Important Announcements

We are pleased to announce that the  Department of Small Business Development has partnered to host the ICBA 2017.

"The Department views business advising as one of the priority areas of business development support to SMEs. We look forward to engaging with various players in the field to shape the future of business advising in South Africa through policy and professional practice", the Department says.

ICBA Conference Organiser & Sponsors

The International Conference on Business Advising is a collaboration involving key players in the field of business advising and small business promotion in South Africa. Osiba Management is a leading research company with more than 20 years of...

The Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Services SETA) was established and registered in March 2000 in terms of the skills development Act of 1998 and is responsible for the disbursement of the training levies. The Services SETA ...

The Ministry of Small Business Development was established in 2014 marking a turning point in history of SMME’s and Co-operatives development in South Africa, demonstrating Government’s commitment to place SMME’s and Co-operatives at the centre...

Conference Associates

GrowthWheel® is a visual toolbox and cloud-based platform used by business advisors to help client companies make decisions and take action with a 360° view on the company. GrowthWheel was founded in 2005 and is today used by more than 2,200 b...

Seda is mandated to implement government’s small business strategy; design and implement a standard and common national delivery network for small enterprise development; and integrate government-funded small enterprise support agencies across ...

“Many entrepreneurs are good at going it alone, but the growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises often rely on the guidance and support of external practitioners or advisers with specific expertise, knowledge, and skills that entrepreneurs may not have. These people make a difference, and research has shown they improve the longer-term viability of new ventures, helping them get past those critical first five years” - Keystones in Entrepreneurship Knowledge, 2005

About the Conference

The International Conference on Business Advising (ICBA), the first conference of its kind, casting the spotlight on what is considered one of the most important business support tools – business advising.  Business advising plays a critical role in enhancing the survival, performance and success of all businesses, in particular start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A pioneering pilot initiative launched in South Africa in 2012, sponsored by USAID and JP Morgan, focused on measuring the impact of effective business development support on enabling small businesses to survive, grow, and become investment-ready has shown that participating SMEs showed more than 40% growth in revenue in their first year and significant improvements in business systems and investment readiness. According to the initiative, which is now being rolled out, the results of the pilot provided evidence that:

  • High-quality business development support, including business advising, can help businesses to grow faster and create more jobs
  • It is possible to assess the quality of business development support a business has received by measuring specific changes in the business

The ICBA will take a 360-degree view of business advising, looking at the profession itself, business advising practices, and performance. It will examine the following central questions, among others:

  • What factors determine the success of business advising as a business support tool?
  • What are the experiences and lessons from South Africa and around the world in delivering impactful business advice?
  • How can the impact of business advising be measured and improved?
  • What are future directions in business advising?

Who should attend?

The conference is open to all actors in the business advice field from around the world, including:

  • Accountants and financial experts
  • Legal practitioners
  • Commercial banks, development finance institutions and other financiers
  • Government SME support agencies
  • Business schools and business academics and researchers
  • Consultants, mentors, and business coaches
  • Business turnaround practitioners
  • Trade and professional associations, and Chambers of Commerce
  • International development organisations
  • Corporate small business development programmes

Conference programme

Under the theme, Business Advising: Profession, Practice and Performance, the conference will cover all components of business advising – mentoring, coaching, consulting, counselling, and business turnaround. The programme will comprise plenaries and continuous professional development (CPD) sessions, covering the following topics:

  • Public policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Role of government
  • Minimum qualifications for business advising
  • Accreditation / certification of business advisers
  • Continuing professional development
  • Professional codes / ethics / regulation
  • The legal and policy environment for business advising
  • Business advising programme design approaches
  • Adviser-client relationship
  • Methodologies, tools and techniques
  • Delivery innovations (incl. role of ICT)
  • Quality assurance
  • Complaints handling
  • Determining success – how do we know it works?
  • Continuous learning and improvement
  • Measurement methodologies (qualitative vs quantitative)
  • Determining measurement roles and frequencies
  • Disseminating and using results to improve design and practice

Download the Conference Programme

“Business advice consistently produces better outcomes on productivity and output…” - A New Design: Making Local Support Work for Business, 2015

Conference dates

Date: 21 - 23 November 2017
Venue: Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa


“The use of external advice has been strongly linked to successful business growth…” - Keystones in Entrepreneurship Knowledge, 2005

ICBA 2017 Speakers

Annie McWalter

Annie is CEO of The Hope Factory, a Non Profit Company specialising in Enterprise an...

Bongani Coka

Mr Bongani Coka is the Chief Executive of South African Institute of Professional Ac...

Christoff Oosthuysen

Christoff Oosthuysen is the Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute. ...

Darlene Menzies

Darlene Menzies is a technology innovator and serial entrepreneur who has establishe...

David Madié

David Madié is the founder of GrowthWheel International Inc. and creator and designe...

Dr. Khaled Nagaty

Dr Nagaty has had an extensive career in SMEs as a credit & financial consultant...

Dr. Richard Weinberger

Dr. Richard Weinberger has over 30 years experience as a management and financial co...

Joseph Tshiwilowilo

Mr Joseph Tshiwilowilo is CEO of the Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa ...

Kate Moloto

Kate Moloto is the CEO of Moloto Solutions, a corporate governance, financial manage...

Lusapho Njenge

Lusapho Njenge is the Chief Strategy and Information Officer at the Small Enterprise...

Paul Bacher

Paul has co-founded and built a number of start-ups that have gone on to become lead...

Septi Bukula

Septi Bukula, ICBA 2017 Director, has been involved in entrepreneurship and small bu...

Shadé Y. Adu

Shadé Y. Adu is a personal brand strategist, international speaker, bestselling auth...

Professional Bodies Supporting ICBA 2017

The Enterprise Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA) is a non-profit, regulatory body which is aimed at setting standards and promoting the sustainable implementation of Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programmes. ...

The Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI) is a non-profit organization that empowers business support practitioners to make an impact. The focus is on increasing the quality of service delivery offered by mentors, coaches, consultants and tr...

The Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA) is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the professional body responsible for the grading, accreditation and continuous professional development of busines...

OpenCircle is a team of accredited and experienced business advisors from a wide range of different disciplines. We focus on serving the needs of decision-makers in mid-size businesses throughout South Africa. Based in Gauteng and the Western C...

The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) is a professional accountancy organisation, boasting a membership of more than 10,000 members. It is one of the professional accountancy organisations in South Africa that set mand...