Business Conference Ends with Successful Conclusion –“Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Inspired”
The Nyamuka Zambia Business Plan Competition successfully concluded their 2017 National Business Conference in Lusaka on Thursday, 20 July 2017. With over 300 participants and 50 plus speakers, the oversubscribed event was a smashing success.
The conference, which was held under the theme “Building Businesses to Last”, was focused on sharing the knowledge, skills and tools that are vital to the success of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized (SME) businesses.
Optimism was high at the conference with Barclays Bank Zambia Plc. Managing Director Mrs. Mizinga Melu setting the mood by saying “Seeing so much business talent here in the room makes me optimistic for future of our country…At Barclays we believe that when our customers and clients do well, so do we. We believe that when the communities we live in thrive, we do too. We believe that when our society prospers, we all do”.
Mr. Bruce Lawson-McDowall, Head of DFID/UKaid, strongly agreed with Mrs. Melu stating that the conference will help “…push the boundaries of Zambian business and enterprise; to make it stronger, more daring, more resilient. You are all aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas and the energy to make it happen.” This shows real appetite for diversification by addressing market needs with local resources”.
The event brought together entrepreneurs, SMEs and business professionals, helping them move towards becoming the transformative enterprises of tomorrow which will go on to create sustainable jobs and wealth to help grow and develope Zambia’s economy.
The Team Lead of the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), Mr. James Blewett, also provided sound advice, telling participants to “Make the most of it! Don’t be shy… Ask questions… Make contacts… Be inspired”. He went on to reiterate PEP Zambia’s commitment to actively raising the quality of life of Zambians through the support and development of entrepreneurship.
Namaya Mbikusita-Lewanika, Manager of Nyamuka Zambia and one of the key speakers of the conference, gave a motiving speech about building a business and the challenges that are faced in the “optimistic beginnings” phase of a business.
“The challenge for our Nyamuka semi-finalists and, indeed, for every entrepreneur in the country, is to turn ideas and optimistic beginnings into a long-term, successful businesses,” said Ms. Mbikusita-Lewanika. She concluded her remarks with a call to action; “Don’t be put off by the risk of failure. Be bold. Be brave and learn from any mistakes that will be made along the way.”
The keynote addresses of the 2017 Nyamuka NBC were delivered by Mr. Ravi Devalia (Devalia Group of Companies) and Dr. David Nama (Dana Group of Companies).
Other speakers included PS Kayula Siame (Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry), Mafipe Chunga (KPMG), Benjamin Katubiya (BUK Holdings), Chilunga Puta-Dunham (Cavmont Bank), Bejoy Nettikadan (Net One IT), Mukula Makasa (ZDA), Kim Otteby (Umoyo Health), Sipho Phiri (Western Power), Jo Pope (Robin Pope Safaris), Simunza Muyangana (BongoHive), David Daka (Livestock Services Cooperative Society), Patrick Mulaisho (Shonga Steel), Chisha Folotiya (Rhodes Park Group of Schools), Dr. Kelvin Sokuni (KSM Management Consultants) and Christopher Mapani (PACRA).
The main conference sponsor was Barclays Bank Zambia. Other sponsors include ZANACO, SUN Business Networks, Cavmont Bank & the Zambia Green Jobs Programme.
Exhibitors at the conference included: Vodafone Zambia, SME Accounting Services Zambia, Elite POS Zambia, PACRA, BongoHive, The Best of Zambia & FINCA Zambia.