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SMALL BUSINESS FORUM – you’re not alone.

The Small Business Forum is aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners. Focussed on development and the achievement of success, it offers a phenomenal level of access to networking, expert advice, advertising and training – pretty much all you need to help get your business off the ground.

The forum will operate in both an online and offline environment. The website houses a database of small businesses potentially of interest to other small businesses. It functions simultaneously as a directory and advertising portal with the added benefit of being able to host web pages for companies that don’t yet have a website.

As a knowledge-sharing network, the Small Business Forum facilitates regular events and training workshops. For this, it draws upon an expert pool of knowledge from a mentor panel with extensive experience in business development. The mentor panel is an advisory body, made up of a variety of people: venture capitalists, authors and successful entrepreneurs, each with expertise in facets that contribute to the success of a small business.

Focusing on entrepreneurial success stories, inspiring keynote speakers are invited to share their experience through personal case studies at Small Business Forum events. An adjunct to the event is the ‘Soapbox’, which gives five attendant small businesses the opportunity to address the audience for one minute ‘elevator pitch’ to generate awareness of their business offering.

To augment this knowledge sharing platform, the Small Business Forum offers niche training seminars designed to address crucial aspects of business ownership where small businesses and entrepreneurs may lack expertise.

The first meeting and launch of The Small Business Forum takes place on Tuesday, 4th of March, at 7h30 at The Wanderers Club in Illovo. Setting the tone are Jochen Korbmann of Senior Experten Services (SES) and Mandy Mankazana, who will be presenting a report back on the re-positioning and turn-around of Mankazana’s tour company as a case study. The value of this case study is sharpened with the input of SES, a group of retired German businessmen who utilise their accumulated knowledge in a mentoring and business coaching capacity, which they apply to entrepreneurial start-up’s and small businesses worldwide.

An entrepreneurial prodigy, Jabu Stone, of Afrocentric Design and the Jabu Stone line of hair care products, will take things a step further.

Stone has launched a substantial business specialising in glossy, natural dreadlocks and the hair care products developed to maintain them. He will explain how, in ten years, he has built a company from nothing to a R25 million per annum turn over, much of that derived from the manufacturing labs and marketing and distribution network he has established in the United States to cater for black American communities. Stone is clearly an entrepreneur through and through and, from his beginnings in a kitchen in Yeoville, has reached an unprecedented level of success that looks set to grow. Success and growth is what the The Small Business Forum is all about.

The launch of the Small Business Forum takes place at the Wanderer’s Club, North Road, Illovo and starts at 7h30. Tickets cost R200 per person and booking is essential. Contact Jain McGuigan or Sarah McGuigan of Chocolate Shoebox on the number alongside or visit the website alongside.

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