I attended the launch of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) – which is headed by former Shell CEO Bonang Mohale – last week. It was an exciting event which gives a big business position on building our country.
The BLSA has a big, shiny building in Sandton in the heart of big business, but chose the Alexandra Recreation Centre on the East Bank for its launch. It was a poignant move because the message about the role of business in society could not have been better delivered than in that location and environment.
The BLSA sent a crisp, clear message about its commitment. The first thing it committed to was to create more jobs. Job creation history and statistics were a significant feature, which is interesting because 68% of private sector jobs are created by small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. So the relationship between big business and small business to allow BLSA to deliver on its promise will be interesting.
Adopting legislation is important
With big business making several promises at the BLSA that may be informed by legislation, it highlighted a flaw in the process where most of what is being legislated does not transform into policy.
A fascinating element about US business is the need to comply with legislation first. This will come about locally as we develop a better-serviced bureaucracy around legislation. If legislation is put in place for good reasons, governments worldwide will look at compliance with legislation as a form of revenue. And there will be a good case for governments globally to invest in ensuring that legislation is adopted.
Getting back to the commitment big business made to small business, the question is whether it will work. It has to work with the new BLSA leadership and it’s important to give Mohale a chance – he has a good leadership team, a great track record and believes in everything that was being put out. He understands the power of business to make a positive impact. He also said that before we ask government to put its shop in order, we must put our shop in order.
Mohale committed the BLSA and its members to six tenets:
Commit to black empowerment
Invest in people
Invest in communities
Condemn and root out corruption
Support small businesses
At Aurik, we believe that entrepreneurs have a powerful role to play in uplifting our economy and creating new opportunities for employment. So we support and look forward to the work that will be done by BLSA in the near future.
With this commitment fresh in our minds, we explore the tender process and the theft of IP that was discussed in part two of our show. Read on here: How to protect your growing business from big business theft