Meet our Board of Directors

Winda Austin-Loeve

Winda Austin-Loeve

SBI President

The president will work with Chambers, GrowSA and other organizations to promote a more sector-based focus for the SBI. Expanding membership, canvassing and satisfying demands of the regional structures and reporting to them regularly is the responsibility of the president.

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Winda is a Financial Planner with over 30 years of experience in corporate and private practice. She is involved in several business organizations, attributable to her passion to assist in the empowerment of businesswomen and make a positive difference in the lives of young South Africans. Winda serves on the management team of the Tygerberg Chamber of Commerce, is a founding member of the CT branch of the SA Council for Businesswomen and served as national chairperson. She’s been involved with the SBI since 1997.

Bernard Swanepoel

Bernard Swanepoel

SBI Chairman

The chairman is responsible for overall strategic guidance, ensuring that proper governance procedures are followed, especially in respect of financing and the auditing thereof, and that directors deliver on their mandates. He will champion and direct the Indabas. Initial endowment fundraising and peer-level corporate interaction will also fall to the chairman.

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A partner at To-The-Point Growth Specialists & THINKspiration, Bernard serves as non-executive director on the boards of Impala, Zimplats, Eqstra, & African Rainbow Minerals Limited. He was previously the CEO & Chairman of Village Main Reef Limited & CEO of Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd. He is currently chairman of the Joburg Indaba & Managing partner of MMC.

Sipho Nkosi

Sipho Nkosi

SBI Vice President and Vice Chairman

Sipho will substitute for either president or chairman as the need arises

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Sipho most recently served as the CEO of Exxaro Resources Limited. He is founder & CEO of Eyesizwe. He is past-president of the Chamber of Mines. He currently serves on the boards of Sanlam, Exxaro Resources, Anooraq Resources, Eyesizwe Holdings.

Ernest Messina

Ernest Messina

Director Corporate Relationships

The director of corporate relationships is tasked with expanding corporate sponsorship and membership and is responsible for reporting to these constituents. A particular focus for 2018 will be to obtain sponsorship for SME owners attending Indabas and the town hall meetings in more rural/impoverished areas SBI will host in the year ahead.

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SBI’s former CEO, Ernest serves as chairman of Groot Constantia, as co-chair with Anant Singh of Smile 90.4FM and sits on the boards of the Du Toit Group and Isipani Construction. Ernest has chaired the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and the Franschhoek Valley Transformation Charter.

Hettienne Von Abo Moolman

Hettienne Von Abo Moolman

Director Sectoral co-ordination

With a renewed focus on sector-specific interventions SBI can make to foster more sustainable small and medium enterprises, the Director of Sectoral Co-ordination’s portfolio will play an integral role in SBI’s work for its chamber members.

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Hettienne serves her local community on the board of Nala Hospital, the local Tourism Forum as well as the Maize Capital Business Chamber. Hettienne joined the SBI as Free State AHI chairperson since 2000, was elected in 2014 as chairperson of the AHI Provincial Board, joining the AHI Board at the same time to help manage the provincial structure. She is committed to the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture for Business Organizations, honoring Madiba’s dream for business to speak with one voice. “It is when small business takes hands with big business that we can grow the economy, she says.”

OCTAVIA MATLOA

OCTAVIA MATLOA

Non-Executive Director: Finance

The Finance portfolio will ensure that the commitments in the new Memorandum of Incorporation are ensured in respect of governance, financing and auditing.

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Octavia is a CA(SA), and serves on various boards and audit committees (previously): Great Basin Gold, Village Main Reef (and currently): Petra Diamonds, Extract Group and Avior Capital. She has also served the public sector, including National Treasury, Co-Operatives Banks Development Agency, GTAC, SALGA, and IDT. Her passion for entrepreneurship has seen her building her own businesses in sectors ranging from auditing to mining, among them: Tsidkenu Chartered Accountants, Mukundi Mining Resources, LaBoBo Beauty Salon & Spa, Vibe Group, Jireh Transport & Aviation.

ASHWIN WILLEMSE

ASHWIN WILLEMSE

Director: Entrepreneurship and Youth

The Entrepreneurship and Youth portfolio Director will promote the activities of SMEs as a way for many to enter the mainstream economy. Visiting schools and inspiring young people to choose a constructive, creative career in business forms part of his responsibilities. He will be coordinating with university departments focusing on entrepreneurship development.

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Founder and Director of the GreenSmile Group, Ashwin is a former South African rugby player of the year. He played for the Springboks during the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and won numerous awards as a professional rugby player. Ashwin has been an analyst on SuperSport for eight years. He is currently completing his Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation at the Wits Business School. His passion for entrepreneurship and small business is lived out through the various businesses he has established since his retirement from professional rugby. “Being able to contribute by adding a voice of advocacy – particularly to young people – on behalf of the SBI, is something I see as a duty and a privilege.”

SIKI MGABADELI

SIKI MGABADELI

Director: Communications

The Communications Director will act as National Spokesperson for the SBI, build relationships with reporters and editors on the organization’s behalf, drive coverage of statements, research findings, op-eds and Indabas. In addition, she will be hosting Town Hall meetings to engage with SMEs and our chamber organisations in rural and township settings around South Africa both to collect anecdotal evidence of successes and challenges and disseminating information on behalf of the SBI. She will also source opportunities for various Directors to participate in relevant seminars and panel discussions focusing on issues of importance to SMEs.

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Siki is an award-winning financial journalist. She has worked for various broadcasters in South Africa as a reporter, producer, anchor and editor and continues to host the nightly business show ‘Moneyline’ on eNCA. Her well-rounded grasp of business and politics has seen her anchor other TV current affairs programmes, most notably, the acclaimed program, The Big Debate. She holds an Honours Degree in Journalism from Rhodes University and is studying for a Master’s degree in financial journalism. She has been featured in the M&G SA Book of Women, and the M&G Young South Africans publications.

JENNIFER COHEN

JENNIFER COHEN

Director: Research and Advocacy

This portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.

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With a background in legislative and policy work in the US (eight years on Capitol Hill in the offices of a congressman and a governor) and in South Africa (researcher and speech-writer in Parliament). Jennifer also owned and operated two small businesses: she ran Washington DC’s oldest general bookshop and was Managing Director for over a decade of a media and investor relations firm with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. In the last few years, she has been responsible for developing strategies and managing work-streams for a policy think tank and for both Business Leadership South Africa and the SBI.

CHRIS DARROLL

CHRIS DARROLL

Alternate Director: Research and Advocacy

This portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.

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Chris is the founder and Chief Executive of SBP (Small Business Project), a not for profit company working in sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging economies since 1998. She has over 26 years experience in private sector and enterprise development combining research, regulatory reform, project design, program management, impact measurement and policy advocacy. She has provided consulting services and monitoring and evaluation to amongst others, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, GtZ/GiZ, USAID, Danida, DFID, ILO, Norad, African Development Bank, OECD and many other leading bilateral and multilateral organisations to promote private sector growth and small enterprise development. Chris has also provided specialist advice to many large corporations and multinationals operating in Africa in designing and establishing multi-purpose enterprise development and supply chain development programs. She has also served as an adviser to government ministers on addressing constraints to enterprise development and the investment climate..

IVAN PILLAY

IVAN PILLAY

Director: Government Liaison

The director will work with appropriate government departments to encourage ‘thinking small first’ and exploring ways to limit red tape, access to markets and unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to the sustainability of SMEs. Feedback from ministries and SARS will inform research and policy papers.

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From his early years Ivan has participated in many community and political organisations. In the years prior to the new dispensation, he served in various roles for the ANC and the SACP in Swaziland and Zambia. After the unbanning of the liberation movements, he participated in CODESA, the Transitional Executive Council and the amalgamation of South Africa’s intelligence and security services. Ivan is currently an independent consultant after spending 16 successful years at SARS. During this period he held a number of positions that included, but were not limited to, Deputy Commissioner and Acting Commissioner. Ivan was a key player in the team that implemented the turnaround strategy that saw SARS become a world-class organisation.”

JOE MWASE

JOE MWASE

Director: BUSA Representation

As a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), the SBI has the opportunity to sit on task teams and reference groups to provide the Big Voice for Small Business while engaging with other business organisations influencing national and their own policies in reference to their supply chains. This portfolio will disseminate our research, advocate for positions that accommodate the needs of SMEs and assist BUSA and members articulate our positions in NEDLAC.

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Joe has held leadership and executive management roles in business, public and civil society organisations and served on a number of boards. He has just completed a Masters degree in development finance and is working toward a PhD. He has managed financial analysis, commercial negotiations, strategy development & execution, corporate & regulation affairs, stakeholder relations and sustainability in a range of industries that include motor manufacturing, food and clothing retail, financial services, tourism, non-government organisations, the public sector and the National Nuclear Regulator.