility.
Young firebrand fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo spoke about his business journey and how he’s remained faithful to his E Cape roots, keeping both the designs and the raw material of his colourful clothing line local.
And then we put a panel of politicians together in the ring with referee Redi Tlhabi and asked who was doing most for local procurement and who would be buying their 2019 election paraphernalia here and not ordering millions of Rands’ worth of merchandise from China. There was no KO, but a few verbal punches might have been thrown…
We closed with a spectacular fashion show, inspired by the local ranges in Edgars and Jet stores…and then we headed to the closing cocktail. Look out for dates in early 2019 to participate in the next Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo.
Remember - buy local to create jobs.
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