Building a small business is “an extreme sport”. But a mindset shift by asset managers to start investing in start-ups can support promising small enterprises, which in turn should use their nimbleness to access markets that are hard to penetrate.
This is according to entrepreneur and chartered accountant Andile Khumalo, speaking about the importance of supporting small businesses at the launch of an innovative new campaign which will see leading insurer, Hollard, sharing its “big advertising” spaces with 12 budding SMMEs over the next six months.
The idea is to help these small enterprises thrive in the long term, bolstering South Africa’s economy in the process.
Hollard yesterday launched its Big Ads for Small Business campaign on a pioneering, futuristic SMME exhibition platform. The immersive virtual world was designed in graphic detail to allow participants, through their avatars, to move around the main stage area and exhibition rooms, listen to keynote speeches and approach small-business owners at their branded booths for chats.
Attendees also had the chance to network extensively, read about the various small businesses and watch videos in dedicated reading and viewing areas.
“Big ads” are any big-budget advertisements that small businesses would otherwise struggle to afford, including billboards, street-pole advertising, radio and television spots, and digital ad spaces. Each selected business will benefit from roughly R1-million in advertising spend, not counting agency fees and the cost of creative material.
Considering the “relatively small” local market, Khumalo urged small businesses to consider expanding their operations beyond the borders of South Africa, saying, “Every big business out there was once a small business, just like you.”
The other keynote speeches were delivered by Metro FM radio show host Mo Flava and Heavy Chef learning platform CEO Fred Roed.
Flava said the story of small businesses was “the story of hope”. He had already used radio, social media and other digital spaces to give deserving entrepreneurs a platform, but it was important to get more success stories out there. “There’s power in using our networks,” he said, encouraging participants to use their own platforms to boost local brands they like.
“Our core belief is that entrepreneurs can change the world for the better,” added Roed, using the example of South Korea, which in just 60 years engineered a turnaround from having the GDP equivalent of Rwanda to being a “future-based, digital society”. He told the small businesses present, “You guys are the change we want to see.”
Hollard chief marketing officer Heidi Brauer said Hollard’s purpose is to enable more people to create and secure a better future. This is one of the reasons why Hollard had decided – in tough times, with many small businesses suffering – on a “better way” to do a campaign, by sharing its advertising space with small businesses.
The insurer wants to be a catalyst for positive and enduring change, she stressed. “We want to inspire others to do the same.”
The aim is ultimately to provide the SMMEs with not only marketing support, but also business tools through partners such as Heavy Chef to ensure their long-term growth. This will create a collective knock-on effect of better futures, for communities and for South Africa’s economy.
The selected small businesses were chosen from an initial pool of 292 SMMEs proposed by Hollard employees. Criteria included whether they would benefit from the campaign, could handle a potential rapid increase in business and were spread across the country.
The 12 businesses are:
● African Accent, a spaza shop distribution hub
● Busanimen Tailors, providing suits and formal wear for special events
● Ground One Coffee, a coffee company that also provides related services
● Haircelerate, a local hair-care brand that promotes love and care for your hair
● Journey Leather, a leather brand celebrating local craft
● Moja Chicken, a black-owned grilled-chicken restaurant
● Ronewa Creations, a landscaping service
● SchoolHub, a secure school payments platform
● Thesis Lifestyle, a streetwear brand
● Next Level Learning, an early childhood and foundation phase education provider
● Koni Wines, a local black-owned wine brand
● All Things Laundry, a township-based laundromat
Find out more about the campaign and the small businesses being promoted at https://www.hollard.co.za/bigads, and watch the campaign videos featuring the SMMEs and event presentations here: https://bit.ly/3qWsdJi