Joburg LGBTI+ business summit to focus on SMEs


The first groundbreaking SA LGBTI+ Business Network Summit was held in 2018. (Pic: MambaOnline)

South African LGBTI+ business owners and entrepreneurs and their supporters are urged to register for the 2021/2022 SA LGBTI+ Business Network Summit on 27 January.

Hosted in Johannesburg by PLUS. The LGBTI+ Business Network, registration is free although numbers may be limited.

The theme for the non-profit organisation’s latest annual networking event is ‘Capitalising corporate supply chain and supplier development programmes to scale up your business. It’s in keeping with PLUS’s aims to champion, promote, support and empower LGBTI+ owned businesses and entrepreneurs with valuable opportunities to learn, network, do business and prosper.

In particular, BBBEE Codes and the ins and outs of doing business with corporates as they relate to LGBTI+ businesses will be addressed at the summit.

“We’ve made tremendous progress over the past four years advancing the rights and causes of the LGBTI+ business community,” says Dean Ebden, a longtime media and hospitality entrepreneur and PLUS’s recently-installed 2021/2022 chair.

“However, the emergence of the pandemic has highlighted the need for us to pull together and sharpen the tools in our business toolkit so that LGBTI+ entrepreneurs can help make the world a fairer place while more effectively pursuing opportunities as suppliers and valued business partners.”

Dean is joined by PLUS’s 2021/2022 Board: Andrea Maharaj, Simphiwe Tshabalala, Fanney Tsimong, Samantha Samuels, Nduduzo Nyanda, Neo Modisakeng, Fundi Ndaba, Jason Fiddler, Heinrich Gottsche, Thembinkosi Kitshini, Petros Abraham and Zini Godden.

They will all devote much of their valuable time over the coming year to ensure LGBTI+ SMEs not only recover from the pandemic but thrive by profitably tapping into supply chains.

The summit will take place at the EY Offices on 102 Rivonia Road in Sandton from 08h00 to 16h00. A reception and cocktail dinner will follow at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways from 18h00 to 22h00.

The event will focus on better understanding BBBEE codes relating to ESD pillar, how to access the corporate supply chain, the ability to evaluate one’s own business readiness for corporate supply chain interaction and, ultimately, a healthy increase in the number of LGBTI+ owned businesses participating in corporate supplier development programmes this year.

PLUS. was launched on 17 May 2017 as a response to a consultation conducted by The Other Foundation. This focused on business owners and individual service providers who agreed that there was a need to support LGBTI-owned businesses through a business network or chamber of commerce.

Affiliated with US National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), America’s leading LGBT+ business growth organisation, PLUS is now addressing the scarce employment opportunities and discrimination in the workplace that are harmful to the wellbeing of LGBTI+ people.

In particular, the provision of valuable opportunities to learn, network, do business and prosper will help contribute to the redress of past structural and economic injustices, as will the provision of education and mentoring to LGBTI+ and allied businesses and professionals.

To register for the LGBTI+ Business Summit, click here.

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