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The biggest annual showcase for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in SA, the Durban Business Fair, is set to take place in September.
Now in its 14th year, the fair is an initiative of the eThekwini Municipality’s business support, tourism and markets unit. It was launched last week, a few months before the actual event, to create awareness and attract SMEs to participate and register to exhibit.
Last year the name of the event was changed from the SMME Fair to the Durban Business Fair to encourage corporate companies, government agencies, organised business bodies, NGOs and education institutions to participate.
Phillip Sithole, the head of the business support, tourism and markets Unit, said the change of name had yielded positive outcomes by broadening the impact of the fair.
He added that the Durban Business Fair had been enhanced to a comprehensive and highly interactive business gathering attracting different stakeholders in business development.
“This year’s edition will be a build-up to a momentous 15-year celebration for the fair next year. The 2012 Durban Business Fair will be enhanced in terms of magnitude and impact as it will be held over a full week, in what will be known as the Business Week,” he said.
“The fair will commence with a two-day business conference on September 18 and 19 at Durban ICC and culminate with an extended four-day exhibition at Durban Exhibition Centre. September 24 will be a bonus day for exhibitors without extra costs.
“We are building on a new brand that was introduced last year, which was well received by the broader business community.
“We have decided to extend the duration of the fair from just three days to a full week of informative and exciting activities.
“This will ensure that there is increased interaction and greater exposure for businesses that will participate in this year’s Durban Business Fair,” said Sithole.
Information sharing and networking will be enhanced through the two-day business conference, where topics such as the maritime sector, infrastructure development and the transport sector will be discussed.
The conference will be addressed by influential speakers who will provide valuable business expertise.
Sithole said the fair would continue to expose businesses and other organisations to the latest innovative trends in various sectors. It would also offer businesses an opportunity to network with fellow businesses and give them access to potential clients.
At the launch, a new interactive and informative website – www.dbn businessfair.com – was also launched.
“The Durban Business Fair is one of the platforms created by the city to fast-track business development. It is aimed at instilling entrepreneurial acumen and expertise in order to produce innovative and successful enterprises that contribute to the overall economic growth in the city and country,” said Sithole.
He urged SMEs, big corporate companies, government departments and state-owned enterprises, non-profit organisations and other stakeholders take the opportunity and register to participate in the fair.
* Registration for both the business conference and exhibition at the Durban Business Fair is now open. Space is limited, so register now by calling Ikhono Communications at 031 266 9937 /8 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org