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11 months ago

Western Cape Business 2022

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MESSAGE Innovation is

MESSAGE Innovation is the competitive currency of the future Jacques Moolman, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Jacques Moolman If there is one thing in which private enterprise and the profit motive excel above all its other virtues, it is in its flexibility. Unlike large institutions and state-owned enterprises, the private sector’s small, medium and micro enterprises are quick to react to market demand and indeed to all sudden changes. The Covid-19 pandemic is a case in point. It demanded swift changes to operating methods, often making the difference between survival and shutting up shop. The Cape Chamber is an example. Its team made a change to remote working within 24 hours of the first lockdown. It then concentrated on help and support for its members, ending its first financial year of the pandemic better off, despite taking a hit from a depleted customer base. Now, having made the transition to a new normal, we and everyone else have to accept that the economy has changed. The country is essentially bankrupt – financially and morally. Unemployment, crime and corruption are now permanent attributes of the country. That means not simply hoping that things will get better but making sure that we will get better at dealing with reality. The Chamber is now better positioned for doing so because of decisions we made in the years before lockdown. Since we are not state-sponsored, we were determined to retain our fierce independence, so we made revenue generation key. That meant a single-minded concentration on engagement with our customers, our members. Because we recognise the competitive currency in the future will be innovation, we have a mantra at the Chamber, “If no one dies, the risk is acceptable.” We also abandoned three-year plans. We set our strategy for two days ahead. What we are getting good at is planning the strategy – that’s more than 150 strategy sessions a year – and we get to monitor and respond to each one. It is this practice of planning that is invaluable. The plan itself is just the outcome. Learning is indeed the greatest gift the universe can give us. As long as we can learn, “We are alive.” That is why I am confident that the private sector in the Cape will bounce back and survive whatever challenges are presented. The entrepreneurial spirit in the Cape goes back at least 217 years as the Chamber itself proves since it is now entering its 218th year. That resilience is not unique to us. Nor is innovation. Both are in the very marrow of the private sector of the province.

WECBOF makes it happen! The Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (WECBOF) provides a platform for businesses to establish and maintain contact with fellow entrepreneurs; to have access to opportunities, information and training; and to have representation on a number of relevant forums of government and other associations focussed on growing and enhancing the commercial sector, with a specific focus on small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs). WECBOF is widely recognised and respected as a powerful voice for business in the Western Cape; we are a provincial service organisation with our focus and attention firmly on the national and international business pulse. CALL US TODAY. +27 21 946 2519 office@wecbof.co.za www.wecbof.co.za www.facebook.com/wecbof/ @wecbof A powerful voice for business. Where entrepreneurs excel.

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