The BigFive Summit

13 - 15 May 2019

Workshop 17

V&A Waterfront,

Cape Town,

South Africa

The BigFive Summit agenda is organized around the five pillars of the local digital ecosystem


How are AME consumers finding small businesses? Are there legitimate channels other than Google?


How are AME small businesses using social media to acquire and engage with their customers?


With mobile being the primary consumer route into the online world, what are the key innovations and developments that are enabling AME small businesses?


How is location-based marketing evolving in AME? Who is building the data set, and how is it being monetized? How can this process be accelerated?


Innovations in financial technology (fintech) are enabling AME small businesses to manage payments and gain access to capital. Who are the key players?


Pre-Summit Activities

Sunday 12th May 2019

Cape Town offers an incredible array of sightseeing opportunities. Subject to demand, we will provide two different options for delegates (at additional cost).

1600 - 1830   Welcome Networking Reception

Grand Africa Cafe & Beach

Registration packets will be available for collection.

Summit delegate bags sponsored by Vicinity Media and Location Bank 


Day 1

Monday 13th May 2019

Workshop 17 

0800 - 0930   Event Registration Open

Coffee & pastries

0930 - 0940   Welcome to the BigFive Summit

BigFive Digital Chair Thabo Seopa will welcome the assembled digital leaders and offer a brief overview of the Summit’s programme and purpose.

0940 - 1000   The Leaders View of the SMME Digital Opportunity

BigFive will set the stage for the Summit with original research drawn from a survey of leading companies addressing the SMME market. How do these leaders view the opportunity, where are they investing, and how confident are they in their ability to execute?

1000 - 1030   Headline Talk: How Mobile Payments Are Transforming Local SMME Commerce

Yoco Co-founder & CEO Katlego Maphai shares the Yoco story and explains how Africa came to be the flagbearer for the digital payments revolution while helping South African small businesses accept card payments, often for the first time.

1030 - 1100   Headline Talk: Shifting Business Services to the Cloud

Outsourced CFO Co-founder & MD Louw Barnardt shows how SMMEs are using the cloud to access powerful software once available exclusively to enterprise businesses. The cloud and SaaS are transforming small business worldwide and Louw helps us understand how to harness this important trend.

Check out our podcast interview with Louw

1100 - 1130   Morning Networking Break

Coffee and light snacks will be served in the exhibits area.

1130 - 1150   Sponsor Case Study: vCita

1150 - 1220   Lessons Learned from Addressing the African SMME Market

The Africa-Middle East small business market is often discussed as though it were a monolith. In reality, it is a collection of unique markets, each with its own challenges and opportunities. Agency veteran Kenneth Sun of Flint Studio breaks down important lessons learned over a decade of bringing South African SMMEs into the digital age. Following Ken, vConnect CEO Deepankar Rustagi shares his hard-earned views on how to address the Nigerian SMME market. Both will offer a critically important reality check how to successfully bring digital products to market in Africa's two largest markets.

1220 - 1240   Headline Talk: Mobile as a Digital Enabler

Mobile is one of the centerpieces of bringing small businesses into the digital age, and Gareth Murphy, GM of Online Channels, MTN South Africa, will share a vision for how SMMEs will use mobile to acquire and engage with customers, accept payments, and more effectively run their businesses.

1240 - 1300   Sponsor Case Study: Wi-Fi Hotspot Marketing

With mobile playing such an influential role in digital adoption across the AME region, So Connect Founder & CEO Daan Donders presents some eye-opening numbers on the growing trend for Wi-Fi hotspot marketing, and what it involves.

1300 - 1400   Networking Lunch

A buffet lunch will be served in the exhibits area.

1400 - 1420   Sponsor Case Study: Camilyo

1420 - 1450   Headline Talk: Mobile & Location Insights

Digital entrepreneur Magnus Rademeyer of AfriGIS will explore the convergence of mobile, location and commerce and how it will impact the SME opportunity.

1450 - 1515   Running a Digital Agency in an Automated Age

With large numbers of AME small businesses buying digital solutions via agencies, we explore how this important channel is evolving and adapting in an era of increasing automation.

Chantelle Bowyer, CEO, Metis Online

1515 - 1545   Afternoon Networking Break

Coffee, tea and light snacks will be served in the exhibits area.

1545 -1610   The One Second Strategy: What Neuroscience Teaches Us About Mobile Advertising

How long must an ad remain on a mobile screen in order to be seen? Do consumers process information differently in mobile compared to desktop? Can marketers boost attention and cognition of their advertising by increasing exposure time? The answers to these questions may surprise you. In this session, Sarah Utermark, Country Director for MMA South Africa, presents groundbreaking new findings from the MMA’s Cognition Research study conducted to address these questions.

1610 -1630   Headline Talk: Messaging, the Future of Social Media

Increasing numbers of businesses are recognising the growing importance of social messaging as a vehicle for customer engagement. Sifiso Mazibuko, Managing Director, Social Scope and a former Facebook executive, will share this roadmap for the future of social.

1630 -1650   Why Data-Driven Creative Changes Everything 

Creativity and technology are more inextricably entwined than ever in the age of data-driven everything and machine learning. Jay Thomson explains with vivid examples from his work as CDO of Hoorah Digital how data-driven creative is transforming the advertising business. This is a message relevant to everyone in the room at BigFive Summit — for the work you do to acquire customers to how you help your small business customers acquire theirs.

1650 - 1730   The Unfiltered Truth -- The Real Challenges Facing SMEs

Metis Online CEO Chantelle Bowyer will introduce a panel of Western Cape SMEs, who will share the challenges of running a local business in the digital economy.

End of Sessions

1900 - 2200   Summit Networking Dinner

Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel

End of BigFive Summit Day 1

Day 2

Tuesday 14th May 2019

Workshop 17

0730 - 0900   Morning Networking

Coffee & pastries

0900 - 0910   Best of BigFive Summit Day 1 and a Look Ahead to Day 2

BigFive Digital co-founder Thabo Seopa will share a few highlights from Day 1 of the BigFive Summit and preview the coming day.

0910 - 0930   The State of SMME E-commerce in Southern Africa

How are small businesses in Southern African taking advantage of all the tools that enable them to compete online on a level field of play with major online retailers? Cheryl Ingram from the Digital Media Collective (a Shopify Expert Partner) explains the state of play for SMME e-commerce and where it may be headed.

0930 - 1000   Headline Talk: Conversational Commerce and the Transformation of Customer Experience CEO Gustav Praekelt addresses how AI, bots and machine learning are playing an increasingly critical role in local commerce and why enabling small businesses to engage in conversational commerce is a giant opportunity.

Check out our podcast interview with Gustav


1000 - 1030   Workshop: The Location Data Opportunity

Having accurate and comprehensive location data is key to unlocking many of the BigFive opportunities throughout the AME region. Two experts in building business location databases -- Ezana RasworkFounder & MD, Africa 118 and Trevor Nadeau, Founder & MD, Local Knowledge -- share best practices for managing and monetizing location data in emerging markets.

Check out our podcast interview with Ezana

Check out our podcast interview with Trevor

1030 - 1050   Headline Talk: The Google My Business Roadmap

The world’s dominant search engine (and so much more) will share its view of and vision for the SMME market in the AME region. This talk features Africa 118's Ezana Raswork, a key Google partner in the region, who will include a briefing on the ever-important Google My Business product development roadmap.

1050 - 1110   Sponsor Case Study: Uberall

1110 - 1130   Morning Networking Break

Coffee and light snacks will be served in the exhibits area.

1130 - 1150   Workshop: Websites that Work

Trevor Harries-Jones, CEO, Yola, will share best practices for going to market with a website offering for SMMEs. How should the product be positioned, priced, and sold?


1150 - 1210   Workshop: Location-based Marketing for SMEs

Vicinity Media CEO Daryl van Arkel will address the increasing importance of location in SME marketing and how to commercialise this opportunity.

1210 - 1230  Sponsor Case Study: Yext

1230 - 1300   Leadership Insights on AME Small Business Success

Trends across the BigFive pillars of the digital ecosystem represent huge opportunities as well as disruptive challenges to the major players in the small business market -- media, telecom, banking. Trudon CEO Lunga Siyo will lead a panel of senior leaders across these power centers to analyze this dynamic market.

1300 - 1400   Networking Lunch

A buffet lunch will be served in the exhibits area.

1400 - 1430   Tuning in on Local Radio

Local radio is a powerful presence in the AME region. How can local radio networks and their sales teams tune-in to the digital opportunity? We'll ask Nick Grubb, CEO of Kagiso Media and Francois Reitif, COO of, to share their perspectives on how radio is keeping pace with digital transformation and what the future holds for this popular medium.


1430 - 1500  Workshop: Marketing to Millennials

Across the world, a new generation of business owners and decision makers is emerging that work with a different set of tools and operate on a different set of values. Sandy Lohr, CEO of Matchcraft, has developed a playbook for marketing to millennials that she will share with the BigFive Summit audience.


1500 - 1510   Sponsor Case Study: Vendasta

1510 - 1530   Afternoon Networking Break

Coffee, tea and light snacks will be served in the exhibits area. 

1530 - 1550  Brand New Research: The State of Tech Report

Startupbootcamp CEO Philip Kiracofe will present findings of a brand new report produced by Startupbootcamp, InnoLeaps, and PwC based on data from 20,000 startups that applied to accelerators worldwide in 2018. The report will provide a unique view of the state of technology worldwide.

1550 - 1700   Startup Showcase: Meet the Next Disruptors

We invite up to five exciting local start-ups to present their disruptive business propositions. Startupbootcamp CEO Philip Kiracofe will challenge each participant to fully articulate their value proposition.

Meet our disruptors:

Arnaud Blanchet, Founder, Last Mile for BoP

Antonio Bruni, Founder & CEO, Picup

Igsaan Salie, Owner, Appy Development 

Guy Stern, co-founder, Boabab Law

Dane van Zyl, CEO, Uku Inbound

1700 - 1900   Networking Event: Private Wine Tasting

Day 2 of the Summit ends with a networking session featuring local Cape Wines and canapes. Sponsored by Yola.

End of BigFive Summit Day 2

Day 3

Wednesday 15th May 2019

Bonus Workshop: “B2B Selling in the Digital Economy”

At the last count, there were nearly 7,000 different marketing technology solutions available to small businesses, each claiming to generate more leads or improve the operating effectiveness of the SME customer.

How are small business owners to make sense of this increasingly confusing landscape? And, how can media brands, solution developers and technology resellers collaborate to make the process easier for the customer?

BigFive partners Trudon and Vendasta are co-presenting this interactive session, which will focus on how to effectively market and sell digital solutions to African & Middle Eastern small businesses while recognizing the unique challenges these business owners face.

This workshop is free to all registered BigFive Summit delegates. A separate “15 May B2B Sales Workshop Only” registration is available as well. Note the Workshop is in a different location than Days 1 and 2.

Radisson Blu Waterfront (Granger Room)

0700 - 0845  Event Registration Open

Coffee & pastries

0845 - 0855   Introduction & Statement of Objectives

BigFive Digital Chair Thabo Seopa offers a view of the workshop’s structure and objectives.

0855 - 0920   The Changing Face of Selling

BigFive’s Paul Plant will offer a perspective on the disruption of the selling process brought on by the ascendance of digital marketing.

0920 - 0950   Headline Talk: Hallmarks of High Performing Sales Organizations

Vendasta CRO George Leith seeks to define what “best in class” sales practice looks like in an increasingly competitive world. He will also demonstrate how digital solutions resellers can demystify a highly confusing marketing technology landscape into a logical and easy-to-understand format for the local small business owner.

0950 - 1015   The Do’s & Don’ts of Search and Social Marketing

Matchcraft CRO Marc Zaks provides some valuable insights into how small local businesses can benefit from intelligent marketing on the major search and social networks.

1015 - 1040   Go to Market as a Funding Mechanism

Entrepreneur Catherine Young explains the importance of planning for go-to-market for a business acting as the glue between marketing and sales functions. By planning the go-to-market approach upfront and executing on it both digitally and conventionally, participants will learn tricks to shortening pipelines and converting leads into sales earlier. Revenues are a sure source of funding for any business.

1040 - 1100   Morning Networking Break

1100 - 1125   The Importance of Managing Your Online Reputation

Vendasta CRO George Leith talks about how monitoring your customers' online reputations can create opportunities for customer engagement.

1125 - 1150   The Service Imperative

Trudon CRO Lyndon Munetsi makes the case that a strategic investment in back-office fulfillment and customer service will easily pay for itself in reduced churn.

1150 - 1210   How to Sell SEO to SMMEs

Boostability’s Aaron Presbury will explain how SEO can work for even very small businesses, and he will share ideas on how sales organization can convince small businesses that SEO is right for them.

1210 - 1230   The Path to Transactional Commerce

Digital marketing and e-commerce expert Cheryl Ingram will address the journey into e-commerce for SMEs, and the tools and enablers making it happen today.

1230 - 1300   Tying it Together: Making Digital Relevant to the Local SME

The day’s speakers gather for an engaging and interactive roundtable that summarizes what the audience should take away from today’s workshop.

1300 - 1430   Networking Lunch

End of The BigFive Summit

Become A Sponsor

Substantial discounts on exhibit space are available to BigFive Digital members and Charter Sponsors.

If you would like more information about Exhibiting at the BigFive Summit or becoming a BigFive.Digital member or sponsor, please complete the form below. We will contact you to discuss how you can participate.