South Africa: MTN’s Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass a success

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MTN Business hosted a successful first-ever The Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass, staged on 27 October at The Forum. An array of top speakers including Director of National Gazelles Zukile Nomafu, CEO and founder of National Business Council Mike Anderson amongst others, offered the SME attendees a wealth of information and insights into using digital tools to run their businesses more successfully.

Elegant trailblazer, Ms Lynette Ntuli, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Investment Solutions and a property entrepreneur, hosted the event. She recounted her own experience as a digitally savvy entrepreneur, running her property development, asset management and infrastructure solutions firm from different countries across the continent and the world. “The great thing about going digital is that it opens up your business to global customers. Digital ideas help elevate SMEs to the next level,” she said.

Among the speakers was the general manager of enterprise sales at MTN Business SA, David Mphelo. “We are equipping South Africa’s entrepreneurs to harness technology to grow their businesses. Digital entrepreneurship is driving an economic revolution,” he said. Mphelo reiterated that SMEs could thrive by using new technology. “Digital transformation is fundamental for the growth of businesses, more so for small businesses. The digital space gives small business the edge over big business, with mobile situated at the heart of any business,” said Mphelo.

Mike Anderson, shared the findings from the 2016 National Small Business Survey, which proved to be an eye-opener. Failing to market one’s business has emerged as the biggest mistake for any business. Anderson stated that 69% of SMEs do not have a business website. He stressed the importance of professionalising one’s business and image. Entrepreneurs have to educate themselves around solutions for digital transformation. “Digital allows small business to level the playing fields with big business. Technology allows us to market our businesses with ease and is crucial to business success,” he said.

MTN’s Senior Manager for SMEs, Wei-Ling Chiu, outlined the best tools for entrepreneurs on a dime. She shared information on a number of free online tools that can make life easier for the digital entrepreneur. These ranged from Pexels, which allows one to use free stock photos for commercial use, to Hootsuite that enables one to manage multiple social media accounts through a single platform. She said the main reason for sharing these digital ideas was to empower entrepreneurs for the next chapter of South Africa’s economic development. Importantly, she said that, “People don’t’ buy what you do, but why you do it!”

Omotayo Ojutalayo, General Manager for MTN Business, discussed MTN’s role in supporting SMEs across Africa. She said that a key factor to consider for ones business is accessibility to the market. “Complex solutions have very little uptake. We need to make sure that whatever solutions we have, they are easy to understand.”

The day included a workshop on MTN’s Build Your Business Online platform, which enables you to drag and drop content to build a website. There is also a LiveChat option that offers online assistance during this process. It empowers one to choose and register a domain name for the website, as well as set up a search engine optimisation function.

Crayg Hitzeroth, the Managing Director of Ad Dynamo, Twitter’s sales partner in Africa also offered his insights into the digital media sphere. Hitzeroth indicated that brands don’t have target markets, but target moments. With Twitter these could be translated into Everyday Moments, Planned Moments, Unplanned Moments, and Live Moments. It is vital to have a strategy for all these digital opportunities.

The future is digital and MTN Business The Digital Masterclass offered entrepreneurs the opportunity to join that future.

Edited By: Darryl Linington
Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za
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Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Cliffcentral.com. Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za or via +27788021400.