Durban must rise – Durban Chamber to host 163rd Annual Gala Dinner

Durban must rise
Durban must rise

Durban – The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be hosting its 163rd Annual Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 21 August 2019 at The Globe Theatre, Suncoast Entertainment Complex. The Durban Chamber’s Annual Gala Dinner has been the premier business networking event in Durban since its inception in 1856 and commemorates and celebrates its membership and the Durban business community as a whole.

This year the Durban Chamber is honoured to announce that their keynote speaker for this prestigious event is serial entrepreneur, technology innovator and thought-leader in the funding sector, Darlene Menzies, CEO of Finfind (Pty) Ltd. Darlene has 15 years’ corporate ICT experience in the banking sector before she founded her innovative Fintech businesses, Finfind and SMEasy as well as co-founding The Development House. She has internationally recognised credentials, having been named as one of the six Top Female Tech Breakthrough Entrepreneurs in Africa for 2017 by the World Economic Forum for her ground-breaking tech solutions.

Darlene has raised more than R50m in Venture Capital to develop and commercialise disruptive innovations that address significant gaps in the SME market globally. In her keynote address, she will share her experience of what it has taken to start and scale successful companies, and how she overcame the challenges which included business liquidations.

Darlene says, “Entrepreneurs are the heroes of South Africa, and should be celebrated and supported. It takes huge courage and determination to start and grow a business. I failed a number of times before I succeeded. My encouragement to entrepreneurs is not to allow the fear of failure to stop them from taking risks. Failure is a necessary part of the journey to success, it’s not the opposite of it. It’s about having the courage and perseverance to hold on for the breakthrough.”

Palesa Phili, CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said “Seasoned entrepreneurs like Darlene have the knowledge and skillset to empower an entrepreneur and small business owner to think strategically about their business and provide real-life experience and solutions in solving business challenges such as negotiating skills and tactics, understanding business cycles, implementing cash flow plans and halting non-essential activities and practices.”

“A significant responsibility exists for business leaders amongst organised business to provide non-financial support to startups, entrepreneurs and SMMEs such as practical business management training and mentorship. Promoting the growth and development of startups, entrepreneurs and SMMEs is critical to the inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development plans of our city, province and country,” added Phili.

“Durban Chamber members and the business community can reserve or sponsor seats for SMMEs to the gala dinner by logging onto the Durban Chamber’s events listing page on events-guide. Come dressed in your best Bond look! This is your licence to thrill, and there will be plenty of opportunities to network and interact with national and regional business leaders, policy decision-makers and captains of industry,” concluded Phili.

The Durban Chamber would like to thank long-time members who have come together to put on a spectacular evening such as venue sponsor Tsogo Sun/Suncoast Entertainment Complex, technology partner Vodacom, media partner The Mercury, as well as Graham Beck Enterprises and CK FMCG who are generously providing the refreshments for this prestigious business networking event.


About Finfind

Finfind is SA’s leading access to finance solution for SMMEs. It’s an innovative online platform linking finance seekers with matching funders, providing easy access to more than 270 lenders and 500 funding options. Go to to find the business finance you need, it’s free and easy to use.


Issued By: The Lime Envelope
On Behalf Of: Finfind
For Media Information: Bronwyn Levy
Telephone: 011 467 9233
E-mail: [email protected]


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