Business Networking LUNCH: 28 July 2016, Speaker: Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Topic: Transformation Leadership

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Suzanne Ackerman

Suzanne Ackerman- Berman, Transformation Director @ Pick ‘n Pay – Whilst a student at UCT, she was the first woman to chair the University Students Fund raising Rag committee and was elected vice-chair of SHAWCO.  After university, Suzanne received extensive training in supermarkets in France and UK. She settled in France, ran her own businesses in restaurants and nightclubs in a French Ski resort for 7 years. Returning to South Africa, she joined the family business as a trainee manager in fresh foods.  During her 20 years in the Company, she worked in various positions starting from Floor management, and buying, to General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility.  She founded the Small Business Incubator that seeks to address the social and economic inequalities of the past created by the Apartheid era, by providing access to the formal market for small and previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs. A passionate proponent for equality, job creation and skills development, Suzanne assists many new entrepreneurs in all aspects of business and life skills through a detailed mentorship programme that ensures their sustainability as suppliers to the broader economy.


  • Fellow of the First Movers Programme of the Aspen Business Institute of Management, NY.
  • Co-authored a business book with Raymond Ackerman, “A Sprat to Catch a Mackerel”, dealing with the development of entrepreneurs in South Africa.
  • Lectures local and International MBA Students of Business Ethics and Practices in South African Retail.
  • Represented Pick n Pay and South Africa at National Retail Federation conferences delivering addresses in New York, USA and Sao Paolo, Brazil.
  • Appointed as Honorary member to International Golden Key Association,
  • Melvin Jones Fellow – Lions Club International and Louis Volks Humanitarian Award
  • Honorary award for “Socially Responsible Capitalism” from IDC Herzlyia Campus, Israel, 2014
  • Inspirational Leadership Award 2015 – Rutgers School of Business , Camden
  • Speaker TEDX Berkeley, USA – Feb 2015


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Business Networking Breakfast Friday 18 September 2015 SPEAKER : Alan Knott-Craig (Jnr) Founder of World of Avatar TOPIC : “Rise, Fall & Rebirth”

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Alan Knott-Craig (Jnr) is the Founder of World of Avatar, an investment house for mobile apps for Africa. Between 2003 and 2013 he co-founded and/or funded 17 companies in the TMT sector in Africa, including Cellfind, one of Africa’s first location-based services providers, Lucky Mobile, iFind34600, COLV, World of Avatar, Toodu, FSMS, AKC Mid ResTriloq, 6th Line, Daily Maverick, ARC Telecoms, Pondering Panda, MorMor Media, and He also served as CEO of Mxit, Africa’s biggest social network . Prior to this he served as CEO of iBurst, building one of South Africa’s largest wireless broadband networks. Alan is a Chartered Accountant and was formerly the Founder and CEO of Cellfind. He is a Non-Executive Director of  Broadlink, Executive Director of Wireless Business Solutions Holdings, Non-Executive Director of Mxit Lifestyle. Previous Chairman of Lucky Mobile and Cyber Listing Services. He is now the Founder & CEO of Project Isizwe, contracting with Government and managing the deployment of the largest public Free WiFi network in South Africa.

He is famous for an email that went viral many years ago and in April 2008 he published “Don’t Panic”, a best-selling book aimed at persuading South Africans to stay in the country. In 2009 he was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In 2012, co-authored Mobinomics, the story of Mxit, the biggest social network to come from Africa.

In 2014 he published “Really, Don’t’ Panic” and “Moenie Stres Nie”, a follow up to the 2008 edition of Don’t Panic, followed by “So you want to be  Hero’.