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Vodacom is launching a series of workshops and interactive sessions called the Fast Forward Series, to drive significant growth and change within the South African business environment.

The first part of the series is in collaboration with Samsung and an ecosystem of partners, including Business Doctors, WeAreMonsters, Google and Facebook. These initial sessions will see SA’s leading telco connect with small-to-medium businesses to provide them with the tools, skills and insights to assist them along their digital journey to success.

With the rise of the digital economy, comes the need for businesses, irrespective of size to acquire key skills to stay relevant. Vodacom’s focus is on creating a collaborative environment with its partners, to develop tailored plans to help facilitate this skills development and information transfer to promote business growth and strategic decision-making in an ever-changing market.

Fatima Hassim, Managing Executive: Fixed & Mobile at Vodacom, said, “Our objective here is to create an environment that will address key business challenges – focusing on helping them to develop strategies to survive and thrive in today’s digital economy. The initial phase has workshops and collaborative sessions that will be focused on helping SMEs streamline and accelerate business processes and growth. This initial phase will see up to 480 businesses given free access to content and receive hands-on training from experts to grow their digital skills. As the trusted partner of choice for businesses in South Africa, we want to help them understand and prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by adopting the technology that is being made available to optimise their business processes and efforts.” 

The initial Fast Forward Series phase will ensure that all business-relevant stakeholders, whether managing a one-man show, fledging start-up or looking to boost their knowledge on “digital transformation” and taking their business to the cloud, can learn from these programmes, either by physically attending the sessions or by accessing them on a soon-to-be-launched business e-learning platform.

“We have partnered with digital pioneers, some of the best in the industry, to pave the way for South African businesses looking to undergo a digital transition. We look forward to a successful initial phase and are certain there will be room to grow in the future. Our ambition is to connect and grow our SMEs to become as large as our network,” adds Fatima.

More about the series

Vodacom will be breaking the initial series down into two parts. The Growth Hacking Workshops, facilitated by We Are Monsters, will give 30 businesses the opportunity to book over three-month-long sessions that will comprise of engaging eight-hour workshops followed up by an in-depth evaluation and plan of action that will recommend the best way forward for each business. The Business Acceleration workshops comprise four sessions, monthly, done in collaboration with Google, Facebook and Business Doctors. These will facilitate workshops with 30 businesses per session and will provide them with tools to evaluate their “Business Health” giving them key tools to create more efficient business processes and, leverage Google and Facebook optimally to reach the right customers at the right time through social media advertising and Search Engine Optimisation.

Vodacom says this type of hands-on engagement is priceless for small-to-medium business owners in need of advice and reassurance that they’re up to speed with the new ways of finding, selling to and serving their customers. This is also the first time Google is partnering with a telco to provide skills to small business owners in South Africa. Powered by Samsung, attendees not only get access to first-grade content but will also experience the new technology they have available and the power of mobile through an office simulation installed in the Business Experience Centre also the first of its kind launched by a Telco in Africa.

“It’s an exciting opportunity and an honour for Samsung Mobile South Africa to once again work shoulder to shoulder with the leading telco in SA to launch a platform of this kind within the business environment. It is this type of progressive leadership that will make the biggest contributions to the change that we need to see within the SA landscape. We are looking forward to being a part of this programme and working with both Vodacom and the selected partners to drive this. There are some exciting surprises throughout the series that will be announced in due course.” says Justin Hume, Chief of Samsung Mobile South Africa.

Businesses, specifically SME’s, today are required to stay relevant and in touch with the latest trends to be able to adapt to the rapidly transforming market in which they operate.

“As a support network for small businesses, we’re dedicated to helping SMEs successfully integrate into the digital economy and grow. By partnering with Vodacom on the Fast Forward Series, we will jointly set SMEs up for future economic growth. Our focus is on helping SMEs succeed through applied business development solutions,” Steve Sutton, Chief Executive Officer at Business Doctors an ecosystem partner for the Fast Forward series.