Ignite my SME is an initiative of FACTS Africa that seeks to provide SMEs with an opportunity to learn, network and showcase their products through a series of seminars across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. These seminars target SMEs from all economic sectors that are in the phase of rapid business acceleration and hence would benefit enormously from coaching, mentoring, finance or advisory services to realize their expansion plans.
There exists many small and promising SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa that have skill gaps and/or limited experience which inhibit them from running a successful business and realizing their full potential. This is especially true for companies that have an established business model but seem to stall; where they could enter a period of accelerated growth. It is exactly in this acceleration phase when the complexities of running a business increase rapidly and when the risk of derailment is a constant threat. FACTS has a direct interest in working with strong and well managed clients, and that’s why we want to contribute to building better companies. The Ignite seminars are intended to catalyze ambition to excel.
Ideally, successful entrepreneurs will master skills in three dimensions: Sales, Operations and Finance. But what we find in reality is that many owners/managers are strong in 1 field, and sometimes 2, but rarely in all 3. With this idea in mind, Ignite my SME was born to offer, through a one-day event, a holistic approach that will cut across all three dimensions as mentioned above. A line up of professionals in their respective fields will be available to give insight on key areas of running small businesses.
The IGNITE seminars comprise of a series of 10 seminars across Kenya (4), Uganda (3) and Tanzania (3). Out of these 10 seminars, we shall have 1 women seminar per country. These are intended to be 1-day seminars with each bringing together up to 150 emerging SMEs across all sectors of the economy as well as SME solution providers. The IGNITE seminars will combine approximately 6 plenary presentations on Sales, Finance and Operations, with ample opportunity to network and engage with various SME solution providers. The seminars will be conducted in the period Aug 2017 to June 2018.
Through the Ignite my SME seminars, we want to (re)emphasize to SME owners/managers what it takes of build a world class company and how they would benefit from working with specialists in different fields. A 1-day seminar will hardly reinvent business models, but the essence is to create an inspirational event that presents the attendees with some “quick win” ideas and an eye opener towards outside assistance.
The common thread through the presentations is “…towards building a world class business…” hence the Ignite my SME slogan ‘Growth Through Excellence’. The events provide a great chance to meet and interact with several established SMEs that are rapidly growing. Additionally, this will be an opportunity to network as well as showcase one’s products/services.