The UK visit April 2014

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Return to South Africa: Bridge International Project

On April 28th, CEDAR hosted a 16-strong delegation of South African businesses and project partners on a week-long visit to the UK, which comprised three main objectives:

  • Linking the businesses with possible UK trading partners
  • Providing the entrepreneurs with an understanding of UK business culture
  • Connecting the business with potential funders

This was achieved through setting up bespoke business meetings with potential trading partners for each business after having trained them for a 3 month period following the bootcamp. In addition to that, CEDAR organised workshops on understanding UK business culture, presentations by South African businesses people and individual meetings with legal advisers, financial experts, bankers and venture capital funders.

However, it was not all work and the visitors took part in social events and visits which had the additional role of cultural orientation.

The UK visit represented the pinnacle of the first phase of The Bridge International project and feedback from participants revealed that all of the business had exceeded their objectives for the visit.

The project not only achieved its overall aim of seeking to place the businesses in a position to be able to trade with the UK- each of the businesses have returned to South Africa with either a contract or a relationship in place likely to deliver trading benefits in the near future - but the beneficiaries spoke of the huge personal impact the project has had on their personal development and growth.

Roelf Grove said:

"All I can say is that this was a life changing experience for me. It helped me to unbundle my value proposition and based on that I have changed my whole business model. I have had an incredible successful week in London."

Daryl du Toit said:

"The whole process has been very well orchestrated and carried out in a way to prepare and build people up along the way. They have stretched us into people that we would not have been. We are all better people for it.

To find out more about the 7 businesses that made it through to the UK visit after taking part in the bootcamp, read about South African Businesses 2014