BusinessFit, DCCI and SACC join forces to support SME growth and development
In a true sense of collaboration for the benefit of all, BusinessFit (SA and International), the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the South African Chamber in London (SACC) have joined forces to support the growth and development of South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) wishing to expand their services into new markets.
As Shakespeare said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
Today South Africans need each other more than ever, and it is these high sea circumstances we find ourselves in, that has created the catalyst to bring us together to collaborate for the benefit of all. As such, the economic environment ‘junction’ we find ourselves in today, is perhaps the biggest opportunity for economic growth and development we have experienced since the beginning of our country’s democracy.
South Africans by nature are strong and powerful people. We are resilient and determined, and most of all we are capable and caring. Collectively we recognise that united we are complete, and as our Springboks taught us, when we step in time with the hearts of our whole nation, everything we desire is possible.
This is the spirit in which the collaboration between the parties, BusinessFit, DCCI and SACC, have built their robust foundation to create opportunity for South African SMEs to trade in the United Kingdom (UK). South Africa and the UK have always had positive trade relationships. Now there is a greater willingness than ever to build effective supplier opportunities, based on many factors – but, the possibility of Brexit and our President’s call for international support are perhaps the greatest potential drivers.
The UK imports many different products and services from around the world to service its business and population needs and from South Africa receives literally thousands of diverse products on an annual basis.
Without the confidence in trade between the two countries, stretching back literally hundreds of years, it would not have been possible for BusinessFit, DCCI and SACC to create their business trade readiness programme and business conduit service.
The consolidated business conduit service initiative started in November 2017 when the BusinessFit team, David White, Akhona Mahlati and Charles Henzi, took a brave leap of faith flying to London to meet and build relationships with likeminded members of the SACC. Our mission was to create new trade opportunities for South African companies.
Mike Miller took the initiative, showed us around, introducing us to professional people within the SACC influence and membership that he felt would boost the effectiveness of our now combined BusinessFit and SACC mission. The result is a team of competent and purposeful people. We have learned a lot from the likes of Sharon Constancon (CEO at SACC), Mike Miller (founder, past CEO and director at the SACC), and Exco member Rob Cannavo, and the many other board and Exco members we met and interacted with.
What amazed us the most... was that the DCCI and SACC members are as passionate about making significant contributions to developing SMEs and trade relationships between South Africa and UK as we are. We knew instantly we had found a highly motivated and capable team of professionals to work with in our now combined mission to “help develop and grow the South African economy”.
In our excitement in developing this business trade readiness programme and business conduit service, we shared knowledge of our initiative with the High Commissioner to the UK, Nomatemba (Tembi) Tambo, past-PM, Theresa May and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Each congratulated and encouraged our actions. Today, we have several exciting initiatives in progress, with two very special projects completed. The first is The Fair Food Company, a black owned farming development and food processing enterprise, that currently supplies South African retailers, and the food services sector with fresh and processed vegetable products, who are looking to grow an export supply market and distribution presence in the UK. And, the other, HMV, a local accounting firm, we helped upskill on UK bookkeeping activities, that is now able to provide back end accounting services to UK companies.
The trade opportunities between South Africa and UK are endless, and with business development support from BusinessFit and DCCI, import and export training from Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal, and networking and local orientation in the UK from the SACC and their members and networks, it is a perfect opportunity for SA companies to find and build new trading opportunities and markets. We measure the effectiveness of this initiative through foreign income into South Africa, increased financial contributions to Government, and growth in employment creation.
We at BusinessFit, DCCI, and SACC, encourage all SME (and large organisations) that have had some success in the distribution of their products locally, and want to seek opportunities to trade in the UK, to take advantage of this service availability, and speak to partners within BusinessFit, DCCI and SACC about the possibilities and effectiveness of growing their company’s market share through trading abroad.
To discover the possibilities of taking your products or services into either country contact David White: firstname.lastname@example.org Akhona Mahlati: email@example.com Mike Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our engagement website (www.baq.co.za). Let us assess the potential for expanding your business horizons!
South African / United Kingdom two-way trade includes: precious and semi-precious stones (highest); vehicles (second highest), railway and tramway locomotives; edible fruit and vegetables; nuclear reactors, boilers, and related machinery; beverages and spirits; fruit and nuts; furniture and articles of wood; iron and steel and articles thereof; electrical machinery and equipment; essential oils, resinoids, perfumes and cosmetics; plastics and articles thereof; aircrafts, spacecrafts and parts thereof, wood pulp, paper and paperboard; live trees, plants, bulbs and cut flowers; medical and surgical instruments; photographic and cinematographic equipment; aluminum and related articles; chemical products; fish and aquatic invertebrates; leather, tanning and dyeing extracts; glass and glassware; rubber and rubber articles; ropes, cables, wadding, felt and nonwovens; nickel; clocks and watches; pharmaceutical products; manmade staple fibres; base metals and cement; oils and seeds; clothing; wool; ships and boats; toys and games; salt, sulphur, lime; musical instruments; textiles; soap and washing preparations; tools, implements and cutlery; sugars and confectionary; meat and fish; carpets; cereals; copper; footwear; feathers and down related articles; livestock, umbrellas, walking sticks, arms and ammunition; cork; silk; tin; resins and fertilizers; dairy products; honey, and many other products and services. ?