Finding gems in junk. Can small businesses rise up even when the economy is down?

Out of adversity comes opportunity. These famous words are attributed to US founder Benjamin Franklin and, right now, with South Africa’s weak economy leading to its credit rating downgrades and a technical recession, many businesses are counting on this sentiment being true. What certainly is true is that while small businesses have the strong potential to grow the economy and jobs, they are most vulnerable to economic pressures. Faced with difficult times, they often do not have significant reserves to keep their cash flow going, and they may not qualify for enough bank finance or credit to help them through. Yet, small businesspeople have a reputation as a tough and enterprising group and for those who are determined to be resilient, Property Point, a Growthpoint Properties initiative, has put together a special To The Point workshop. In July, To The Point is taking an in-depth look at what junk status and the impending recession mean for small business. It will also explain the risks and opportunities that are blowing in with the current headwinds. Leading the session is Lesiba Mothata. Mothata is Executive Chief Economist at Investment Solutions Ltd. He joined Investment Solutions in 2013 as Head of Market and Economic Research after two years at the SA Reserve Bank as a risk specialist responsible for the strategic asset allocation of the foreign-exchange reserve portfolio (about $50 billion). Here, he modelled risk scenarios and provided top-down views on currencies, countries, fixed income assets and riskier asset classes ‘new’ to central banks such as mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds and equities. Mothata possesses a unique understanding of the risks and opportunities for small business in the present market. He will share his insight into how entrepreneurs can take advantage of the recession crisis, and reveal how to identify opportunities that could arise during a recession or after a downgrade. Crucially, he will help entrepreneurs understand how to reformulate their business strategy in response to the current economic status. Practical insights from Mothata are also on the cards for the session to help businesses implement these tips and techniques. Also, anyone who attends To The Point will have the time to ask Mothata specific questions related to their unique situation. The session will be facilitated by Senior Principal Business Analyst, Writer and Radio Commentator on Economic and Political Issues, Phumlani M. Majozi, who is also a political analyst on Early Breakfast Show on Cape Talk Radio, and contributor on 702 and News24 Voices. Majozi also writes on political and economic issues which have been published in the City Press, African Liberty, Politicsweb and BizNews.. He is a member of the council at the South African Institute of Race Relations. He also sits on the boards of three organizations: Independent Entrepreneurship Group, Free Market Foundation South Africa (where he is also a youth coordinator), and Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). Ideal for entrepreneurs and business people who want to survive and even thrive through challenging times, the To The Point session on ‘What junk status and the impending recession mean for small business’ will take place at the Southern Sun Hotel, Hyde Park, on Thursday, 13 July 2017. Focused on entrepreneurs as well as small and growing businesses, it will start promptly at 6pm and finish at 8:30pm with drinks and finger snacks being served. The investment cost is R150.00 and, as seating is limited, advance booking is essential. Online booking at or by emailing


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