“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:

Profession
  • Minimum qualifications for business advising
  • Accreditation / certification of business advisers
  • Continuing professional development
  • Professional codes / ethics / regulation
Practice
  • 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
Performance
  • 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
“Business advice consistently produces better outcomes on productivity and output…” - A New Design: Making Local Support Work for Business, 2015

Conference dates

Date: 22 - 24 November 2017
Place: Johannesburg, South Africa

Conference partners

Osiba Management Logo

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 experience in small business promotion policy and programmes in South Africa, with a wide range of clients in the public and private sector. Osiba Management has previously organised the 37th International Small Business Congress (ISBC), which brought together 744 delegates and more than 50 speakers from 38 countries in 2012; the World Association for Small & Medium Enterprises’ (WASME) 19th International Conference for SMEs (ICSME), attended by 621 delegates from 21 countries in 2013. In 2015 Osiba Management organised the 11th International Forum of the International Network for SMEs (INSME), attended by 300 delegates.

ibasa logo

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 business advisors, business coaches, consultants and mentors serving the micro, small and medium enterprises SMMEs in South and Southern Africa. The IBASA has a membership in excess of 600 members across South Africa, accredited as Business Advisors, Business Coaches and Mentors. Members are graded in accordance with their level of skill and experience and qualify to use designations ranging from Business Advisor (BA), Principal Business Advisor (PBA) and Certified Business Advisor (CBA), being the most skilled and experienced. www.ibasa.org.za

SAIPA Logo

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 mandatory requirements for its members with regard to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). SAIPA is a full member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and has beneficial reciprocal agreements with national and international bodies including the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA); The Institute of Certified Public accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland); the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) in Australia; and the Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants (CFA) in Namibia. www.saipa.co.za

“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 and Supplier Development and growing South African entrepreneurs. The Hope Factory is part of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and has been in existence for 15 years. Annie has vast experience in Enterprise Development and entrepreneurship and has qualifications in Social Entrepreneurship, Industrial Psychology (Masters) and the Sciences. 

The Hope Factory plays an active role in economic transformation in South Africa through advancing the sustainable growth of entrepreneurial Black businesses. The Hope Factory offers entrepreneurial development based on three main legs, firstly, the personal and leadership development of the individual entrepreneur; secondly, the transfer of business skills and strategy development; and thirdly the development of financial excellence so that the entrepreneurial businesses can attract growth funding and investment.

Our flagship and customised programmes consist of a compulsory mentorship component in conjunction to a range of business development services suited to the individual growth path of the business. These services include operational investments, access to market opportunities, networking sessions, business development workshops and specialised training.

The purpose and heartbeat of The Hope Factory is to grow the person, develop businesses and impact the community through our results-focussed mentorship model, while adding value to our investors.

Joseph Tshiwilowilo

Mr Joseph Tshiwilowilo is CEO of the Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA). Affectionately known as JMT, he is an Associate General Accountant (SA) SAICA, Professional Accountant (SA) SAIPA, Professional Tax Specialist (SA), Certified Business Advisor IBASA, Member of the Institute of Directors (SA) and a Member of the Association of Black Accountants of South Africa. 

JMT is a mature Professional whose career in the business environment spans 40 years. A former Chairman of SAIPA, IBASA and also a former Board Member of Natalspruit Hospital and Trans World Radio (TWR), he is currently the CEO of IBASA, Managing Member of JMT Executive Tax & Accounting Services CC, Chairman of JMT Group (Pty) Ltd and Member of Management & Business Services Chamber representing professional bodies at the Services SETA.

His strength and passion in various boards and committees is Corporate Governance, Strategy, Turnaround Strategy, Taxation, Statutory Compliance, Internal Control, Risk Management, and Financial Management.

Bongani Coka

Mr Bongani Coka is the Chief Executive of South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), a board member of Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), a King Committee Member and a Council Member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

Mr Coka most recently fulfilled the role of CEO at Productivity SA for five years, after having served as the organisation’s CFO for 10 years.

He is also a previous board member of Productivity SA board and Secretary General of the Pan African Productivity Association.

Septi Bukula

Septi Bukula, ICBA 2017 Director, has been involved in entrepreneurship and small business research since 1993, specialising in public policy, design of support programmes, impact assessments, and regulatory analysis and simplification. He has produced a number of important works for a range of clients in the public and private sector. One of his most important works is a 2011 report titled “Rethinking small business support in South Africa” compiled by a 4-person expert panel he led, which was appointed and commissioned by the Minister of Trade & Industry to conduct a review of government support for small business. Bukula’s work has been influential in informing small business policy and support programmes in South Africa and further afield in Kenya and Rwanda, where he was commissioned by the World Bank to undertake regulatory simplification work.

In 2010 Bukula was named Honorary Fellow and Honorary Life Member by the Institute of Business Advisors South Africa (IBASA), “in recognition of outstanding service to micro, small and medium enterprises and / or to the Profession of Business Advisers in South Africa”. He has also served on the Boards of several small business organisations in South Africa and internationally. Driven by his keen interest in the international exchange of learning in the entrepreneurship and small business field, Bukula has organised several large international small business conferences in South Africa, including the 37th International Small Business Congress (ISBC, 2012), 19th World Association for Small & Medium Enterprises (WASME) 19th International Conference on SMEs (ICSME, 2013) and the 11th Annual Forum of the International Network for Small & Medium Enterprises (INSME, 2015).

He is the founder and director of Osiba Management, based in Johannesburg.

Paul Bacher

Paul has co-founded and built a number of start-ups that have gone on to become leaders in their respective industries. Some examples include NetActive and NetFlorist. While at CCN, Paul put together the first National Call Centre Industry Body (SACCCOM) and was elected as its first CEO.

His social entrepreneurship bent led to Paul founding and building OrtJet (a not for profit organisation that utilises the help of 700 volunteer mentors, to rehabilitate struggling businesses and start-ups, and provides a host of other services to enable business growth & development). He also co-founded the National Mentorship Programme in 2016 - to recruit 100,000 mentors to mentor 1 million mentees and thereby add 2 million jobs to the economy over 3 years. It is currently in full swing.

Paul is married, has 6 children and 2 grandchildren. He lives in South Africa.

Dr Khaled Nagaty

Dr Nagaty has had an extensive career in SMEs as a credit & financial consultant. He has chaired Metropolitan-Egypt for 10 years as it reached being the benchmark for credit consultants in Egypt. Dr Nagaty has also occupied international titles such as the VP of WASME (World Association for SMEs) and has an extensive career in SME finance in Egypt and the USA spanning 15 years.

His affiliations include the following:

Former VP of WASME

Chairman of Egyptian Association of SMEs Support

Former Chairman of Egyptian Credit & Risk Association

Former Head of Banking & Finance Committee of Egyptian Junior Business Association

Dr. Richard Weinberger

Dr. Richard Weinberger

Dr. Richard Weinberger has over 30 years experience as a management and financial consultant for small businesses and SMEs, a former college professor, and currently the CEO of the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC) headquartered in the United States. The AASBC is the only global association specializing in training and certification of small business and SME consultants.

He has a PhD degree in organization and management, an MBA in management, a BBA degree cum laude in accounting, and a BBA degree in marketing. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Dr. Weinberger is an international speaker, author, and forwardthinking expert regarding SMEs. He is the author of the SEMP Approach: Simplified Examination to Maximize Profit, which is the basic foundation of learning for certification with the AASBC. His philosophy is to take each business from "stagnation to elevation" utilizing the concept of improving operational efficiency and maximizing profitability through proactive achievements in everyday systems leading to long-term success and business sustainability.

Christoff Oosthuysen

Christoff Oosthuysen

Christoff Oosthuysen is the Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute. He’s been involved in small business development for over 20 years, first as publisher (BigNews for the Business Owner and Small Business Connect) and later as Entrepreneurial Coach at Flow Finders International. Christoff is recognised for offering impactful training and support to business advisors and entrepreneurs, including the creation of practical tools such as the Flow Canvas planning framework. His approach is described in his book “Results! How To Succeed In A Fast-Changing World With A 1-Page Business Plan”. He is also active in supporting social entrepreneurs, mainly through programmes of the Social Enterprise Academy (Africa). Christoff is a University of Stellenbosch graduate, he qualified as a professional coach at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, and is accredited as a Certified Business Advisor by  IBASA, the South African professional body for small business advice.