On 15 September, Shukri Toefy, entrepreneur and global speaker, will explain to Nedbank IMC 2023 delegates how to get up close and personal with their inner entrepreneurs.

As an entrepreneur, global keynote speaker, strategic advisor, investor, board director, and the founder of a number of businesses, Toefy has consulted to some of the most exciting brands and organisations in the world, as well as serving as a Special Advisor to the G20 World Policy Forum.

This year’s Nedbank IMC theme is ‘Marketing. UpClose&Personal’. The Nedbank IMC team have done just that in a Q&A session with Toefy.

Are entrepreneurs born or made?

An entrepreneur can definitely be made by enhancing our innate personal qualities. We all have resilience and grit, and an appetite for risk (at differing levels). But for many of us, if we are not socialised in the correct way and don’t have the right people around us, we lose sight of our entrepreneurial abilities. But entrepreneurial thinking can be taught and enhanced.

What is important about entrepreneurial thinking for marketers and advertisers?

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going out to build a start-up. Entrepreneurial thinking should be applied to creative industries, whether you’re a designer or a marketer. As marketers, we speak about being growth marketers. Well, what does that mean? What is our responsibility to our clients? An entrepreneurial mindset can help us look at things from a different perspective. Our job is to assist our clients in putting their imprint on the world. Do we fully ‘get’ their relevance? Do we understand what their success (and thus ours) looks like? As marketers we need to create a favourable environment so that our clients can flourish. Thinking like an entrepreneur can help create that environment.

Can brands be entrepreneurial?

Yes, definitely. Entrepreneurial brands approach the market in different ways; looking for opportunities and grasping these. Entrepreneurs must be agile and this goes for brands as well. In the South African context, Discovery is a good example of a company that had a vision larger than themselves. It made sense to talk about health – and striving for good health – when thinking about healthcare. Yet that link had never before been articulated by a medical aid. It was a mindset that Discovery’s customers could easily buy into.

Are today’s consumers entrepreneurial and does this give rise to brand risk?

Consumers have more power now than ever before, and I think they should be able to use that power. We could say that consumers are all entrepreneurs, owning their journeys and forging different ways of interacting with the world around them. Brands have the reciprocal duty to realise this. While people have always cared about what their preferred brands do, today the response to brands happens more quickly, and proliferates much faster. Brands need to have a playbook that includes the potential risks that can arise. Importantly though it is about walking the talk. It’s about doing what you say. Brands can’t put their values on the wall and then not internalise them in their day-to-day products and services, because you will get called out for that by your consumers.

Whether you are a brand considering how to drive an entrepreneurial mindset, or a creator wanting to you want to unleash your inner entrepreneur, then don’t delay: register today for the Nedbank IMC. The one-day event will take place in person at Urban Brew Studios in Johannesburg, on 15 September 2023. There is also an online option.

For more information on speakers, ticket purchases and entry details, visit The Nedbank IMC. Modern Marketing is a proud media partner of the Nedbank IMC.