“Everyone has, in themselves, gold that is yet to be mined. And sometimes all it requires is for us to help them see it, in order to mirror it back to them. This is what helped me build my organisation, over the past 15 years, to what it now is.” said Marian Goodman at the youth economic participation programme themed “RMB (Rand Merchant Bank) meets activate”.
The fifteenth of March 2018 will mark a very significant day in the history for ACTIVATE! entrepreneurs. The event held at the “June 16 Memorial Acre” (a venue designed to mark the heart and historical moment of the 1976 student uprising) will go down as the day when a wealth of knowledge, networks and resources was shared with activators by the staff at RMB. Activators received an opportunity to present their ventures to RMB experts who work with some of the largest cooperates like Woolworths. In response, the experts helped refine concepts and shared their networks, knowledge and other resources in order to help the young entrepreneurs.
While a lot of Activators summed up their entrepreneurial challenges as financially related, they acknowledged that when you have an opportunity to engage experts in the field of business, you come to a realisation that resourcefulness is the key for running a successful venture. One needs to intensely look into leveraging networks in order to ensure that the lack of finance is evaded successfully. It became imperative that as young entrepreneurs we need to ensure that we are always prepared for opportunities of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunities that are presented to us. Activator Phephisile remarked that “Opportunity is seized by the prepared, it is always important to have a clear winning elevator pitch ready so as to maximise the use of time given to speak to potential funders and networks.”
There is a hunger for success amongst activator entrepreneurs. The RMB executives highlighted that they are impressed with the work that is done by activators. What stood out most in the reflective session for them was the fact that most of the entities and ideas for business coming from the change drivers are about impact, change and profit. This shows that there is a strong shift from the traditional business focus that puts profit at the forefront of everything even to the detriment of its own producers. “Activators have a challenge of navigating the business world and this poses a need to ensure that we mobilise business support from those that have walked the terrain” said Daniel one of the experienced asset managers from RMB.
The call by RMB to have its employees involved in community development has come at an opportune time for activators and this will allow collaboration with experts in the business. The possibility of leverage was brought to life in the resolutions that were made by activators and RMB. The most notable resolution was that RMB and Activate should consider collaborating on creating a crowdfunding platform so that where it is not possible for all change drivers to access such opportunities. The second is a need to create a virtual marketplace that will link resources and projects in order to create a stronger impact in the country.
Published Author, Success Coach and entrepreneur