In an article titled Tracking SMME Development in South Africa: Issues of Finance, Training and the Regulatory Environment, SMME researcher Professor Christian Rogerson notes that the majority of training programs aimed at entrepreneurs without formal education are often poorly planned and fail to impart the required skills set.
It's in this context that the upcoming 2012 Brandhouse Pitch & Polish event will be held at various venues around the country. Part workshop and part competition, Brandhouse Pitch & Polish was developed by business incubator Raizcorp.
Through continuous engagement with small and medium businesses, Raizcorp has been able to identitfy that business owners lack the skills to package and present their ideas convincingly to potential investors. When dealing with investors, entrepreneurs must be able to articulate their business ideas clearly, convey strengths in their plans and display awareness of the impact external factors could have on business growth.
To empower entrepreneurs to achieve this, Raizcorp developed the Pitch & Polish integrated workshop and competition programme. First presented in 2010, the format of the workshop and competition is based on contestants pitching their business ideas to an audience who have been primed to act as investors and bankers.
The process highlights the gaps and inadequecies in the contestants’ pitches. Through a combination of the workshop, audience participation and the facilitator’s probing, contestants develop the skills required to produce compelling, well-rounded pitches, which are then assessed and judged by a panel of experts.
A strong point of the Pitch & Polish format is that the audience learns as much as the contestants, so everyone leaves the event enriched.
The event’s audience figures from just under 1 100 in 2010 to almost 1 500 in 2011, with a projected 2 400 this year, is testament to its popularity. Participation by entrepreneurs is free of charge and made possible by sponsors Brandhouse Beverages and Engen Petroleum Ltd.
Format of the event:
- Participants take part in a free day-long competition-based workshop
- Pre-registration is required to be a participant and/or contestant
- On the day contestants are given three minutes to “pitch” their business idea to the audience
- The audience, primed as bankers and investors, then decide whether or not they would invest in them as entrepreneurs
- A facilitator gives tips and guidance, helped by the audience, to “polish” the pitch until the contestants have a totally professional and in-depth presentation.
- It is a learning environment and opportunity for both the contestants and participants, who discover how to produce a compelling, well-rounded presentation. It is fun, stimulating and motivational.
Schedule of events:
- eMalahleni – 30 June
- Bloemfontein – 7 July
- Rustenburg – 14 July
- Retreat – 21 July
- Port Eizabeth – 28 July
- Umlazi – 18 August
- Vereeniging – 25 August
- Kimberley – 1 September
- 6 September
- 20 September
* SMS “pitch” and your name to 41344
* Call 011 566 2000
* E-mail email@example.com