21st Edition of the Durban Business Fair Kicks Off On High Note
Think beyond the traditional and innovate. This was the message from expert business leaders to the hundreds of delegates who turned out for Business Indaba, which marked the start of the first day of the milestone 21st Durban Business Fair. Being held at the Durban ICC and Exhibition Centre until Sunday, 29 September, the annual fair kicked off with a bang with a massive business crowd.
EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda welcomed the hundreds of businesspeople and said the fair was a commitment by the City leadership to accelerate the growth of small enterprises which assists in eradicating poverty.
"When we created the Durban Business Fair, the aim was to grow SMMEs and their products and services and promote business linkages. It encourages small business to participate in the fast changing economy, and its 21 year existence has been a resounding success," said Mayor Kaunda
He encouraged businesses to stay ahead of the advances in technology. "The fourth industrial revolution will undoubtedly result in a change in the economic landscape. It is a reality and it's necessary for us to adapt to the changes. However, we must place people at the centre of the digital change. This is where government and the private sector can develop plans for reskilling of people to keep pace of the changes," said Mayor Kaunda.
During the panel discussions, industry experts offered advise to up and coming entrepreneurs.
Rapelang Rabana, founder of Rekindle Learning, urged businesses to understand what challenge they wished to overcome, before investing in technologies.
"There are 3 challenges that I think businesses face, and they are how to drive new income streams, how to reduce costs and how to create compelling customer experiences. Once you identify which challenge you wish to overcome, then you can focus on what technology is best to use, am example would be investing in virtual reality for a compelling customer experience, or maybe invest in an online booking system to drive new income streams," she said.
Prasheen Maharaj, CEO of Southern African Shipyards emphasized that the human element should not be lost in the digital revolution.
"I believe in conscious capitalism. The levels of inequality are not sustainable and are a fertile breeding ground for the unrest we see in the world. As businesspeople we need to make a meaningful contribution to the economy, and instead of focusing on the quarterly results we should look at the social return on investment," he said.
Siyabulela Xuza, founder and managing director of African Galactic Consulting said young people and entrepreneurs needed to think outside of the traditional careers and innovate.
"One minute you could be a photographer and the next you can be an audio visual assistant. Then you bring the two together and get into data visualization and explore it on a virtual platform. You have to continuously reinvent yourself and position yourself for the market," he said.
On Thursday, 26 September, the much anticipated Women's Economic Empowerment Seminar will take place at the Durban ICC at 7.30am,
while the International Trade Seminar starts at midday.
The Durban Fashion Fair runway shows takes place every evening until Friday, and culminates in the Recognition Awards on Saturday, 28 September.
The show features designers such as Hombre, Modesta, Zarth and Leigh Schubert. Tickets available from or at Pick ‘n Pay outlets. They are priced at R100 per person per show. Students will pay just R50 per show. Tickets for the Awards Evening – at R200 per person – are also on sale. There will also be limited tickets sold at the door! Follow all the fashion action at our DFF Facebook page: Durban Fashion Fair or on Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair or #DFF2019 / #madeindurban / #supportlocal
Members of the media and the public are encouraged to visit this exciting business exhibition and street markets, which both open on Friday, to access unique and innovative products and services showcased by local businesses.
For more information about the Durban Business Fair, visit our digital platforms; Facebook page: @Durban Business Fair; Twitter: @DBNBusinessFair or Instagram: Durban_Business_Fair.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For media enquiries contact Msawakhe Mayisela on 060 966 4220