THEMED “Celebrating 15 years of growth and sustainability with new innovative networking and marketing platforms’, the Durban Business Fair has over the past 14 years proved to be the best platform for small businesses to showcase and market their businesses so that they will grow and also contribute in South African economy.

At the recent Business Fair Buyers Breakfast, Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, Deputy Mayor of eThekwini and Chair of Economic Development Cluster said that Durban is ready to host the Fair.

“The Fair has grown from strength to strength, which is a very good sign because small businesses are one important sector in our society that will one day become bigger and tackle the issues of poverty and unemployment ,” said Shabalala.

Phillip Sithole, Head of Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit shared the same sentiment as he revealed that exhibitors have invested more than R6m in participation and exhibitor’s participation has grown from 100 to over 2 500 exhibitors excluding repeats since its inception.
Sithole said the Fair does not only expose small business sector to vast opportunities available around the world but it also gives the City a platform to showcase our world class facilities as the event attracts an average of 11 000 local and international visitors.

“Testimony to my statement, we have 15 success stories that will be shared at Fair, businesses which started attending the Fair when they were very small but now they have grown and doing very well in they are businesses as they are now called big businesses and has successfully managed to create job opportunities,” he added.

Moses Tembe, Chairman of Crescendo Venture Capital and a well-known entrepreneur commended the City for its efforts in hosting the Fair in support of small businesses. He said the Municipality’s efforts are now starting to pay off because there is lot of improvement in various businesses who have attended the Fair for many years.
“Being an entrepreneur is such a wonderful experience therefore I urge all entrepreneurs to grab opportunities like these with both hands and use it to their advantage because everyone started small and worked their way up. Hard work is the key,” he added.

The breakfast also provided an invaluable opportunity for the entrepreneurs to interact and network, and to promote their businesses at a high level.
As part of celebrating 15 years of success and growing sustainability, the Fair will run in conjunction with the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) 19th International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises (ICSME), which will be hosted in Durban for the first time. The ICSME will be hosted on 18 -21 September 2013 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and the Fair will run from 20-22 September at Durban Exhibition Centre.

The theme of the Conference is “Beyond the downturn – revitalising the global economy through small and medium enterprises”. The Conference will feature panellists who will deal with various best practice topics – enterprise development and access to finance.

Those who are interested to be part of the WASME 19th International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises can still apply since there is some space left. Contact details are as follows: Tel: +27 (011) 326-4082 Email: asanda@osiba.co.za / nyameka@osiba.co.za Website: www.wasmeicsme2013.org
For more information please contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email: thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806/072 572 8658 or email: sanelisiwe.shandu@durban.gov.za