I have been involved in the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) since 2004, when my husband came home saying that, due to BEE policies, he would have to give half of his business away to someone he had never met.
I was appalled! This didn’t seem fair at all. At the time, I was at home with my new-born child, and I had some time on my hands. I took it upon myself to download the BEE Codes, and realised that many people were misunderstanding how to go about the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment.
So, I did what would turn out to be something of a calling: I developed a comprehensive strategy for his business, implemented it, and managed to get his business to Level 2 BEE Compliance. He didn’t have to give away anything.
Since then, I have seen some exciting changes in BEE – namely, the change in focus from the more narrow-based BEE to the wider execution of B-BBEE. BEE has always sought to minimise the GINI Coefficient, but I feel that, initially, at least, due to lack of understanding and the use of a narrow-based methodology, the outcome of BEE was that the rich were getting richer and poor, poorer. B-BBEE therefore makes so much more sense. During my time, and to a certain extent as a result of my consulting work, I have seen the management of companies shift to become increasingly representative of the country as a whole.
That said, I still believe that there is still much to do if my vision for the future of B-BBEE, and the future of, what we are calling “The South African project”, is to be realised.
I fully believe that there need to be more black entrepreneurs who are viable business owners. I believe that the way to do this is to focus on the development of funding vehicles and educational programmes that are focused on the creation of entrepreneurs. Upliftment of the previously disadvantaged needs to happen across all levels of the economy, from youth development to C-Suite education. My feeling is that, if B-BBEE is done correctly, we wouldn’t have to worry about divvying up what we have – we would have more to equally distribute through the existence of a flourishing economy.
Done correctly, B-BBEE does not have to be daunting. Lanham-Love Consulting takes pride in doing B-BBEE right, meaning that we turn it into a positive tool to develop and grow your business, as opposed to a grudge purchase.
If we get this right, if everyone has their needs taken care of and has what they need to grow and succeed, South Africans will be a united people ready to take their place as a strong player on the global stage. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
If you want to know more about how you can make use of B-BBEE as a tool to grow and develop your business, as opposed to merely ticking compliance boxes, contact Lanham-Love Consulting today.