The Businesswomen’s Association Businesswoman of the Year for 2012, Dr Nondumiso Mzizana, is launching a Success Summit. There will be a series of summits featuring top-drawer speakers in various fields. The first two summits will be held at The Venue in Melrose Arch on 27 July and the next at the Sheraton Hotel, both in Johannesburg, on 31 August.
The summits will give entrepreneurs the chance to meet some of the country’s best business thinkers, as well as to network with their peers.
Mzizana tells us more about how to make it as an entrepreneur and what she hopes to achieve with this summit.
Why are small businesses so important today?
Small businesses are vital in today's economy because many of the revenues obtained by government are from small business taxes. Since we are currently in a global financial crisis, which is affecting nearly everyone round the world, the existence of small businesses can really stimulate the economy and hopefully improve the economies globally and especially in Africa. Finally, small businesses are important because they are in a position to provide more job opportunities for our people, in a way that can have an impact on the unemployment rate.
Why is networking so important for young entrepreneurs?
Young entrepreneurs must know one thing: success does not happen overnight and it is not without perseverance. Networking builds confidence, inspires, motivates and opens up opportunities you would otherwise never have access to. Young people get to meet other successful people, who can mentor, coach, educate and encourage them on their way up.
Can you give us three networking tips?
Be authentic, build trust with your contacts and see how you can help others. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings. Ask open-ended questions and follow up on your referrals.
What inspired you to start this summit?
Upon the recognition of being South Africa's businesswoman of the year, I was definitely not going to watch the trophy gathering dust without giving back to that which is close to my heart and that is entrepreneurship. I am aiming these summits at the youth and women, who I believe really need the skill and expertise of running successful enterprises in this country. Lastly, I felt the importance of breaking the get-rich-alone syndrome that exists amongst South Africans, where skills and knowledge can be transferred to others without fear or a feeling of being threatened in the process. When you give back you get more satisfaction for existing.
What do you hope to achieve with this summit?
I believe with these summits we shall create a “get up and do it for yourself” mindset amongst upcoming entrepreneurs, where youth and women won't have to depend on being employed and thus create jobs in the process. The key focus will be mentorship with follow up, the success mindset, innovation and creativity. Some profit made from these workshops will be invested in rural women and rural high-school youth, who I strongly feel are very much neglected.
What do you hope the speakers will bring to this summit?
The speakers are successful leaders and entrepreneurs with expertise in their industries. They have excellent business acumen and have succeeded in their own right. They will transfer the same to entrepreneurs who want to take their businesses to the next level, or those who aspire to be successful in business.
Why are you focusing on inspiring young people with this summit?
Young people are the future of this country; it is as simple as that. We need to invest time, energy, resources and walk the talk on youth development and empowerment by showing them that it is indeed possible to achieve the best if you have passion and zeal.