We’re all going through uncertain and challenging times, and as most organisations grapple with their new normal, I believe that solutions will come from understanding that our success as business and indeed the country, is intrinsically linked to how we show up with support in difficult times.
With the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our economy and more so on small businesses, that support is needed now more than ever. Collectively SME’s account for 66% of all formal jobs in South Africa and contribute 20% to GDP. It is clear that any chance we have of fixing our economy lies in their hands, and any initiative like Ad Crashers, focused on stimulating growth, is one that we should all rally behind.
Through Ad Crashers, we aim to give small businesses a chance to ‘crash’ the big brand party by giving them access to big advertising, big business solutions and big media exposure for free. How will this help? Well, research shows that the two biggest risks faced by small businesses are liquidity and collapsing demand. With government and financial institutions making great strides to provide relief packages to manage liquidity, stimulating demand as we ease into Level 3 will be critical.
To create the kind of demand needed for small businesses to thrive requires big exposure, and with Riverbed providing the big advertising, we have to bring on board big partners. To date we have secured support from JC Decaux, the Provantage Media Group, Kaya FM and Heart FM, collectively contributing inventory in excess of R10m which will go a long way in providing the support that small businesses need. What's been more encouraging is the endorsement received from the Small Business Institute of South Africa who understand the potential impact this initiative can have, especially if done at scale.
As a business owner and one that has had her own share of trials and tribulations, this initiative is one that is close to my heart. It hints of a FUBU (For us, By us) moment where an unassuming medium sized agency like Riverbed enables possibility in desperate times.
I have always believed in the power of creatively lead ideas to solve business problems. And knowing that advertising used in a deliberate way can inspire people to act, our hope is that all South Africans rally behind supporting small businesses, not just by liking this page, but through action!
Imagine if we all played our part in driving demand for their products and services to ensure that small businesses.. the backbone of our economy.. thrive