A new virtual business networking community launched today in South Africa; Business Networking SA will offer local businesses hard hit by COVID-19 a much-needed resource to help keep trading.
Business Networking SA, founded by South African born businesswoman, Jessica Whitcutt Fagan, provides business owners with the opportunity to network with like-minded people within a virtual community, find potential business leads, and access expert business advice.
Whitcutt Fagan, now living in the UK, previously worked in large South African corporates, including FirstRand and The South African Breweries before setting up her own business. She extracted key learnings from the various business networking groups she is a member of in the UK to develop a best practice model for Business Networking SA that she believes will resonate with business owners in South Africa.
“Moving to a new country and having absolutely no business network has been a very humbling experience. I found that the best way to build a business was to connect with others within my business community. I’m not certain why, but formal networking has never been big in South Africa. I think it’s time for that to change.”
Formal business networking has a proven success rate and is used globally. According to BNI, one of the larger networking groups, their 270 000 members shared 12.2 million business referrals, which equated to $16.7 billion in income generation.
Whitcutt Fagan was struck by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the businesses of friends and family in South Africa. Her own experience of setting up a business from scratch in the UK spurred her on to try to make a difference.
“I have a very close connection to South Africa has only recently relocated to the UK. It is devastating to hear every week of yet another example of people losing their businesses and having to let staff go,” says Whitcutt Fagan.
“Life unusual calls for business unusual and I think it’s time for South African business owners to try a new approach to sales and marketing. Building new networks in a group where everyone is committed to helping each other is a no-brainer.”
Business Networking SA meetings will be held virtually every two weeks beginning with the launch event on Thursday, 6 August from 4 pm to 6 pm (SA time). The launch is free to attend with only 100 spaces available. For registration details go to www.businessnetworking.co.za/events