Business Growth Strategies for 2024 – The South African Context

As we start with 2024 and look at the opportunities and promises of a new year, many of you would be contemplating the formulation of effective business growth strategies for 2024. Following a series of arduous years in the aftermath of the global pandemic, the business climate is witnessing a resurgence of optimism. In this article, we delve into the macro factors that typify the business environment, unraveling insightful strategies designed to capitalize on unfolding trends. As we navigate the landscape post-COVID challenges, our goal is to furnish business leaders with a strategic roadmap not only for recovery but for flourishing amidst the transformations of 2024.

Business Growth Strategies for 2024 Considering the Current Economic Outlook

Looking ahead to 2024, South Africa’s economic scene is a slightly challenging. Businesses need to grasp what’s going on quickly and plan smart if they want to grow. So, let’s consider some of  the important factors  that’s shaping how things look and find smart ways for businesses to do well even when there are economic hurdles.

  1. Modest Growth and Resilience: The projected modest economic growth of 1.5-2.5% according to Investec, signifies a period of stabilization after the slowdown experienced in 2023. While the growth rates may not be stellar, the resilience of the South African economy is noteworthy. Entrepreneurs should view this as an opportunity to consolidate and strengthen their foundations, focusing on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

    Strategy: Implementing Lean Operations and Customer-Centric Approaches

    Embracing lean principles in operations can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall competitiveness. Simultaneously, businesses should adopt a customer-centric approach, investing in customer experience initiatives to retain and attract clients in a moderate-growth environment.

  2. Currency Depreciation and Financial Management: The potential depreciation of the Rand due to weaker trade balances and elevated debt repayments poses a challenge for businesses dependent on imports and foreign investment. Strategic financial management is crucial to mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations.

    Strategy: Robust Financial Planning and Currency Hedging

    Entrepreneurs should conduct thorough financial planning, reassessing budgetary allocations and expenditure. Additionally, implementing currency hedging strategies, negotiating forward contracts, and diversifying suppliers across different currencies can help mitigate the risks associated with currency depreciation.

  3. Leveraging Stable Inflation for Innovation: With the inflation rate projected to remain within the central bank’s target range of 3-6%, businesses have an opportunity to channel resources into innovation and growth initiatives. Stable inflation provides a conducive environment for strategic investments without the volatility that high inflation might introduce.

    Strategy: Investing in Research and Development (R&D) and Market Expansion

    Businesses can allocate funds towards R&D activities to develop new products or improve existing ones. Furthermore, stable inflation allows for strategic market expansion, whether through geographic diversification or tapping into new customer segments.

  4. Global Economic Dynamics and Export Opportunities: South Africa’s economic outlook is intricately connected to global trends. Rising geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions pose risks but also create opportunities for businesses to explore new export markets.

    Strategy: Diversification and Agility in International Trade

    Entrepreneurs should diversify their export markets to reduce dependency on specific regions and embrace agility in adapting to changing global dynamics. Understanding the geopolitical landscape and proactively adjusting export strategies can position businesses to navigate global uncertainties effectively.

The economic outlook for South Africa in 2024 requires businesses to adopt a multifaceted strategy that combines resilience, financial prudence, innovation, and global awareness. By embracing the opportunities inherent in modest growth, mitigating the risks associated with currency depreciation, and strategically leveraging stable inflation, businesses can position themselves not just to weather the economic climate but to thrive and contribute to the overall economic resilience of South Africa.

The Political Landscape: Capitalizing on Reform Dynamics

The political landscape of South Africa in 2024 is marked by a confluence of factors that introduce both uncertainty and the potential for significant policy shifts. As the nation prepares for national and provincial elections, businesses must proactively engage with the evolving political scenario to navigate challenges and identify opportunities for growth. Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of the political landscape and explore strategies that align with the dynamics of this crucial environment.

  1. National and Provincial Elections: The looming national and provincial elections in 2024 bring a degree of unpredictability to the business environment. Different electoral outcomes can lead to diverse policy directions, influencing economic and regulatory landscapes.

    Strategy: Scenario Planning and Contingency Preparation

    Businesses should engage in meticulous scenario planning, considering various election outcomes and their potential impacts on policies affecting their industry. By identifying key risk areas and developing contingency plans, businesses can position themselves to adapt swiftly to changes in the regulatory environment.

  2. Socio-Economic Reforms and Policy Continuity: Regardless of the election results, the demand for socio-economic reforms is likely to persist. Incumbents, to maintain public support, may push for progressive policies. Understanding the nuances of these potential reforms is crucial for businesses to align their strategies.

    Strategy: Aligning Business Practices with Reform Objectives

    Entrepreneurs should proactively align their business practices with emerging reform agendas. This could involve adopting sustainable and responsible business practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and contributing to community development initiatives. By doing so, businesses not only comply with potential regulatory changes but also position themselves as contributors to positive societal development.

  3. Political Stability and Investment Confidence: Political stability plays a pivotal role in fostering a conducive environment for business growth. A stable political climate instills confidence among investors, encouraging both domestic and foreign investments.

    Strategy: Active Engagement with Government and Stakeholders

    Businesses should actively engage with government representatives, industry associations, and other stakeholders to voice concerns, provide input on proposed policies, and contribute to the dialogue on issues impacting the business community. By fostering open communication, businesses can play a role in maintaining political stability and building a supportive business environment.

  4. Policy Implementation Challenges: Even if policies are formulated with positive intentions, the challenges lie in their effective implementation. Delays, bureaucratic hurdles, and changing priorities can impact the timely execution of policies.

    Strategy: Building Adaptive Business Models

    Entrepreneurs should develop adaptive business models that can accommodate policy changes and navigate implementation challenges. This includes staying informed about policy developments, actively participating in consultation processes, and being agile in adjusting business strategies as the regulatory landscape evolves.

The political landscape in South Africa for 2024 presents a dual challenge and opportunity for businesses. By engaging in proactive scenario planning, aligning with reform objectives, fostering political stability through active participation, and building adaptive business models, entrepreneurs can not only navigate the uncertainties but also capitalize on the potential opportunities that may arise. In doing so, businesses can play an active role in shaping a business-friendly political environment that fosters sustainable growth and development.

Infrastructure and Energy: Growth Potential through Strategic Partnerships and Energy Innovation

As South Africa propels itself into 2024, the emphasis on infrastructure development and addressing energy challenges becomes increasingly critical. These two interconnected facets hold the key to unlocking new opportunities and spurring economic growth. In this section, we will explore the intricacies of infrastructure investment, public-private partnerships, and innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of persistent energy shortages.

  1. Public-Private Partnerships and Infrastructure Investment: South Africa is set to witness a surge in infrastructure investment driven by public-private partnerships. Major projects, including developments in rail and ports, present lucrative opportunities for businesses in the construction and related sectors.

    Strategy: Active Participation in Public-Private Partnerships

    Entrepreneurs should actively explore partnerships with governmental bodies involved in infrastructure projects. This includes engaging in the bidding process, forming consortia, and leveraging industry expertise to secure contracts. Collaborating with the public sector not only opens new revenue streams but also positions businesses as key contributors to the nation’s development agenda.

    Strategy: Diversification of Services

    Companies can strategically diversify their service offerings to align with the needs of major infrastructure projects. This may involve expanding into specialized construction services, logistics, or technology solutions tailored to enhance the efficiency of large-scale developments.

  2. Mitigating Load Shedding: Persistent energy shortages, often manifested through load shedding, pose significant challenges to businesses, leading to increased operational costs and decreased productivity. Mitigating the impact of load shedding requires innovative solutions and strategic planning.

    Strategy: Investment in Alternative Energy Sources

    Entrepreneurs should explore and invest in alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, or biomass. This not only ensures a more reliable and sustainable energy supply but also positions businesses as environmentally conscious, meeting the growing demand for sustainable practices.

    Strategy: Energy-Efficient Technologies and Practices

    Implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices is crucial for businesses to minimize the impact of energy disruptions. This includes the adoption of smart technologies, improved energy management systems, and the incorporation of energy-efficient equipment to enhance overall operational resilience.

  3. Infrastructure Resilience Planning: Infrastructure projects, despite their potential, are susceptible to disruptions caused by various factors such as natural disasters, regulatory changes, or funding constraints. Businesses involved in these projects need to implement strategies for resilience planning.

    Strategy: Risk Management and Contingency Planning

    Businesses should conduct comprehensive risk assessments and develop contingency plans to address potential disruptions to infrastructure projects. This involves identifying critical dependencies, maintaining robust financial reserves, and establishing alternative supply chain routes to mitigate unforeseen challenges.

    Strategy: Technology Integration for Monitoring and Maintenance

    Leveraging technology for real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity and functionality of infrastructure projects. Businesses should invest in sensors, data analytics, and other technological solutions to proactively address issues before they escalate, reducing downtime and operational risks.

The intersection of infrastructure development and energy solutions in South Africa’s 2024 business landscape presents a canvas for innovative strategies and collaboration. By actively participating in public-private partnerships, diversifying services, investing in alternative energy sources, implementing energy-efficient technologies, and incorporating resilience planning into infrastructure projects, businesses can not only navigate challenges but also play a pivotal role in shaping a more robust and sustainable future for South Africa.

Embracing Technological Solutions and Digital Transformation

With the fast changing business landscape here and across the world, technology stands as a transformative force, offering unprecedented opportunities for growth and innovation. As we navigate through 2024, businesses must not merely adapt but proactively embrace technological solutions to stay competitive and resilient. This section delves into the multifaceted strategies businesses can employ to leverage digital transformation for sustainable growth.

  1. Blockchain Technology and Transparent Transactions: Blockchain technology, known for its decentralized and transparent nature, has the potential to revolutionize transactional processes, offering a secure and traceable way of conducting business.

    Strategy: Integration of Blockchain in Supply Chain and Transactions

    Businesses can explore the integration of blockchain technology in supply chain management, ensuring transparency and traceability. This not only enhances the credibility of business operations but also aligns with the growing demand for ethical and accountable business practices.

  2. Cryptocurrencies and Tokenization for Fundraising: The rise of cryptocurrencies and tokenization presents an alternative avenue for fundraising, allowing businesses to access capital through decentralized and digital means.

    Strategy: Exploring Cryptocurrency Fundraising and Tokenization

    Entrepreneurs can investigate the feasibility of conducting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or Security Token Offerings (STOs) to raise funds for expansion or innovation projects. This approach provides a new channel for investors and allows businesses to tap into a global pool of potential backers.

  3. Digital Transformation for Operational Efficiency: Beyond fundraising, technology can be a catalyst for optimizing internal processes, enhancing operational efficiency, and fostering innovation.

    Strategy: Implementation of Cloud Computing and Integrated Systems

    Cloud computing offers scalable and cost-effective solutions for data storage and processing. Businesses can migrate their operations to the cloud, facilitating seamless collaboration, real-time data access, and improved overall efficiency. Integrating systems and adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions streamlines workflows, reduces manual errors, and enhances productivity.

    Strategy: Automation of Repetitive Tasks

    Automation technologies, including robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), can be leveraged to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. This not only frees up human resources for more strategic endeavors but also reduces the risk of errors and enhances precision.

  4. Data Analytics for Informed Decision-Making: In the digital age, data is a valuable asset. Harnessing the power of data analytics enables businesses to make informed decisions, identify market trends, and enhance customer experiences.

    Strategy: Implementing Predictive Analytics and Customer Insights

    Predictive analytics can be employed to forecast market trends, enabling businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Analyzing customer data provides insights into preferences and behaviors, allowing for personalized marketing strategies and improved customer engagement.

  5. Cybersecurity Measures for Data Protection: As businesses embrace technological solutions, safeguarding sensitive data becomes paramount. Cybersecurity measures are essential to protect against evolving cyber threats.

    Strategy: Implementation of Robust Cybersecurity Protocols

    Businesses should invest in robust cybersecurity measures, including encryption, firewalls, and regular security audits. Employee training on cybersecurity best practices is crucial to creating a vigilant and secure organizational culture.

  6. Collaboration with Tech Startups and Innovation Hubs: To foster a culture of innovation, businesses can explore partnerships with tech startups and engage with innovation hubs.

    Strategy: Establishing Innovation Partnerships and Incubators

    Creating partnerships with startups allows businesses to tap into external expertise, access cutting-edge technologies, and stay at the forefront of industry trends. Establishing innovation hubs or incubators within the organization fosters an internal culture of creativity and experimentation.

Embracing technological solutions in South Africa’s 2024 business landscape is not merely a choice but a necessity for sustainable growth. By integrating blockchain for transparency, exploring cryptocurrency fundraising, undergoing digital transformation for operational efficiency, leveraging data analytics, implementing cybersecurity measures, and fostering collaborations with tech startups, businesses can position themselves as innovators in their respective industries. The strategic adoption of technology not only enhances competitiveness but also lays the foundation for a resilient and agile business ecosystem in the digital era.

Building Strategic Partnerships: A Cornerstone for Business Growth Strategy for 2024

The more things change, the more important strategic partnerships becomefor fostering growth, unlocking new opportunities, and navigating challenges. As the country steps into 2024, entrepreneurs must recognize the power of collaboration, not just within their industries but across diverse sectors. This section explores the multifaceted strategies for building and leveraging strategic partnerships to drive sustained business growth.

  1. Collaborating with Established Industry Players: Strategic partnerships with established industry players offer emerging businesses access to expertise, resources, and established market networks.

    Strategy: Joint Ventures and Collaborative Projects

    Entrepreneurs should actively seek out joint ventures and collaborative projects with well-established companies in their respective industries. This not only enhances credibility but also provides opportunities for knowledge transfer, skill development, and shared resources.

    Strategy: Knowledge Exchange and Mentorship Programs

    Implementing knowledge exchange programs and mentorship initiatives allows for the transfer of industry-specific insights and expertise. Established players can guide emerging businesses through the intricacies of the market, accelerating their learning curve and fostering sustainable growth.

  2. Complementary Business Collaborations: Partnerships with businesses offering complementary products or services open doors to synergies that can drive innovation and expand market reach.

    Strategy: Identifying and Forming Alliances with Complementary Businesses

    Entrepreneurs should actively identify businesses whose offerings complement their own. By forming alliances, businesses can create bundled solutions, tap into new customer bases, and enhance the overall value proposition for clients.

    Strategy: Co-Marketing and Co-Branding Initiatives

    Co-marketing and co-branding initiatives allow partners to leverage each other’s strengths in promotional activities. This collaborative approach not only extends the reach of marketing efforts but also enhances brand visibility and credibility.

  3. International Collaboration and Market Expansion: In an era of globalization, strategic partnerships with international entities offer avenues for market expansion, access to new technologies, and exposure to diverse business practices.

    Strategy: Forming Alliances with International Partners

    Entrepreneurs should explore opportunities for forming alliances with international partners, whether through joint ventures, distribution agreements, or technology-sharing arrangements. Such partnerships provide access to global markets and diverse perspectives, fostering a more robust and adaptable business model.

    Strategy: Participation in International Trade Missions and Expos

    Actively participating in international trade missions and expos facilitates networking with potential partners. These events serve as platforms for businesses to showcase their capabilities, establish contacts, and explore collaborative opportunities on a global scale.

  4. Government Initiatives and Public-Private Partnerships: Government initiatives and public-private partnerships can serve as catalysts for business growth, providing financial support, access to infrastructure projects, and opportunities for collaboration.

    Strategy: Engaging with Government Agencies and Industry Bodies

    Entrepreneurs should proactively engage with government agencies and industry bodies to stay informed about available programs, incentives, and partnership opportunities. This involves participating in industry forums, attending government-led events, and actively contributing to policy discussions.

    Strategy: Forming Consortia for Large-Scale Projects

    Large-scale infrastructure projects often require collaborative efforts. Businesses can form consortia or partnerships to collectively bid for and execute major projects, leveraging combined expertise and resources to secure and deliver projects successfully.

  5. Start-up Ecosystem Engagement: Partnering with startups and engaging with the local innovation ecosystem can inject fresh perspectives, agility, and disruptive ideas into established businesses.

    Strategy: Creating Innovation Hubs or Incubators

    Established businesses can create innovation hubs or incubators within their organizations to support and collaborate with startups. This allows for the exchange of ideas, access to emerging technologies, and potential investments in innovative solutions.

    Strategy: Investments and Acquisitions

    Actively investing in or acquiring startups with innovative solutions aligning with business goals can be a strategic approach. This not only infuses new technologies into the business but also nurtures a culture of innovation.

Building strategic partnerships is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it is a dynamic and tailored process that requires foresight and adaptability. By collaborating with established industry players, forming alliances with complementary businesses, exploring international collaborations, engaging with government initiatives, and tapping into the startup ecosystem, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth in the intricate landscape of South Africa’s business environment in 2024. These partnerships not only amplify the capabilities of individual businesses but also contribute to the overall vibrancy and resilience of the nation’s economic ecosystem.

Investing in Research and Development (R&D)

As we step into 2024, businesses are thinking about how to make Research and Development (R&D) work for their growth. After dealing with the challenges of the post-COVID era, there’s a renewed sense of optimism in the business world. In this article, we’re diving into the world of R&D, laying out a practical plan for businesses not just to survive but to do well in the changing landscape of 2024.

Building a smart R&D strategy starts with looking at what the business needs, figuring out what areas could use improvement, and matching that with what the market is looking for. This sets the stage for a vision that lines up R&D goals with the bigger picture of the business.

Allocating resources smartly is key for making R&D work. It’s about setting aside budgets that make sense and keeping that investment going. Bringing in skilled people and building teams that can think outside the box helps create a culture where new ideas can flourish.

Working together with others is a big part of making R&D impactful. This means teaming up with research institutions and other businesses. By doing projects together, everyone can share their strengths and push industries forward.

Getting the right technology in place is crucial. It’s about investing in tools and using data and AI in a practical way. This helps businesses get useful insights from their R&D work.

Protecting the unique ideas that come out of R&D is just as important. This means filing patents at the right time and making sure everything stays legal with things like confidentiality agreements.

Focussing on continues planning, smart spending, teamwork, practical tech use, and legal protection, businesses aren’t just keeping up with changes – they’re leading the way in their industries. This straightforward strategy for R&D sets the stage for growth, putting businesses at the forefront of innovation in the ever-changing landscape of 2024.

Creating a Culture of Innovation

The businesses we speak to are increasingly thinking about how to create a culture of innovation in their teams. Coming off a tough few years post-COVID, there’s a sense of optimism returning to the business scene. 

Creating an innovative culture is all about making sure everyone in the team feels encouraged to come up with new ideas. It starts with understanding what the business needs to improve and finding ways for everyone to contribute their thoughts. This isn’t just about big plans; it’s about small changes that add up.

Getting everyone on board means leadership needs to show they’re serious about innovation. It’s not just about saying it’s important; it’s about taking real steps like setting aside time and resources for people to work on new ideas. Encouraging calculated risks is part of the deal – not everything will work, but that’s okay.

Keeping the team engaged is a big part of building an innovative culture. Regular training programs can help everyone learn and improve their skills. Mixing up teams from different parts of the business helps bring in diverse perspectives. That way, when challenges come up, the team can attack them from different angles.

Creating spaces for innovation, both physical and virtual, is crucial. Whether it’s a workshop or a virtual collaboration platform, having a space where people can brainstorm and work on new ideas is key. This isn’t about big gestures; it’s about making sure everyone has a chance to contribute.

Recognizing and rewarding innovation is a must. This means having programs that celebrate new ideas and giving rewards, both big and small, to motivate the team. It’s also about tying innovative efforts to career growth – showing that thinking creatively is a valued part of moving up in the company.

A conversation about business culture does not have to be complex. By encouraging small changes, showing commitment from leadership, keeping the team engaged, creating spaces for brainstorming, and recognizing innovative efforts, businesses aren’t just adapting to the times – they’re leading the way in innovation in 2024.

Practical Approaches to

Business Growth Funding in 2024

Looking forward to 2024, getting the funds needed for business growth is a big deal. One of the ways to approaching this is diversifying where your money comes from. Depending on just one source is risky, so checking out traditional spots like bank loans alongside newer options like venture capital or crowdfunding is a good call. Dependent on the volume of funding needed, you  could even look at using UK based corporate finance providers to engage with investors elsewhere. 

Government grants and incentives can be a real boost too. Governments often offer money or perks to help businesses grow, and staying in the loop on these opportunities is a smart move. Collaborating with other businesses is another trick. Teaming up with industry pals or forming groups for big projects can open doors to shared funding opportunities.

In the tech-driven world, there are cool alternatives. Checking out online lending platforms, blockchain-based funding, or other fintech options can offer a fresh take on getting funds. Plus, if a business is doing good for society or the environment, there’s a growing interest from investors. So, thinking about how a business can make a positive impact might lead to social impact funding.

Strategic partnerships are golden too. Going beyond just getting cash, these partnerships bring in knowledge and resources. And sometimes, the usual funding structures just don’t fit the bill. That’s where flexible financing comes in. Tailoring the financing plan to suit the business’s needs and cash flow can make a big difference.

Lastly, keeping an eye on the money situation is ongoing work. Regularly checking in on financial needs and adjusting the funding plan based on what’s happening keeps the business ready for whatever comes its way. So, when looking at getting funds for growth, it’s about mixing it up with traditional and new sources, staying in tune with what the government offers, teaming up with others, checking out tech-driven options, thinking about the social impact, building smart partnerships, tailoring the financing plan, and keeping a watchful eye on the finances. That’s the plan for businesses looking to make 2024 a year of growth and success.

As we wrap up our discussion on business growth strategies for 2024 in the South African context, it’s crucial to recognize that the world around us is constantly changing. As South Africans we know this and embrace it in our day to day lives. While the strategies we’ve covered provide a solid roadmap for tackling challenges and grabbing opportunities, we can’t ignore the unpredictable twists that may come our way. The mix of economic factors, political scenarios, tech advancements, and changing social vibes means we’re in for a ride with some uncertainties. As businesses put these strategies into action, staying open to adapting, learning, and tweaking things in response to new trends or surprises becomes super important. So, while these strategies are a great starting point, success is also about being flexible and resilient in the face of whatever the future throws our way.

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Matthew Musgrove

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew is an entrepreneur and business Advisor with a passion for change management and social empowerment. With a background in business accounting and advisory, as well clinical research project management, he strives to find strategic and sustainable solutions to business problems.

Mark

MARK VAN HOFF

Mark Van Hoff comes from background of technical & production planning, budgeting & scheduling of major live events. As the first production co-ordinator at M-NET for Outside Broadcasts, Mark has managed major local and international productions including Miss South Africa, Miss World, multiple music events and major sports events, including the PnP Cycling Tour.Mark co-founded Van-Man Productions in 1994, Page to Picture in 2000 and Move Media Networks in 2007. All three companies have achieved domestic success and have been well-regarded in the South African production industry.

Olu

OLUWASEUN ADEWUYI

Oluwaseun Adewuyi who is the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caban, is a Certified Chartered Accountant, with Fellowship status at both the ACCA as well as the Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a UK Based industry body with a specific focus on the management of charities, not-for-profit organisations and NGOs.. Oluwaseun comes with strong business acumen and 20+ years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within well-reputed and high growth organisations Including Next Plc and Royal Mail. He has been heavily involved in impact investment across Sub-Saharan Africa and has been instrumental in the creation of a series of community schools in West Africa. Throughout his career, he oversaw a broad range of operations, including Business Strategy and Business Reorganisation, summarising the organisation’s financial status, and coordinating the preparation of tactical plans, financial forecasts, and budgets. Adept at developing and implementing effective internal control framework to maintain sound financial accountability.

tim scholtz

TIM SCHOLTZ

Tim Scholtz, who's is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Caban Investments, is experienced in implementing corporate governance guidelines, formulating risk management structures, process and cost optimization. Tim has a strong corporate background, having worked as COO at the South African Tourism board, was COO at the Nelson Mandela foundation and as a internal audit manager at Arthur Anderson earlier in his career.

Ben Botes

BEN BOTES

Ben Botes is Entrepreneur, VC, co-Founder, Author and Academic with a strong social conscience. Ben Involved with early stage and growth firms for the past 20 years and has been Co-founder of 9 separate businesses across Africa. Ben has directly and indirectly been involved in impact investment and the support of charities and non profits for the last 30 years. Ben is a regular speaker at the African Investment Conference in London and has been featured in Wall Street for Europe, The Guardian Small Business, BBC, the Mail and Guardian in the UK and BizCommunity, Channel 3 TV, Investors Weekly, The Cape Times, Radio 702 with John Robbie and Good Hope FM in South Africa

Dave Romero

DAVE ROMERO

Dave Romero is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with a passion for making an impact. A qualified Professional Accountant, Dave has been a director in multiple financial institutions and was once the youngest Chairman on the JSE, in addition to being listed as one of Business Times’ Top 100 companies and the 40th fastest-growing company in South Africa. Dave is a core founder of the Caban Group, which aims to provide a comprehensive service offering to small businesses in return for equity. With a passion for nurturing entrepreneurs, Dave can often be found outside of the boardroom – offering advice, creating innovative funding solutions and building communities through sustainable practices.

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Dr RUBEN RICHARDS

Dr Ruben Richards is a truly inspirational South African leader. Through his peace-building seminars for criminal gangs, Dr Ruben has facilitated the longest ceasefire in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats. In addition to being Chairman & Founder of the non-profit Ruben Richards Foundation, Dr Ruben is an ordained cleric, company director, non-executive Chairman of Visual International Limited and was once the Deputy Director-General of the now-disbanded Scorpions.