Racist SME conference

Rob Smorfitt

Bloem SME conference waste of time – incompetent speakers selected by race

Had tea with Dr Rob Smorfitt this morning. Wonderful mind, intellectually honest and a natural business disruptor. He’s a serial entrepreneur turned academic who focuses on Small and Medium Enterprises. Rob believes in telling the truth as this brutally honest blog about a recent SME conference attests.


By Rob Smorfitt*

I attended the conference in Bloemfontein. What a waste of time and effort. The losers – all the black SME owners that attended.

As usual the organisers were more interested in reducing the speaking time of the white speakers and increasing the number of black speakers. Content and the quality thereof was irrelevant!!

In a country where it is an acknowledged fact that the Nationalist government actively conspired to provide inferior education to black people, that the ANC government continue to try and exclude whites from the process of sharing knowledge and skills is just not understandable. The whites in this country are not all racists, and there are many (the bulk) who want to make a difference because they want to and have the skills and expertise to do so. They also understand that we all have a shared destiny, and that they therefore need to make a contribution..

I have no illusion that all white “experts” are great, nor that all black “experts” are not, but the racism was just so blatant.

Many of the speakers were government lackeys who simply trotted out the same old lies, myths and promises. This was not my opinion, but that of some of the more experienced black entrepreneurs at the conference.

It is time that black SME owners started demanding quality speakers with tangible offerings irrespective of race, as opposed to this consistently poor bunch of uneducated, non-expert, government lackey, lying, promising, never delivering bunch they get now.A free lunch and a t-shirt will maybe buy votes, but are unlikely to help the SME owner progress.

SME owners need good and useful information and they need it from the best, not from racially profiled non-experts. Start to demand the best or remain nowhere in the greater economic scheme of things. Nowhere in the world have government lackeys made a useful and significant contribution to SME development.


* Dr Rob Smorfitt hails from Pietermaritzburg in KZN where he teaches at the University and schemes up new businesses. He loves riding Harley Davidsons, birdwatching and reading.

There’s a terrific YouTube video of one of Rob’s talks at Rhodes University at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpA36U8V_hk