67CEOs Initiative Takes Off During Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017

67CEOs is an initiative creating mentorship and guidance platforms for newly established entrepreneurs and SMME’s in partnership with established entrepreneurs who volunteer in service to the entrepreneurial community in the form of mentorship and SMME angel investments.

The Issue Facing Start-ups and SMME’s

In corporate South Africa – and arguably the world – direct access to top management is not common practice. This is justified when we take into consideration the amount of time and energy that Founders and CEOs put into their business. While the entrepreneurial ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth in some countries, we cannot ignore the fact that not all start-up businesses will experience high growth or sustainability to say the least. There a lot of factors that will influence these outcomes, namely; funding, access to market, competition and lack of business mentorship. For the longest time entrepreneurship has been viewed as a lonely journey but the narrative is slowly changing.

A GEN SA Endorsed Event

67CEOs host various strategic events and programmes with the intent to “increase economic inclusion and expand financial and human capital for entrepreneurs and communities facing systemic barriers to economic empowerment and independence.” A platform is created for CEOs who have walked the walk to now talk the talk. More and more business leaders are taking time out to share the knowledge they have obtained on their road to building sustainable businesses. This year the program took place during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week which was officially opened by Sir Richard Branson at the newly launched campus 22 ON SLOANE in Johannesburg, Bryanston. The events in the week to follow the opening of GEW were held with efforts to change the landscape of entrepreneurship in SA.

Panelists and Discussions on the Programme

67CEOs held a four day programme which started on Monday November 13, until Thursday November 16, 2017 focusing on the theme: The Future of Sustainable Job Creation. The order of the day included fireside chats with selected panelists and presentations from guest speakers. Founder of Pitchalot and convener of its initiative 67CEOs, Sam Apata officially opened the program welcoming attendants and briefly explaining the purpose of the initiative. Sam Apata also acted as the moderator of the session with the topic of the day: Promoting Sustainable Youth Entrepreneurship Culture (Solutions to Youth High Unemployment). Panelists included CEO of Africommunications Group Mimi Kalinda, CEO of Mapitsi Holdings (PTY) Ltd Rahab Matabane, and Derrick Ndzavi, CEO of New Discovery BS. Day 2 followed maintaining the standard under the topic: How Industrial Corporations and Start-ups Create Sustainable Jobs. Panelists who delved into this topic were Ntsoaki Phali MD at Beyond Ability Talent Solutions and KK Diaz, CEO of A-Game Business Consulting (Pty) Ltd under the moderation of Derrick Ndzavi, CEO of New Discovery BS. Discussions around the topic Making Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Support & Development the Core of Public-Private Policies took place on Day 3 under the moderation of Rapelang Motsumi. Saki Zamxaka, Group CEO of GGDA took part in the panel discussion. He was joined by Xavier Edziwa, Director of Projects at The Jobs Fund and MD of Transcend Talent Management Zanele Luvuno. The final fireside chat took place on Day 4 with Sam Apata, Founder of Pitchalot and convener of 67CEOs as the moderator and once again Derrick Ndzavi CEO New Discovery BS, on the panel joined by Emmanuel Sir Bonoko, CEO of EBonoko Holdings and EBonoko Foundation.

The conversations allowed panelists to tackle the topics above from all angles. Various issues were unpacked and suggestions for ways to progress from the challenges were put forward by experts on the panel. Click here to watch the conversation unfold on 67CEOs Youtube channel.