Director General of the Department of Small Business Development, Prof Edith Vries, will deliver the keynote address at the Institute of Business Advisors (IBASA) 20-Year Anniversary on Wednesday 19 September, at the President Hotel in Bantry Bay, Cape Town.

At a time when South Africa is facing a technical recession and possibility of more job losses, she is expected to clarify the department’s views on the regulation of business advising and the professionalisation of this key service in unlocking the vital job creation potential of small businesses in South Africa.

“As the only SAQA-accredited professional association for business advisors, IBASA understands that quality service delivery by mentors, coaches, consultants and other business advisors is key to allowing small businesses to make their contribution to job creation and economic growth,” says Shahied Daniels, Chairperson of the IBASA Board of Directors.

“While IBASA was established in South Africa as long ago as 1998, it is only in recent years that this profession is being recognised as key to the country’s economic prosperity, requiring of our members to offer impactful business advising services. The increased emphasis on the contribution the small business sector needs to make to the economy elevated our profession to an important element in the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem,” says Daniels.

The IBASA 20-Year Anniversary marks the change-over of the institute into a new era of professionalising the entrepreneur support industry. At the event a new corporate identity will be unveiled to represent an African institute at the forefront of ensuring quality business advising services in the small business market and the Western Cape Regional Association will be launched during the event.

According to IBASA Chief Executive Officer Joseph Munzhedzi Tshiwilowilo, IBASA’s main mandate is to grade and accredit business advisors, awarding them a SAQA-recognised designation as an Independent non-statutory professional body. “The quality of advice an entrepreneur gets is directly related to the quality of the business advisor. That is why the IBASA grading system is so important. It ensures that informed choices can be made by buyers of business advising services,” says Tshiwilowilo.

IBASA’s grading system and process awards business consultants, mentors, coaches, counsellors and trainers a designation, reflecting their level of seniority in offering entrepreneur support services. Members are certified as Business Advisor (BA), Professional Business Advisors (PBA) or Certified Business Advisors (CBA) through the use of the IBASA grading tool.

The event on the 19th of September will kick off with a practical Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Workshop on best practice in mentoring and coaching. The morning will also see the conclusion of the IBASA AGM and is open to members-in-good-standing only.

The afternoon sessions are open for mentors, coaches, and corporate Enterprise and Supplier Development decision-makers who may not be members of the institute. A forum discussion on the topic “Overcoming Current Challenges in Ensuring Quality Business Advising”, with representatives from the City of Cape Town, ABSA and various service providers, will be followed by the keynote address by Prof Vries.

The forum discussion will start at 14h30 and the keynote address at 16h30.

Practitioners who may wish to attend can register at www.ibasa.org.za/events/20years.

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