South African SMBs urged to delve deeper into digital

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With more than half of the world’s population now online according to We are Social’s 2017 analysis of the global online community, it has become an even bigger priority for businesses to integrate digital technology into the ‘buyer’s journey’.

The agriculture sector is one that continues to demonstrate progress in the adoption and application of digital tools.

Ndubuisi Ekekwe, founder of non-profit organisation African Institution of Technology wrote in Harvard Business Review two weeks ago that digital technology is benefiting Africa’s small and medium businesses in the agriculture sector.

“The barrier of entry into farming technology has dropped, as cloud computing, computing systems, connectivity, open-source software, and other digital tools have become increasingly affordable and accessible. Entrepreneurs can now deliver solutions to small-size African farms at cost models that farmers can afford.”

Ekwekwe says digital technology has opened a vast untapped potential for farmers, investors, and entrepreneurs to improve the efficiency of food production and consumption in Africa.

Mandisa Ntloko, General Manager for Enterprise Marketing at MTN Business says the telco’s second Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass held recently in Cape Town, in partnership with Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Linkedin and FinFind, was aimed at helping entrepreneurs to embrace digital.

“Technology is the enabler that will help emerging enterprises to achieve operational efficiency and efficiently manage operational costs. At MTN Business we see entrepreneurs as the next generation of digital businesses and the engines that drive economic growth.”

“Working with entrepreneurs, we have found that offering them industry-leading digital solutions and services is not enough, hence we took a decision to take this a step further and provide them with the tools that will empower them to successfully compete in the market space,” said Ntloko.

MTN Business plans to host the Digital Entrepreneur Masterclass in other major cities across South Africa.

Mark Wilson, Managing Director of ERP software development company Syspro, which recently concluded a three-city customer tour across South Africa, says more SMBs are embracing improvements that can be gained from automating and integrating business processes.

Wilson says Syspro is investing in mobility solutions for the African SMB market as those customers are becoming more entrepreneurial, innovative and constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves with technology.

The Syspro tour which places special focus on how the latest technologies are transforming business will travel to Kenya in June.