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Speaker > Biography

Dionne KerrDionne Kerr

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Siyakha Consulting

Dionne Kerr is the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Siyakha Consulting. She has actively advised both public and private sector clients in Transformation, Development and Strategy since leaving the banking industry in 1998.

Working in BEE and Transformation since 1999, she has spoken at more than 20 conferences in the past two years on a number of issues. She is a regular contributor and thought leader on the key elements of people, sustainability and aligning strategy to be locally relevant. With a strong portfolio of local and multinational clients, Dionne has also served on several executive committees and is an activist on issues of change and development.

An avid believer in community development, Dionne remains actively involved in entrepreneurial development, community development, job creation, disability support programmes and youth development and is a past recipient of the DIVA Africa award for her involvement in SMME development.

Her prestigious CV has also ensured Dionne's selection as a judge for the Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards, the Top Women Awards 2010 and 2011, the Achiever Awards 2010, and the Metropolitan Olivier Empowerment Awards for three years consecutively.

Previous Chairperson of the National Association of BEE Consultants (NABC), Dionne currently serves as Vice Chairperson and Head of the Ethics and Discipline portfolio. Previous Board member of the British Chamber of Business, Dionne actively advises investors from Spain, France and the United Kingdom on investing on the African continent and has recently been appointed as one of two "Catalysts" representing South Africa through UK Trade and Investment.

Dionne Kerr has been appointed to the United Kingdom's Trade and Investment Catalyst Programme. She is one, of only two, South African representatives on the programme.

Catalyst is a global network of business leaders, who champion the UK as the world's best international business partner.

It comprises influential business figures established in international markets, who are supporters of the UK as a place to do business. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) launched the scheme in 2011, initially with 100 high profile members, but intends to increase the network to 500 in two years.

Members promote the UK internationally by speaking at UKTI events and discussing their insights and views with businesses. They also provide practical support; mentoring UK SMEs and entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps into international markets.

Current members are drawn from all business sectors, including life sciences, ICT, advanced engineering, creative industries, energy and finance.

The Catalyst UK network complements the work of UKTI's Business Ambassadors Network, which was established in 2008 to promote the UK's excellence internationally but from a British base.

The Business Ambassadors Network has already provided an impressive impetus to the UK's trade and investment activities. Since its creation, it has encouraged UK companies to explore overseas business opportunities through more than 100 events in more than 30 countries and has been influential in securing inward investment projects.

"The ability to understand SMME markets from a South African and a global perspective is important in the work that we do to encourage investment into South Africa and also provides a platform for us to advise South African businesses on how to operate in offshore markets. As an important strategic trade partner, the UK provides an opportunity for growth for South African SMMEs and South Africa will benefit from the job creation opportunities that exist every time an international investor decides to operate in our markets," says Kerr.

"It is an honour to represent South Africa on the UK Trade and Investment Catalyst Programme," she adds.




















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