Entrepreneurship is crucial for economic growth

Clem Sunter, Deanne Friis-Smith (Portfolio Manager, Endeavor South Africa) and Anton Maybery (CEO, Opengate Technologies)

World-renowned strategist, Clem Sunter, urged South African high impact entrepreneurs and business leaders to look at what they can do to create a positive momentum in our economy and reduce unemployment at a recent event hosted by Endeavor South Africa, in partnership with Opengate Technologies at the at the Ernst & Young offices in Cape Town. 

Sunter stressed that entrepreneurship is critical to long-term economic growth and that South Africa needs to look at creating 1 million new enterprises by 2020 to successfully address our unemployment crisis and applauded the “crucial role” Endeavor plays in this regard.

Endeavor is a global non-profit organisation that identifies and supports innovative, high-growth entrepreneurs in emerging markets by helping the entrepreneurs they support create thousands of jobs, propel economies, and cultivate leaders and role models. The organisation aims to have a direct impact on the growth of stable and sustainable economies through job creation.

Opengate, proud sponsors of the event, is a highly successful entrepreneurial company that embodies what Endeavor stands for. Founded by Anton Maybery, who opened the event’s proceedings, Opengate is focused on building an emerging market distribution network for digital prepaid vouchers. The company has built technology and strategic relationships with global partners to assist top brands to monetise their digital media and content that facilitates commerce between the brands, channel partners and customers.

Endeavor South Africa and Opengate invited Clem Sunter to share his wealth of scenario planning and strategic planning experience with leading Western Cape entrepreneurs and business leaders; and to inspire them to achieve their growth ambitions. Sunter, a leading strategist and expert in scenario planning, has assisted major national and international companies in having effective strategic conversations about their future. This event was no exception to Sunter’s excellence in engaging and educating an audience. He highlighted his unwavering belief that a successful strategy is founded on the ability to look outwards, “like a fox”.

Sunter’s Mind-of-a-Fox framework says that businesses need sharp eyes to stay abreast of changing business environments and adapt behaviour accordingly. The key to success and longevity lies in learning to look for the flags that indicate changing environments, build probable scenarios based on this information and then decide how they would be handled should they occur. A keen radar for threats and opportunities is necessary to do this effectively. “Innovate, live your brand or become the cheaper alternative” are some of his words of advice to remaining competitive and relevant in today’s harsh economic times.

Deanne Friis-Smith, Portfolio Manager of Endeavor South Africa, says, “Endeavor South Africa is honoured to be an integral part of the Western Cape’s high-impact entrepreneurial eco-system. It is thanks to like-minded organisations like our sponsors, Opengate, that we are able to have an impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa. We thank Opengate for their generous contribution to entrepreneurship and Clem Sunter for joining us. We are positive that he has inspired our entrepreneurs and given them much food for thought.


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