SMME Support Hub

V&A SMME Tenant Support

Information about specific tenant support interventions implemented by the V&A during COVID-19 including rental relief and a dedicated SMME support desk to assist you with queries.

Funding & Financial Tools

A comprehensive list of funding sources for businesses impacted by COVID-19, including sector specific initiatives for the creative, arts and tourism sectors, as well as funding platforms allowing you to raise loan funding from your customers.

Business Advice & Resources

A range of resources to assist you in managing your small business, including legal and financial tools, managing teams remotely, how to prepare for the new world of work as well as business rescue.

Events, Webinars & Newsletters

To ensure that you are able to connect to other entrepreneurial communities and get the support you need, we have curated a number of newsletters, webinars and online groups for you to connect with. Remember to regularly check the events section for additional information.

The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide. Though its impact will be widespread, it has been felt most keenly by those who are already vulnerable. Small business has borne the brunt of the economic fallout from COVID-19, and the V&A Waterfront has put several measures in place to ensure that our SMMEs will receive the support they need to survive this crisis.

Tenant & Supplier Support

Dedicated Support for Tenants, Buskers and Suppliers.

We recognise that SMME’s within our ecosystem may require additional support. The V&A Waterfront has thus set up a dedicated SMME Support Helpdesk to assist with any queries you may have. Complete the below form and we will get in touch with you.

  • Please could you provide us with more specific information on how the SMME Helpdesk can assist you? We are working with a number of staff and consultants so this information will allow us to connect you with the right person or information as soon as we can.

Rental Relief for Tenants

The V&A Waterfront has provided 100% rental relief to SMMEs and we have consolidated all avenues of assistance so that we can provide support to those who need to apply for aid. Our support for our smaller SMMEs has to date amounted to close to R10m-R15m.

We recognise that some businesses will not be viable until tourism returns, so for them we are considering a mothballing scheme which would allow those who choose to do so, to remain closed for six to nine months free of rental obligations. For most SMMEs to survive however, it will be critical for them to re-enter the market and regain customers as soon as conditions allow. Given that international tourism is expected to take anywhere between six to twelve months to recover, it will be important for SMME tenants to look to local markets instead.

Funding and Financial Tools

We have aggregated opportunities where information relating to grant funding, loans and general support can be accessed. Click on the following links for more information:

Facebook Small Business Grants Programme

We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we’re offering R24,482 in cash grants and Rand 14,689 in ad credits to help during this challenging time.

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Lulalend, Your Friends in Funding

Lulalend is more than a company. It’s a belief in the power of small business, making a difference, building a better solution and striving for excellence. We work hard to empower businesses across South Africa with the funds they need to grow, and we have a great time doing it!

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Retail Capital – Unsecured growth capital

Retail Capital partners with you through innovative funding solutions, where flexible repayment options are determined by your business performance. Since 2011, we have provided businesses with innovative, flexible and convenient alternatives to traditional business funding. Business owners still identify access to working capital as the single biggest challenge that they are faced with. With small to medium-sized businesses (SMMEs) responsible for 50% of the country’s GDP and contributing to over 65% of employment, we are devoted to partnering with entrepreneurs to grow the South African economy. We are proud to have partnered with over 22,000 SMMEs in providing funding of over R3bn to date.

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Business Partners GM Jeremy Lang: How to Apply for Funding During the COVID-19 Crisis

Bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Cape Town, Jeremy spent a few years in accounting and auditing, after which he joined Business Partners Ltd in 2007. He has over 13 years’ experience in the financing and support of small and medium enterprises. His experience covers a range of investments in small and medium enterprises, more specifically in the Risk Finance, Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Quasi Equity sectors. He forms part of the executive management team at Business Partners Ltd and is responsible for the overall management of the Inland Unit whose investment activity spreads across Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, and North-West Provinces.

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Daily Maverick SMME Toolkit Newsletter with Nic Harambulous

Nic Haralambous has partnered with Daily Maverick to provide the small business ecosystem of South Africa with a place to gather information, useful links, resources and other helpful tricks, tips and tools to help SMME’s through this insanity, even in the smallest of ways. This newsletter is their way of adding value to a community of people who, quite literally, keep our economy alive. If we are to rebuild and create the jobs necessary to fix our economy, we need to support SMEs as much as possible.

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Business Resource Hub

Comprehensive list of all the funding resources (both public and private) for SMMEs affected by COVID19 as well as a selection of articles, videos, documents and information on a wide variety of topics relevant to small businesses.

OfferZen COVID-19 Resources Portal

OfferZen’s blog is packed with valuable resources for effective remote working, team engagement, digital events, and recruitment during the pandemic – drawing insights from leaders and business across SA’s tech community.

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Harambee Business Support Resources

Harambee has developed a resource portal because they believe that all South African businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. They have gathered together resources about funding, financial relief or general support to assist businesses to survive and eventually thrive.

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Harambee, Genesis Consulting, Business4SA

The Return2Work Initiative is facilitating collaboration between government and business to provide tools and guidelines to enable sectors to expedite a safe, effective and structured return2work plan. These tools, resources and guidance notes do not in any way replace the legislation, but are intended to supplement and assist sectors and businesses to operate safely under the risk adjusted framework.

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COVID Business Rescue Assistance

COBRA (COVID-19 Business Rescue Assistance) War Room recently launched a pro bono service to South African businesses in distress. Their approach is to co-ordinate bank, government and stakeholder support through a structured business rescue process.

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10x Covid-19 Survival Toolkit for Business

10x and Edge Growth have collated over 200 valuable resources for SA businesses organised under four phases – 1. Awareness 2. React: Urgent operational challenges 3. Respond: survival and stabilisation 4. Lead: Strategic Adjustments and 5. Scale: Preparing for the Next Wave. This toolkit is accessible via Airtable and is updated regularly as new info and resources emerge.

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EY COVID-19 Resources

Information for businesses about continuity and resilience due to COVID-19. They have identified 9 business areas to focus on – employee health & well-being, talent & workforce, supply chain & global trade, customer & brand, finance & investor, risk, government & public policy, technology & information security, insurance & legal disputes – to assist businesses to become resilient. There are also various webinars for business leaders to attend on a wide variety of topics.

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PWC COVID-19 Resources

PWC has developed a dedicated site to assist businesses navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on operations. The site provides both local and global insights, advice and resources and includes a diagnostic tool to gauge the impact on your business.

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Good range of articles and opinion pieces on legal Issues relating to COVID-19 that affect individuals, SMMEs and businesses.

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Webber Wentzel

Practical guidance on significant commercial and legal issues due to COVID-19 including a wide range of articles, changes to legislation, infographics and opinion pieces.

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Facebook Groups

Resources / Digital Publications

Whipping the Cat – Covid-19 Occupational Health & Safety Memo

With the shift to Level 4 Lockdown on 1 May 2020, some businesses will be returning to workplace-based operations. But as we have come to expect, there are a new “normal” and employees cannot return to work just as they would have done pre-COVID-19. The new directive for workplace health and safety (issued on 28 April 2020) sets out a raft of new requirements that employers will need to comply with as employees return to work. This memo sets out the “new normal” including details of the new requirements for social distancing, providing and wearing masks, dealing with the public etc

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Endeavour South Africa Resources for Entrepreneurs

Endeavour South Africa has created a resources page for entrepreneurs to assist them to manage through crisis. The page is updated weekly with new information, upcoming events and webinars, as well as video content, articles and resources for startups and teams.

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COVID-19 Support Finder

The COVID-19 SUPPORT FINDER has been built based on very simple input criteria and serves only as a way to conveniently link individuals and businesses to funding and relief measures that might correlate to their search criteria. The purpose of the tool is to help companies and individuals navigate the plethora of information available online in a simple manner. Results provided by the Fund Finder tool will not necessarily match the user’s needs or criteria in each case, and it should not be assumed that it will provide a workable match in each case. The Fund Finder tool and the website provides an overview of a large number of available funding and relief measures but does not necessarily include everything that is available.

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Cape Town Tourism

Campaign to support your favourite business to help with economic readiness and recovery.

SMMEs form the backbone of the city’s economy, making up the majority of service providers for goods and services needed for the optimal performance and functioning of the high growth sectors in Cape Town. SMMEs therefore desperately need help to remain open, support their staff, and get back to business

As part of the City’s commitment to supporting small businesses during these difficult times, we’re inviting fellow Capetonians to post a short video or image of their favourite small business via social media to share their success and resilience, using the campaign hashtags #myfavouritebusiness and #CPTPlusME.

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Business Management and Accounting

UCT GSB Solution Space has partnered with Digify Africa to offer you two sessions from the An online business management and accounting system specifically designed for people in small business who don’t understand accounting. It includes features such as pricelist, invoice and quote generation.

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Facebook for Business

Facebook for Business offers a customisable online shop allowing you to showcase your featured products, and design your brand with integration with Instagram.

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Conference Facility and Executive Virtual Office Solutions

Cape Business Centre boasts state-of-the-art conferencing facilities to accommodate small to medium sized conferences, lectures, presentations, workshops, and special events.

We offer professionals a virtual office solution with access to private offices and consulting rooms for meetings and business proceedings in Cape Town. Our unique amenities and sleek designed working spaces exemplify our commitment to complement your business with a prestigious corporate infrastructure.

Network and engage with clients and partners on the majestic harbour facing balcony that offers uninterrupted views of Cape Town’s portside.

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How investors can support small businesses through the COVID-19 Lockdown

The government has taken bold and admirable steps in providing financial support for small companies, but we’ll need all hands on deck to ensure small businesses make it through the COVID-19 crisis. The Bertha Centre’s Natasha Dinham spoke with Kieno Kammies at Cape Talk, about how investors can help small businesses through these challenging times.

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Fundamentals of Marketing your Business Online

This free online marketing course on marketing an online business will teach you how to put together a highly effective online marketing strategy. With online marketing being so competitive, businesses need to take advantage of every opportunity to maximise their online presence and attract as many customers as possible. This course will teach you how you can carve out space for your brand and business online.

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Business and Arts South Africa, A Guide to Growing Creative Markets

BASA and British Council Connect ZA partnered on an exciting project aimed at significantly cultivating creative market growth skills within South Africa’s creative and cultural industries in 2014/2015. This resulted in an e-learning online platform that provides findings from the fellowship research on defining your creative markets, working with data and data capture analysis, and using the marketing strategies and tools available to effectively build and retain audiences for art organisations and individuals in the creative and cultural sectors.

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African Management Institute Business Survival Bootcamp

Times are extremely tough for your business. We know Africa’s businesses and entrepreneurs are innovative, tireless, and resilient. Right now though, you need more than motivational speeches, talking heads, and promises of better days ahead. You need practical tools for today to help you make it through and keep your business alive. AMI’s Business Survival Bootcamp has the practical tools you’re looking for.

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Business Bootcamp Webinars

The Business Bootcamp series comprises 24 free, open-access, pre-recorded webinars delivered by business experts, each around 45 minutes to an hour long. It aims to increase women entrepreneurs’ business skills, financial literacy and knowledge on growth and investment options. Each webinar is geared around a topic like understanding business models and registration formalities, accounting and book-keeping, financial services, assessing business health, costing and pricing, managing credit and debit, and – crucially for the current era – planning for ups and downs.

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Workshop17 Meet

Video chat with the whole Team. W17 Meet is a fully encrypted video conferencing solution that you can use all day, every day, hosted proudly in South Africa by Workshop 17.

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The CDI offers a range of publications with practical advice on growing your creative business, exploring new markets, and more.

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Cape Town and the Western Cape Exports

Wesgro’s dedicated Trade Unit constantly looks for ways to develop trade and export capacity in Cape Town and the Western Cape through practical training and relationship building.

Their trade-facilitation programme is designed to provide opportunities for Western Cape-based exporters to meet potential customers, conclude business deals and also to grow their businesses by expanding their markets. This helps to develop the provincial economy and create more jobs.

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SARS offers a useful guide to registering and licencing your business for export, including all relevant forms and contacts.

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Facebook Blueprint

Learn new marketing skills with free online courses.
Explore self-paced and step-by-step tutorials that can help you build your digital marketing knowledge and bring your business online.

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Insaka eCommerce Community – South Africa

The Insaka eCommerce Community is South Africa’s biggest community of eCommerce entrepreneurs. The group is here to help online businesses to grow. Entrepreneurs and people working for online businesses can come together to help one another by sharing their experiences and knowledge.

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Xneelo Website Health Check (In 5 easy steps)

With 2020 properly underway, it’s a good time to take a step back and assess the health of your website. While you may not be able to tell immediately if it’s performing at its best, there are a few regular checks that can help. Here’s your Website Health Check-in 5 easy steps.

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QuiCA Quickly Assess the Stress Areas in your Business

Before you can respond with remedial measures and actions you need to know how solvent and resilient your business is right now. Are you planning to restore your business to its previous status, offering the same products and services to existing markets or do you need to re-position and restructure your business, aimed at new opportunities? Once you know your present position and you have decided on your future direction you can take the necessary actions to make the changes to your business and your go-to-market activities. Please use the FREE QuiCA Continuation Assessment Tool to quickly identify the stress areas in your business, right now

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Yoco COVID-19 Recovery Monitor

Yoco has put together a series of graphs that show how COVID-19 has affected the turnover of small businesses, updated daily to reflect the latest information available.

These graphs show the ratio between pre-lockdown 2020 revenue (establishing a baseline) and current revenue for Yoco’s small businesses.

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Me We Us – Practical guide to rethinking how we work

An evolution of their popular Culture Canvas tool, Me We Us is a guide to building culture remotely by assisting you to first master yourself and your own performance. Secondly, it covers mastering social interactions but learning how to effectively communicate with a remote team and finally, to master teamwork and managing a team remotely. This guide also comes with practical tools and templates for you to put this into place.


Impact of COVID19 on SA Small Businesses

A report published by the in April 2020, by a group of researchers looking at the impact of COVID19 on South African SMMEs, as well as the need for innovative funding solutions for entrepreneurs and SMMEs, especially those based in townships and the informal economy.


Small Business COVID19 Survival Guide

90 ideas to help SMEs and entrepreneurs survive an epidemic. A concise summary of practical tools and tips from the author, a renowned entrepreneur and investor, and many other small business owners.


Skills Development, Resources and Education

During this time, it will be crucial for entrepreneurs to remain engaged with up to date information, skills and the resources required to keep their businesses afloat. We have compiled a list of resources where additional skills development opportunities can be found.

ABSA Business Day Supplier Development Awards

The Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards recognises and celebratesbusinesses committed to building thriving, inclusive and transformed supply chains. Theawards are an opportunity to give a well-deserved accolade to the companies that arebuilding a better South Africa, whilst also presenting winners with a platform to share theirown experiences. Furthermore, the event creates the opportunity for delegates to engage inthe synergy of dialogue amongst their peers, building valuable networks for futurecollaboration.

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UCT GSB Solution Space: Boost your business with Facebook Programme

UCT GSB Solution Space has partnered with Digify Africa to offer you two sessions from the Boost with Facebook Programme that are aimed at excelling your social media skills.

Join us on Wednesday, August 19 or on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 to get world-class training to bring you closer to being a digital marketing guru for your own business.

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GoDigital Webinars

GoDigital Webinars are a weekly, free lunchtime webinar series, with the aim of shedding light on all things digital, they demystify the digital economy and the digitisation of business, and they provide valuable insights and views from thought leaders and practitioners in the industry.

Join us every Wednesday between 12:30PM and 1:30PM.

There is a limitation of 200 participants per week, so you will need to register your interest per session at Dedat.[email protected]

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AfCFTA as Key to Economic Recovery and Growth in Africa

In the midst of the suffering of the COVID-19 pandemic, business and society at large are having the same realisation – that in the aftermath of the crisis, things cannot go back to the way they were before. The way we do business has changed forever and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be no exception to this.

Now is the time to look at economic recovery on the African continent after this crisis, and how it could be successfully implemented within this context.

You are invited to join a virtual dialogue between consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and industry bodies on Thursday, 13 August. Collectively, we aim to unpack the implementation barriers, benefits and opportunities of the AfCFTA, which may very well hold the key to economic recovery and growth in Africa.

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Survive and Thrive: 10-part webinar series

With many small to medium-sized businesses under severe threat of closure as a result of the lockdown restrictions, what measures can you adopt to make sure your business survives and thrives during COVID-19 and beyond?

As investment managers witnessing the financial impact of the pandemic on so many businesses, we are focused on providing you with access to informative business content to help guide you through the challenging landscape.

The series will present a blueprint of strategies you can adopt to boost your business’s longevity and agility during this period of uncertainty. The Survive and thrive webinar series is brought to you by the Allan Gray Umbrella Retirement Fund.

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Keep discovering SMME events

The V&A Waterfront understands the pressure on SMMEs during this time, as well as our responsibility to provide much-needed support. To view events aimed at SMME support, take a look at our events page.

View events

Future Females – Cape Town and Global Chapters

Future Females is a movement. They provide a platform which connects, inspires and supports existing and aspiring female entrepreneurs. They are a global network, run regular events and aim to be a go-to destination for all resources for female entrepreneurs.

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African Management Institute

With the aim of equipping businesses with practical tools to face challenges brought by COVID-19, African Management Institute (AMI) is conducting a FREE COVID-19 Business Survival Bootcamp. This short learning programme focuses on financial forecasting and cost management in an economic slowdown.

The bootcamp is designed specifically for business owners and entrepreneurs. We are restricting attendance at these sessions to keep them highly interactive, so please only sign up if you’re an entrepreneur (AMI will be organizing separate webinars for managers and leaders). Please share with other entrepreneurs and business owners in your network.

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Entrepreneurship to the Point

eTTP was formed 7 years ago under the umbrella of award winning business accelerator programme, Property Point, which was founded in 2008. This key relationship allows eTTP to leverage the data, knowledge and insights gained from Property Point’s engagements with entrepreneurs over the last decade to provide relevant content. The ETTP platform focuses on building relationships, sharing insights and creating an environment of unity and trust.

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Heavy Chef

Heavy Chef is an educational platform for entrepreneurs. Their name comes from the saying ‘never trust a skinny chef’ and they celebrate people who walk the talk, who practice what they preach, and who eat their own food. They create events and classes that feature ‘Heavy Chefs’, then share this content with their community of over 30,000+entreprenurs. They believe that in a world of talkers, it’s the doers that are going to change it.

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Digital marketing 101

Megan Hollis, Digital Marketing Manager at The V&A Waterfront presents an overview of digital marketing, online media channels, and advice for choosing the right platforms for your business.

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Social media marketing 101

Lorna Kalimashe, Social Media Manager at The V&A Waterfront provides an overview of social media platforms, changes in their usage during COVID-19, and the key features of social media platforms. She answers questions around why a business should use social media, what sort of content to share, how to speak to your customer, and the basics of building a social media strategy.

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Email marketing 101

Ryno Scheepers and Kirstie Whitehead from Everlytic discuss email marketing, its benefits, and why it is important as part of your marketing strategy.

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Lead generation 101

Emma du Preez from YourCMO explains the basics of lead generation – search engine optimisation, pay per click, and affiliate marketing using case studies and offering useful tools for improving and tracking your lead generation.

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Learning Lunches – Intro to e-commerce 25 June 2020

The V&A ‘Learning Lunch’ webinar series kicked off with an e-commerce week, with the introductory webinar providing an overview of e-commerce in the context of COVID-19, The V&A’s retail cluster, steps to readying your business for online sales, as well as an introduction to special offerings from partners ParcelNinja, Shopstar, and Yoco.
The panel of esteemed guests were; moderator Nwabisa Mayema, Director of Strategic Partnerships, The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship; Ann Lamont, Founding Partner & Director, DiiVe Collective; Andrew Smith, Commercial Partnerships & Strategic Projects Manager, The V&A Waterfront; and The V&A entrepreneurs Tamburai Chirume, Managing Director, One of Each, and Josh Meltz, Co-Founder & CEO, GranadillaSwim.

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Learning Lunches – Parcelninja 29 June 2020

Justin Drennan, Co-Founder and CEO of Parcelninja presents on general trends in e-commerce, readying your business for selling online, and how local businesses have pivoted during COVID-19 in the face of the new online surge.

Justin Drennan is the CEO and co-founder of Parcelninja. Parcelninja is a cloud-based warehousing and delivery service geared towards South African eCommercecommerce businesses. The business provides small to large online retailers with cutting edge plug-and-play integration into Parcelninja’s warehousing facilities and delivery networks. This first of it’s kind solution provides real-time reporting, stock visibility through the entire fulfilment journey, allowing ecommerce
business owners to focus on selling products, while Parcelninja ensures customers receive their orders.

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Learning Lunches – Shopstar 30 June 2020

Shopstar’s Director and CEO, Mike Joubert and Chris Edington, present on readying your business for online sales, trends in e-commerce in South Africa, and Shopstar’s special service offerings.

Chris Edington is the CEO of Shopstar. He started his entrepreneurial career during his studies in business management and information systems at Unisa. After finding his calling in the start-up space, he has since been actively focused on
technology and software businesses across a number of verticals over the last 15 years. In these businesses he has been instrumental in starting, growing and managing various enterprises as founder or co-founder.

Mike Joubert is the Director of Shopstar. He has over 30 years of experience. After graduating with an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch, he gained further experience in various executive roles which included Marketing Development Director of Computicket, Strategy Director at Ogilvy, CMO of Diageo South Africa, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. South Africa and VP of Marketing for Levi Strauss & Co. in Europe. Upon returning to South Africa, he founded The BrandsRock Group, a successful brand solutions company. In 2017 he founded The Billybo Group where he now thrives in using his experience to curate value for other businesses through knowledge, network and funding. He is also an
investor in, and mentor to South African start-ups.

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Learning Lunches – Yoco 1 July 2020

Yoco’s Shabnam Osman, Senior Product Manager presents on an overview of e-commerce, online payment gateways, and Yoco’s service offerings.

Shabnam has spent her career building products and tools to help people navigate the complex world of money. She started her career in the Precinct, at Allan Gray, where she spent a decade focussed on helping people understand and manage their investments. Shabnam joined Yoco in 2018, as part of the growing product team. At Yoco, she is helping merchants find new ways to accept payments and grow their business.

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