As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) – an annual campaign aimed at celebrating and empowering entrepreneurs around the world – Standard Bank released a new video series that highlights the stories of a new generation of business owners.
Aimed at inspiring other business owners to overcome challenges associated with the entrepreneurial journey and to explore their potential, the Come-Up Series features five inspiring stories from five unique entrepreneurs.
These entrepreneurs – ranging from a TikTok influencer to South Africa’s first black female brewmaster – have all partnered with Standard Bank to grow and develop their businesses. In the series, they detail how they responded to the obstacles of the last 18 months and turned the COVID-19 crisis into opportunity.
The business landscape has changed drastically since the onset of the pandemic, businesses were severely impacted by lockdowns and reduced levels of consumer spending. This meant that business owners were forced to rethink their models and ways of operating to survive, but it also created new opportunities.
This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which took place in November, focused on ways of rebooting and helping those affected by the economic downturn and in doing so, helping economies to rise by enabling and unleashing entrepreneurial potential.
Standard Bank understands that helping to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and support the endeavors of entrepreneurs is critical to boosting economic growth and recovery and to regenerate lost jobs. Currently, there are many new avenues to pursue, and we are now seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs emerge such as social media influencers.
This year’s GEW highlighted inspirational activities taking place across key areas such as education, ecosystems, inclusion, and policy that are helping to empower entrepreneurs all over the globe. In alignment with the event, Standard Bank highlighted, through the Come-Up Series, how the bank is empowering entrepreneurs across various industries with support, advice, and tools to grow their businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a host of challenges and, as a result, many businesses had to pivot and innovate to survive. Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, Founder of Tolokazi Beer, who is featured in the series, explains how she was forced to close her brewery during COVID-19, but she looked at ways to turn the plant into a sanitiser manufacturer instead. “It does not matter where you come from or what your background is, what matters is your mindset and your ability to innovate,” she says.
The pandemic had a devastating impact on the economy. Many businesses indicated a disruption or halt to normal business trading, resulting in lower sales over the period. While some businesses closed, this was also a period where new opportunities emerged. As consumers were confined to their homes due to lockdown restrictions, online activity surged.
In another episode of the Come-Up Series, TikTok influencer Chad Jones explains how the big shift to online helped him to reach a wider audience as more people were spending time on digital platforms like TikTok. He has since collaborated with Standard Bank on various campaigns.
“It is important to consider that partnerships are critical,” says Jessica Motaung, Marketing Director of football club Kaizer Chiefs. She explains that having a partner like Standard Bank can help a business to adapt and reach new heights.
“As a result of COVID-19, we had to adapt and digitise our business. We looked at new ways of giving our sponsors exposure and engaging with our supporters and we were fortunate to have Standard Bank driving our business objectives,” says Motaung.
Standard Bank continues to support its business clients, from small enterprises to large corporations, representing a vast array of industries, with advisory services and digital solutions to help them navigate success in a changing environment and to drive growth of the African economy.