Industry 4.0 takes centre stage at Durban business fair

25 September 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916469

Automation & Robotics
Education & Training
Events
Government & Municipal
ICT In Industry
SMME Development & Support

THIS year’s Durban Business Fair, themed “A journey of innovation.” will focus on innovation and technology as the drivers of the Fourth Industrial revolution.

That’s according to eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who said the leadership of the City was excited to once again host this premium exhibition, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary milestone.

“The Fair is one platform that has become a key tool for the City to accelerate the development of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). It has yielded lucrative benefits for the City such as boosting its profile, economic status, creating employment and business linkages,” said Kaunda.

The event takes place between 25 and 29 September at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC).

Kaunda added that, this year’s fair has an exciting line-up, and the primary focus on the impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on small business and the opportunities it presents.

“We hope that our local businesses are stimulated by the discussions that will be held by the panel of experts we have lined up. They will also learn the new and innovative trends of trading in the dynamic global economy in order to achieve sustainable growth for our City,” he said

Entrepreneurs can use the knowledge gained at these empowerment seminars and start planning for the impact of technology on business and how they do business. This requires innovation and strong technical capacity for small businesses to compete in the fast changing technologically advanced business environment.

Students too, can be inspired by the Youth Connect session which dissects the world of business and social media with young experts, and families can spend time browsing the goods on offer at the street market. Creative will benefit from music and film master classes.

Here are some of the fair highlights:

Youth Connect: Taking place on 27 September at 9am at the ICC, the Youth Connect seminar will focus on how digital and social media can build a brand and grow businesses. Speakers include Nasty C, the rapper, songwriter and record producer; Nonjabulo Gasa, Managing Director of Smartipants Technologies; Nolusindiso Mchunu, a fashion and lifestyle influencer; Molife Kumona, Online Editor and Head of Digital at Conde Nast SA and Aaron Lynch, Social Media Specialist at Superbalist.com.

International Trade Seminar: The International Trade Seminar, taking place at 10am on 26 September, gives Durban’s Sister Cities a platform to present their respective city’s investment and development opportunities to the local business community. Delegates will be able to engage and interact with businesspeople from 11 international countries and cities such as Le Port in Reunion Island, Douala in Cameroon, Maputo, China, India, Belgium, Ghana, Malaysia and Kenya.

Street Market: The DBF Street Market will take place between 27 and 29 September on Walnut Road (between the ICC and DEC), and will operate from 8am to 10pm on Friday and Sunday and from 8am to 1am on Saturday. Visitors can shop, eat and be entertained by seasoned Chefs such as Lazy Makoti, Chef Zanele Van Zyl and upcoming Chefs like Chef Nonny and Chef Hats facilitate live cooking demonstrations in front of an audience. The entertainment stage will keep visitors entertained with performances from various upcoming and established artists like Nasty C, Oskido, Naima Kay for the duration of the market.

Business Indaba: This year’s Business Indaba, which takes place on 25 September at 8am at the ICC focuses on topical business issues such as Township and Rural Economic Revitalization, the role of Social Entrepreneurship and its Effect in Revitalizing the Rural and Township Economy and will feature leading businesspeople from across SA, such as Afri-Bio CEO Siya Ntutela, Rekindle Learning Founder Rapelang Rabada and Sekunjalo Group Founder Iqbal Surve. Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda will be in attendance to give a keynote address to businesses.

Women Economic Empowerment: Themed “Women Thriving Through Innovation”, this year’s Women Economic Empowerment seminar celebrates women who have not only navigated their way in their careers to become experts, but broken barriers and set new standards in their fields. It takes place on 26 September at 7.30am at the ICC. Panellists include Eleni Kwikana, Executive Head of Vodacom and Nonjabulo Gasa, Managing Director or Smartipants Technologies, and the event will be facilitated by well-known news presenter Iman Rappetti.

Film master class: This masterclass, taking place on 28 September at 9am at the ICC, is aimed at providing tangible information for the audience, especially students and those wanting to break into the industry. The sessions will cover the impact that film has on the Durban economy, how Durban’s Film Office can facilitate filming in the city, such as the process for applying for permits. There will also be information on funding, telling African stories and “behind the scenes” career opportunities such as the hair and makeup industries, as well as new technologies in the film industry such as autonomous cameras.

Music masterclass: To be held on 27 September at 9am at the ICC, the music masterclass offers an insight into breaking into, and sustaining a career in the music industry. It will be delivered from first-hand experience from well-known music artists such as, Malcom Nhleko of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mzokoloko and Joyous Celebration founder Lindelani Mkhize. The key note speaker is DJ and entrepreneur DJ Zinhle who is also a TV presenter, author and the founder of Era By Zinhle and FUSE Academy (FUSE) for females based in Melville the youth capital of Johannesburg.

Durban Fashion Fair: With more than 50 designers, including six from other African countries, showcasing their designs on the ramp at the ICC between 25 and 27 September. this year’s Durban Fashion Fair, held under the umbrella of the Durban Business Fair, is set to exceed fashion expectations. The designers make their mark in 15 shows that form part of the DFF, based on the theme “Evolution is Elementary”. The show features designers such as Hombre, Modesta, Zarth and Leigh Schubert.

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