How do we support those businesses with a turnover over R10 million? | #Insight | #Growth | #Business | Ingrid von Stein | Diane Boorman


The SME sector, specifically those businesses that have a turn-over of between 10 and 50 million, employ the highest number of people and are certainly the backbone of our struggling economy right now. What or how do we assist this segment of the market? What are the issues that they are currently facing – other than the ongoing issues of electricity supply. How do they move forward and reignite their growth strategies.

We connected with South African Growth Strategist, Diane Boorman and asked her these questions and what is available for this market segment and how she can assist and get them back on track for sales, growth and expansion. Diane Boorman is an entrepreneur, has started, grown, expanded and sold many businesses. She now works with the SME (not start-ups) sector where their current turnovers is more that R10 million annually.

SMEs are the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy — and also the most at risk. SMEs across South Africa represent more than 98 percent of businesses, employ between 50 and 60 percent of the country’s workforce across all sectors, and are responsible for a quarter of job growth in the private sector. And while the GDP contributions from South Africa’s SMEs lag other regions — 39 percent compared to 57 percent in the EU—there is no doubt that this sector is a critical engine of the economy

SMEs in South Africa face distinct challenges:
  • Limited access to low- and medium-cost funding is constraining business growth
  • Even when funding is available, low awareness of opportunities and a lack of financial knowledge remain major barriers to SMEs accessing the required support
  • Slowing demand has led to SMEs having to limit expansion plans and identify alternative channels to sell products
  • Accessing the right markets in order to sell products
  • Owners and founders struggle to empower staff to lead and drive the business
  • Liquidity and cash flow management are limited



Are you ready for the drone economy? | #Technology | #Economy | #Insight | Dean Conde | iOCO Digital


Of all the technologies to have emerged in recent decades, one has impacted a surprising number of industries: Drones. While still in their infancy relative to other emerging technologies, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) are fast finding use in construction, photography, agriculture, defence and many other industries.

Drone industry revenue in the commercial sector is forecast to grow worldwide by a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent from 2021 to 2026, reaching a value of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, according to DRONEII. The biggest UAV markets today are in China and Japan, with the US market growing steadily. Unfortunately, despite the fact that South Africa was one of the first countries in the world to bring in drone legislation, we have fallen behind many other countries. Today the US has 237 394 remote pilots and 347 957 commercial drones registered. South Africa only has 83 registered operators and 1818 drone pilots.

Regaining a leadership role – This situation is set to change. The applications for commercial drones are numerous, and growing rapidly. As more businesses invest in UAV’s, and as they find new applications for those investments, South Africa has the opportunity to regain its leadership position. The drone ecosystem is much larger than anyone would first imagine. Delivery drones may be the most identifiable use case for UAV’s, but for other use cases, such as mapping and monitoring, the real value lies in the data that’s been captured by the drone. Industries and businesses that are involved in data collection, analysis, and preparation are therefore essential to the growth of the drone economy.

Similarly, it’s not just drone operators that are needed. There is a complex industry that is emerging around UAV’s, and applications such as unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems are becoming essential to avoid mid-air collisions, injury to people, and damage to property or other aircraft. Our partnership with Altitude Angel, for example, allows businesses to access a rich source of real-time airspace, environmental and regulatory data which is expertly customised to the specific operation. This UTM solution makes it easy to define rules for drones within your airspace and to interface with any existing ATM system to provide a holistic and complete view.

Growing ecosystems – Partnerships like these will help catapult South Africa back into the leadership position it should already be occupying. Leveraging the expertise of international organisations that are innovating in the UAV space will allow us to gain immediate value and open the door to our own innovations.

For example, the UK government has given the go-ahead to for the world’s largest and longest network of drone superhighways to be built by a consortium led by Altitude Angel. The drone superhighway will link cities and towns throughout the midlands to the southeast of the country, with the option to expand the corridor to any other locations in the country.

This project may well revolutionise the industry. Drones today cannot be flown without a human pilot, except in rare circumstances usually involving a flight ban to other aircraft. Skyway will enable any drone manufacturer to connect a drone’s guidance and communication systems into a virtual superhighway system which takes care of guiding drones safely through ‘corridors’, onward to their destinations, using only a software integration. Simply put, this system will ensure any company can safely get airborne and build a scalable drone solution.

With growing and varied uses in the building inspection, construction, oil and gas, agriculture, surveillance and mapping industries, not to mention rescue operations, aerial photography, thermal imaging and many more, UAV’s – and their ecosystem – will become essential to gaining and maintaining a competitive business edge.

Behind the scenes – Established to simplify ICT, iOCO is Africa’s leading integrated technology services company, with the largest concentration of skills on the continent. As a Level 1 B-BBEE end-to-end ICT managed service provider and Cloud systems integrator, iOCO operates with over 20 years’ experience. Its team of more than 4500 specialists delivers Open Digital Integrator, Enterprise Applications, Data and Analytics, Compute and Platforms, and Manage and Operate solutions to over 1 000 customers. Inspired by digitally native internet organisations (iO) and creative organisations (CO) of the future, iOCO helps customers navigate the path to an exponential future. To achieve this vision, iOCO holds strategic OEM partnership agreements with more than 90 global leaders.

The fourth industrial revolution brings not only exponential opportunity, but exponential challenges too. The key to succeeding in this two-speed world is finding a digital journey partner that has the expertise needed to drive unprecedented growth. iOCO offers modern solutions that meet the demands of the cloud economy and 4IR. For more information, please visit:


Same Old Story | #Music | Business Brunch | #Artist | Björn Salsone | Lia Elise | #Podcast


Lia Elise’s debut single, Same Old Story is not only an acclaimed success, but it shines a light on toxic relationships. August is Women’s Month in South Africa, so its only fit to feature a young strong, brave and very talented your artist.  

Björn Salsone, host of Business Brunch connects with Lia and delves into her journey as an artist, songwriter, student and entrepreneur.

Understanding your customer segmentation | #Marketing | #LunchtimeSeries | Kevin Britz | Craig Page-Lee | #Podcast


To scale efficiently and effectively, expansion-stage companies need to focus their efforts on a specific subset of customers who are most similar to their best current customers, not a broad universe of potential customers. Customer segmentation is the way.

Kevin Britz & Craig Page-Lee, hosts of Lunchtime Marketing & Leadership on delve into what customer segmentation is and why  it matters?

Also known as market segmentation, customer segmentation is the division of potential customers in a given market into discrete groups. That division is based on customers having similar: Needs (i.e., so a single whole product can satisfy them) and Buying characteristics (i.e., responses to messaging, marketing channels, and sales channels, that a single go-to-market approach can be used to sell to them competitively and economically)

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