Dolphins jumping just off the Port Elizabeth Coast (source: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism)

A catalyst for economic growth in the region

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is a not-for-profit organisation representative of a broad spectrum of businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay. It is one of the largest business associations in the Eastern Cape, with a membership of more than 700 businesses employing over 100 000 people in a diverse array of sectors.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is a leading catalyst for economic development, through its strategic Triple Helix model of collaboration between industry, academia and government, which serves as the foundation of creating a competitive Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Business Chamber has been the heartbeat of business success in the region for over 150 years. The Business Chamber is driven by a team of dedicated staff and volunteers, lobbying on issues affecting the ease of doing business and companies’ sustainability. The organisation also builds international relations to form a vital link between business owners and international markets.

Nomkhita Mona, Chief Executive Officer

Vision

To be a leading catalyst for economic development in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Mission

By influencing the factors and key stakeholders that create a competitive enabling business environment.

Task Teams

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has established a structure of seven task teams to facilitate the ease of doing business.

The task teams are:
  • Water Task Team
  • Roads and Storm Water Task Team
  • SME Task Team
  • Electricity and Energy Task Team
  • Transport and Logistics Task Team
  • Metro Collaboration Task Team
  • Trade and Investment Task Team

An eighth task team, called Industry 4.0, began its work in 2019 to prepare local businesses for the digital shift.

Enterprise Development and Exporter Development

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Enterprise Development Programme was launched in 2014, to develop the skills that enhance and grow small businesses. In 2018 the Business Chamber successfully hosted the fifth phase of the Enterprise Development Programme, with SMEs set to graduate in March 2019. Over 120 entrepreneurs have benefited from this programme.

Meanwhile, the pilot phase of the Business Chamber’s Exporter Development Programme concluded at the end of 2018, with 10 companies finishing this programme in its first year. The programme is aimed at empowering SMEs to position themselves as emerging exporters.

Events

Events at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber keep business owners up to date and informed on a wide variety of topics affecting business in Nelson Mandela Bay. Regular networking functions offer business owners the chance to make new professional contacts.

The Business Chamber’s flagship events – the Annual Business Chamber Golf Day, the Annual Ladies’ Breakfast and the Annual Banquet – are highlights on the Bay’s business and social calendar. The Events Department hosted a total of 61 events in 2018.

Other Services

Publications and marketing

As another value-added service to members, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber provides members with a variety of publications across print and electronic platforms, including the member magazine Infocom (distributed three times a year, as of 2019) and the annual Business Guide. Both of these publications are ABC-certified, glossy publications.

The Business Chamber regularly updates its website, and engages with members on popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Help desk

In line with its vision of providing an enabling environment for business, the Business Chamber set up an Ease of Doing Business help desk in 2018. The help desk assists members through reducing red tape and engaging with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro regarding these members’ obstacles in conducting business. The Business Chamber also engaged with the city’s leadership in 2018 towards the goal of establishing a One Stop Shop for existing and potential investors and will continue these engagements in 2019.

Research unit

The Business Chamber established an in-house cluster research unit in 2018. Its aim is ultimately to identify several catalytic projects that can be marketed to investors and can contribute to the development of key sectors. The new unit will provide a library of business intelligence and insights for the development of essential clusters.

Certificates of Origin

A Certificate of Origin is a document which states the origin of goods being exported and this “origin” is a key requirement for applying tariffs and other important criteria. As an accredited provider of this service, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber signs Certificates of Origin for member and non-member companies requiring these services in Nelson Mandela Bay. The Business Chamber also offers exporters the opportunity to certify electronically through the ECOO system.

Corporate Social Investment

Because the majority of our membership’s workforce is based in the city, the region of Nelson Mandela Bay is the direct beneficiary of their Corporate Social Investment programmes – including skills development initiatives, bursaries and scholarships. Many of our member companies significantly contribute to alleviating poverty and specifically unemployment in the region of Nelson Mandela Bay through various initiatives purposed to grow the local economy.

Every year the Business Chamber adopts NGO organisations and collects goods and services from our member companies in order to create awareness around the NGOs. In 2018 the Business Chamber adopted Elsen Academy and the Kleinskool Initiative and collected several items from our companies, including office equipment, computers, stationery and school clothes.

www.nmbbusinesschamber.co.za