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Western Cape Business 2017 edition

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The 2017 edition of Western Cape Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Western Cape province. The Western Cape has numerous promising investment and business opportunities and this issue includes contributions from Alan Winde (Minister of Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape Government), interviews with Ryan Ravens (CEO of Accelerate Cape Town), Arifa Parkar (Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum CEO), Wesgro CEO Tim Harris and Lance Greyling (Invest Cape Town) as well as contributions from various business leaders. In addition, you will also find comprehensive features on all the key sectors in the Western Cape.


PROFILE Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum The Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (WECBOF) is a non-profit organisation with a powerful voice for business in the southernmost region of the African continent, the Western Cape. Description The Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (WECBOF) is a member-based organisation for business. It has access to channels for information on how to grow and develop businesses in mainly the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) sector, and is an enabler for its members to access new business opportunities. Service WECBOF is a service association providing businesspeople with relevant information, training, business opportunities, and representation on appropriate investment, public sector and related platforms. It also ensures that it is represented on the boards of relevant associations and affiliations in order to ensure that its members are well-represented and that opportunities are filtered to the organisation for their benefit. Business objective WECBOF’s objective is to improve business performance in order to achieve improved levels of economic growth and employment, reduce poverty and meet social objectives. In order to achieve its objective, the organisation focuses on addressing issues such as contributing to the establishment of an environment that is conducive to a free market based on competitiveness, access to financial and other business support services, and expanding markets for products and services. Target market The organisation’s target market is the entrepreneurial community of the Western Cape, including the SMME sector. CONTACT INFO Email addresses General enquiries: Chief Executive Officer: Administration: WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017 26

WECBOF: Where entrepreneurs excel Arifa Parkar is the CEO of the Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (WECBOF). INTERVIEW Arifa Parkar, CEO BIOGRAPHY Arifa Parkar completed her formal education at the University of Bombay and Mumbai, earning a BA in Economics and Politics before moving on to complete her LLB in 1985. The same year she acquired her qualifications in Business Management. In 1999 she joined the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism before becoming Marketing Manager at the Cape Chamber in 2001. She is an active member and executive on the Committee of the South African Institute of International Affairs (Western Province Branch) and was elected the 1st President of Mafubo South Africa, an international NGO. In addition to her role as CEO of WECBOF, Arifa also owns and runs Aasha Investment Solutions (Pty) Ltd. You were born in Zanzibar, grew up in the Seychelles, Mauritius and India… so when did Cape Town become home? I came to the shores of South Africa in 1991 and very soon after I realised that this could very well be my final choice of a place to call home. It just suited me in every aspect – the different cultures, the “joie de vivre”, the diversity, and of course the cosmopolitan appeal of Cape Town just spread its web around my heart. Does your vast international experience enhance WECBOF’s work? Absolutely – I strongly believe that networking is the key to any business’s success. Over the years my personal network has grown quite significantly, and this will be the key to opening local, national and international opportunities for WECBOF and our members. How has WECBOF changed its focus in recent years? WECBOF started out as a voice for coloured businesspeople, but today it represents all South Africans with a common passion for entrepreneurship in the Western Cape. This is our greatest achievement. How does WECBOF encourage more opportunities for SMMEs? To succeed in today’s collaborative, client-driven, networked economy, companies must take advantage of the strength of their business relationships to succeed. A new economy is emerging, one built on a complex network of information, interaction and change. This evolving business landscape, shaken by technological innovation, globalisation and downsizing, has led us back to embracing the most fundamental aspect of business: relationships. That is why WECBOF is in constant dialogue with stakeholders so that we create an enabling environment for our members, as well as those with whom we interact and do business. Which of your accolades means the most to you? I have two personal favourites that stand out from the rest, one from CEO Magazine as the “Most Influential Woman in Business” Award, and the second was awarded to me by Business Partners for my “Contribution to SMMEs in the Western Cape”. These two are very dear to my heart. 27 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017

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