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CDI runs successful first Design Business Masterclass series

Thursday, 28 November 2019  
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Sally-Anne Kasner presented a workshop on design for a circular economy as part of the CDI's Design Business Masterclass series


The CDI this month launched a Design Business Masterclass workshop series with the support of the Dutch Consulate. Specifically designed for established creative businesses in Cape Town, the series took the form of four full-day workshops run over the course of the month, and it has proven to be incredibly rewarding for the SMEs that took part.

The CDI has a long-standing history of projects with the Dutch government that benefit the local design sector. This includes partnering with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) on export development and trade shows, and the annual #cocreateSANL Design Festival.

This series tied into the Dutch government’s #cocreateMYCITY initiative running in November, which was another big opportunity for the City’s design scene.

According to Fran Stewart, the CDI’s Market Support manager, the SMEs invited to attend were some of the best and most well-known within the city’s creative business eco-system and the CDI gathered expert facilitators to help them on to the next stage of growth.


“We focused for this series on businesses that have a well-established presence in the local market and many who are experienced exporters. The format was designed to give these business owners a few days where they could really engage with the challenges and obstacles they face and be inspired to shift their thinking and their business to a new level for future performance. We wanted it to be both personally invigorating as well as practical in business outcomes, and the feedback we have received has been fantastic.”


With the goal of helping the businesses to scale-up, embrace the complexities of our current local and global environment and enhance their offering through new ways of thinking, the CDI brought in four highly-experienced facilitators as well as a host of other stakeholders who could offer inspiring case studies for key areas of business improvement. These areas were: The business of social impact; Scaling up for healthy growth; Design for a circular economy; and Renewing the business vision for growth.

Here’s what some of the business owners had to say:

Awesome, engaging, thought provoking but accessible.Katherine Pichulik


Practical ideas to take back to the workplace and the examples of real-life stories were inspirational.Margot Molyneux


It was uplifting, energising and inspiring. I could so identify and resonate with the speakers and their business journey, as well as the participants. It was valuable to meet like-minded women in business. You think only your business has challenges. But taking a “day out” of the business gives perspective and reignites passion.Kathleen Reid, Pesto Princess


I have enjoyed every minute of the day.Christina Daron, African Jacquard

It was well organised, with well prepared speakers who shared good knowledge of their topics. The network present opened the way for interesting discussions. The most valuable thing was the new learnings that inspired me, and how we can as quickly as possible adopt them in everyday practice. –
Lindsay Fischer, Bili BraWear


Workshop participants had the opportunity to join a ‘How to get investment ready’ session as part of the #cocreateMYCITY festival in Cape Town


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