Business & Economy

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 09:55

BigFive Announces Dynamic Speaker Line-Up for Africa-First Digital Summit

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BigFive Announces Dynamic Speaker Line-Up for Africa-First Digital Summit

Details regarding the speaker line-up and agenda for BigFive Summit have been announced. Cape Town will play host to the Summit from 13 – 15 May 2019 where pioneers in the provision of digital media and marketing technology solutions to the region’s SMEs will converge for three exciting days of knowledge-sharing, networking and debate. The overarching purpose is to explore how media, mobile and technology vendors, and their agencies, can work together to drive and promote technology adoption for literally millions of local businesses across Africa and the Middle East.

With an estimated 40 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and the Middle East (AME), it should come as no surprise that our continent is supporting a vibrant and fast-growing ecosystem of media, telecoms, financial and software companies eager to bring these businesses into the digital age. 

Enter BigFive Summit, a first-of-its-kind for Africa, designed by and for companies engaged in the supply, sale and servicing of digital marketing and productivity solutions to SMEs across the Africa/Middle East region.

Hosted by BigFive Digital, one of the foremost thought-leadership enterprises connecting AME media and tech companies to SMEs, the event will assemble an exciting mix of media, tech and digital stakeholders, influential thought-leaders, and disruptive start-ups to address the five key elements fueling the rise and growth of the AME digital ecosystem – Search, Social, Mobile, Location, and Payments.

The event features a number of exciting and influential speakers, each of which is an experts or pioneer in their respective fields:

Katlego Maphai is the Co-Founder and CEO of revolutionary South African innovation Yoco. Maphai has overcome many hurdles to build a payments solution that today powers tens of thousands of small businesses in SA by providing an easily accessible and easy-to-use platform to help start, run and grow your business.

Louw Barnardt is the Co-Founder and MD of Outsourced CFO. In 2017, he was nominated as one of FastCompany’s Most Innovative Companies of the Year, and in 2018 received the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Outsourced CFO is disrupting traditional financing and accounting practices for SMEs providing cloud-based services, combining integrity and professional excellence.

Gustav Praekelt is the Founder and CEO of South African Praekelt Group. He is a passionate believer that mobile technology will transform Africa. While spearheading groundbreaking work in the digital arena, Gustav established the Praekelt Foundation, to develop scalable mobile solutions for social good, whose programmes have reached over 100 million people across 30 countries.

Brendan King is Co-Founder and CEO of Vendasta Technologies, a Saskatoon Canada-based multi-award-winning platform for the sales and fulfilment of digital solutions. Vendasta partners with almost every major digital brand, including Google and Facebook, and is the platform of choice for many of the leading marketing agencies in North America.

Nick Grubb is Chief Executive: Radio at Kagiso Media, one of South Africa’s largest media owners. Nick oversees radio operations at Kagiso, including two of the country’s largest independent stations, Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio. A Bachelor in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University, Nick’s entire career has been in media, and he is expertly placed to talk about the changing dynamics of media consumption across AME.O

ther confirmed speakers include:

Chantelle Bowyer, CEO, Metis Online (South Africa)

Cheryl Ingram, Digital Marketing Director, The Digital Media Collective (South Africa)

Adi Engel, CBDO, vCita (Israel)

Trevor Harries-Jones, CEO, Yola (South Africa & USA)

George Leith, CRO, Vendasta (Canada)

Sandy Lohr, CEO, Matchcraft (USA)

Lyndon Munetsi, CRO, Trudon (South Africa)

Trevor Nadeau, CEO, Local Knowledge (Dubai)

Sohail Nawaz MBE, Former CEO ACS Media (Bahrain)

Magnus Rademeyer, Managing Director, AfriGIS (South Africa)

Ezana Raswork, Founder and MD, Africa 118 (Kenya)

Lunga Siyo, CEO, Trudon (South Africa)

Daryl Van Arkel, CEO, BPS & Vicinity Media (South Africa)


The speaker list also features:

Thabo Seopa and Paul Plant, two of the Co-Founders of BigFive Digital, hosts of BigFive Summit.


BigFive Summit promises to be an informative event packed to the brim with topics highly relevant to any company selling or servicing technology solutions to the region’s SMEs, including:

Why Africa is Poised for a Small Business Revolution

How Industry Leaders View the AME Digital Opportunity (results of Exec Survey)

The Changing Face of Media & Solution Selling

The Local Customer Journey 2019

The Payments Revolution and the Transforming of Africa’s Small Business Ecosystem

Transforming Business Results with Location Insights

Time for Local Radio to Tune-In to the Digital Opportunity

Running a Digital Agency in an Automated Age

The Impact of Data/AI and Machine Learning on Local Commerce

Messaging Apps and Conversational Commerce

Unlocking the Location Data Opportunity

Can SEO Work for Very Small Businesses?

The Importance of Reputation Management

BigFive Start-up Showcase – A Peek at the Next Wave of Disruptors

The Unfiltered Truth – SMEs Talking Digital Transformation

The Service Imperative – Preventing Customer Churn

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

The Path to Ecommerce for Small Businesses


Details of the Event: BigFive Summit 2019

The Summit will take place from 13 - 15 May 2019 at Workshop 17 in the prestigious V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and will feature some of the finest digital practitioners sharing strategic insights, best practices, and practical guidance for success, through a series of engaging presentations, tactical sessions and networking forums. 

With two cocktail receptions, plus a networking dinner all included in the package, delegates will have an opportunity to engage with like-minded companies, eager to promote and sustain the local commerce landscape.

To register as a delegate, join our list of speakers or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit: 

Executive Survey – Respondents will receive a Discount Code to attend BigFive Summit

BigFive Summit is currently running an Executive Survey to gauge how leaders inside companies who serve or sell to SMEs view the digital opportunity. The full findings of the survey will be presented at BigFive Summit. Anyone working in this space is encouraged to participate in the survey. The more responses we receive, the better.

All contributors to the survey will receive a discount code on tickets to the event.

Take the survey here:


For more information about BigFive Summit or this press release, please contact:

Mika Stanvliet | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 081 534 6237  

About BigFive Digital:

BigFive Digital was created to support digital media and technology solutions providers serving local SMEs throughout Africa & The Middle East. The Africa/Middle East region is enjoying a period of sustained economic growth. Every major indicator is predicted to perform above global averages for the next decade, with the region boasting six of the world’s ten fastest growing national economies*. Local digital commerce is widely recognized as a lead indicator of a healthy and growing modern economy.*Sources: The Economist; The UN; The World Bank; McKinsey & Co.BigFive Digital has been co-founded by four highly respected global media and digital commerce executives: Thabo Seopa, Paul Plant, Charles Laughlin, and Oscar Sousa Marques. Collectively, they have spent more than a century experiencing digital transformation, witnessing first-hand the impacts of disruptive innovations in local marketing and commerce in various countries all over the world.  

For more information about BigFive Digital, visit: 

About BigFive Summit:

Hosted by BigFive Digital, BigFive Summit is a knowledge-sharing and networking event for companies that provide digital marketing and technology solutions to local businesses across Africa & The Middle East. The Summit is built around the five pillars that support local commerce, namely: Search, Social, Mobile, Location and Payments. It is these five sectors that are fueling the rapid rise and growth of digital and technology adoption across the region. Any company with a vested interest in this exciting ecosystem is invited to join us in Cape Town, from 13-15 May 2019.

For more information about the Summit, please visit:

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