GEN president to visit South Africa for launch of GEW 2016

Posted on November 3rd, 2016

The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) president, Jonathan Ortmans, will be visiting South Africa for the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2016. GEN focuses on connecting global ecosystems comprising of startups, entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers, educators, investors, government leaders through networking events, mentoring sessions, competitions and knowledge-sharing initiatives.

GEW is the largest gathering of innovators and job creators, who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. Each November, a week is dedicated to inspire millions of people from more than 160 countries through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as entrepreneurs and innovators.

This year, GEW South Africa will launch on Friday, 11 November 2016, at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Sandton. The launch will be hosted by Ortmans, the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa, and Premier of Gauteng Province David Makhura.

The schedule for Ortmans’ visit in South Africa includes meeting with GEN partners, key ecosystem players, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem knowledge experiences.

“The Global Entrepreneurship Network continues to expand its involvement in Africa in support of connecting the next generation of entrepreneurs to global markets and to rebrand the continent and permanently shift perceptions,” Ortmans said.

Go Life International  to list on AltX
Go Life International, a Mauritian-listed nutraceutical company is seeking an inward listing on the AltX board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange following the acquisition earlier this year of the remaining 78% interest in Go Life Health Products, which holds Gotha Health Products (collectively Go Life SA). The company has successfully presented to the AltX Advisory Committee and has submitted the draft prelisting statement to the JSE. Go Life is to list during November, subject to JSE approval.

Go Life International was established to leverage the strength of existing South African nutraceutical companies, namely Go Life SA and to drive the presence of the South African products and brands across the global nutraceutical market. Nutraceuticals are products that provide nutrients through various formats.

Gotha Health Products, a subsidiary of Go Life International, has been active in promoting health support products since 2005. Operations commenced in the Eastern Cape and distribution has recently expanded into Gauteng and Western Cape. Go Life has also entered into a strategic relationship with Bon Health Frail Care, which operates frail care clinics in the Western Cape and has also acquired five properties, four of which hold the frail care clinics.

Through the inward listing, Go Life International will be able to accommodate South African investors who are currently precluded from investing in off-shore structures.

Go Life SA reported revenues of over R10 million for the year ended 28 February 2016 and this is targeted to double by February 2017 and exceed R50 million by 28 February 2018. Go Life SA currently has more than 10% market share in the Eastern Cape where it originated and is establishing a larger distribution footprint that covers the rest of South Africa and is also rolling out Gotha Health Hubs.

Newly elected mayors must prioritise SMEs
There is significant opportunity to boost job creation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those that provide vital products and services to municipalities and local authorities.

This is according to Gugu Mjadu, executive general manager: marketing at Business Partners, who says that entrepreneurs are critical to the development and well-being of any community, and stronger partnerships should be forged between local government and business communities if South Africa is to improve economic growth, create employment and effect real change in the various municipalities.

“For many newly elected mayors their political parties listed improving employment opportunities at local government level on their campaign agendas. As one in four South Africans don’t have jobs, with the latest unemployment rate recorded at 26.6%, this isn’t surprising. It is however now time to work on delivering on the promises made,” says Mjadu.

The South African GEM 2015/16 report recently revealed that government policy is one of the main factors constraining entrepreneurial activity in the country. “Although the mayors cannot change national policy when it comes to stimulating entrepreneurship, there are opportunities for them to improve the implementation of some of the policies at local level, for instance the speed at which various operating licenses for small businesses are approved. They can also implement measures to partner with and utilise local SMEs operating within surrounding communities.

“We hope local governments will prioritise and where possible, improve local business conditions by removing unnecessary red tape and compliance structures that are stifling local businesses. Only once we achieve this at a local community level, can the national SME sector start to truly thrive in South Africa.”

“Municipalities need to explore the creation of one stop shops where entrepreneurs can receive support, access municipal services such as applying for relevant licenses. Where municipalities have utilised the services of SMEs, they should ensure that those businesses are paid promptly and in full.” Mjadu says.