For Entrepreneur and Play Your Part ambassador, Pearl Maphumulo, the year 2020 served its fair share of challenges, yet her brainchild, The Business Development Agency was somewhat ready to face unprecedented times. “On-boarding an essential products supplier as a client just before the pandemic was certainly a move I couldn’t have predicted would yield the results it would so soon”, she says when talking about Covid-19 preparedness. Pearl deems it a blessing that The BDA was able to reinvent their business model.
The BDA is a 100% black women-owned business development agency that caters to entrepreneurs and SMMEs across sectors, addressing direct needs that helps a business grow such as skills development, access to capital and forming vital stakeholder relationships.
The agency recognises that in rearing a business, there tends to be many loopholes when it comes to managing funds. For this reason, they have teamed up with the World Bank to host the Early Stage Finance Webinar on 19 February, as “an opportunity for a regional exchange between ecosystem contributors from the Maghreb and Southern Africa regions”.
The webinar has been opened up to SMEs in these two regions to teach entrepreneurs the fundamentals of what attracts investors to a business, as well as contribute some of their lived experiences in trying to secure finance for their ventures. On the panel is Obi Ozor, co-founder and CEO of Kobo360, a Nigerian start-up with a fleet of more than 10,000 drivers & trucks operating. Kobo360 has raised USD 30 million via its app, making it one of the largest investments on the African continent in 2019.
“As many entrepreneurs and businesses, I have made certain that I am more intentional on building and strengthening strategic relationships.” This has been especially true for Pearl and her business navigating through the pandemic. Pearl encourages entrepreneurs to remember their WHY. “The only reason why entrepreneurs/SMMEs matter is because they’re solving a particular problem, they’re answering a question, and so if it happens that the problem you solved or the question you answered in 2019 into early 2020 has shifted, fight to find another formula to answer the current questions.”
For more information, head to www.thebda.co.za.