Standard Bank co-sponsored Moneyweb’s first-ever Exit Conference, an event that highlighted the importance of a dependable exit strategy.
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Moneyweb held a first-of-its-kind exit conference at their annual Money Expo, held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 21 August. As a key driver of innovation and benefactor of entrepreneurs and SMEs throughout South Africa, Standard Bank sponsored and supported the event.
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The exit conference focused on how to position a business – particularly a start-up – for a successful, mutually beneficial sale to local or international buyers. Panel discussions featured industry veterans and experts, and topics included positioning a company for a local and international exit, performing sell-side due diligence, and corporate venturing, among others.
Fast tracking business growth
Jayshree Naidoo, Incubator Head at Standard Bank explained that the exit conference coincides with Standard Bank’s objective to promote and fast track the growth of South Africa’s economy through SME development and acceleration support.
Naidoo highlighted that a successful SME or start-up should reach the point where the founders or owners can exit, or access new markets, depending on the needs of the enterprise.
Keith Jones, founder of Sw7 - currently the largest mentor-led technology innovation accelerator in Africa – who was one of the speakers at the conference representing Standard Bank as a development partner, informed that if a business is sustainable and solves a problem very well for a large part of a market, it will attract buyers.
He applauded the conference as relevant to both Sw7 and Standard Bank for the reason that business innovation and acceleration programmes provide the networks, mentors and knowledge necessary to get startups and SMEs to the point of a successful exit or buy-out.
Delivering SA content
The first Moneyweb exit conference was viewed positively by attendees. Feedback to Standard Bank has been encouraging. Conference-goers appreciated the South African-based content and relatable case studies.
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As the bank for entrepreneurs, Standard Bank currently also supports other business innovation and acceleration programmes including backing two business acceleration programmes – Sw7 and Ignitor. In addition, Ms Naidoo confirmed that if Standard Bank has the opportunity to support the initiative again next year, it will not hesitate.