Up close & Personal with Tralac Associate, Eckart Naumann

As you know, our entrepreneurs get to learn from South Africa’s top business minds & industry experts. It’s no surprise, when it came to unpacking the United States Trade Act AGOA, we’ve asked Trade Law Centre Associate, Eckart Naumann to host the session!


Why are you excited about #ThreadsBySB?

I’m impressed with the business-focused multi-faceted approach of this program, and the use of technology to bring it all together in actual and virtual classrooms.


What are you expecting from the entrepreneurs?

This program offers unique opportunities and imparts valuable skills – embrace these and invest in yourself.


How do you feel you can support them?

It’s been a privilege to share and discuss with the participating entrepreneurs’ issues around international market access and rules of origin, focusing on the US market. It’s important to keep an eye on developments and I would recommend resources such as the tralac.org (Trade Law Centre) and AGOA.info, websites with a wealth of relevant resources, updated daily.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means setting an example through action and by doing, not just through talking. Leadership means respecting those around you, offering support and encouragement and trusting your own instinct but equally respecting those of others. Leadership isn’t easily defined on paper and includes many “soft” interpersonal skills.


What is your favourite business quote?

Every person that one meets knows something one does not; learn from them.


#ThreadsbySB Businss of Fashion - Freaconnomics

Which book would you recommend to entrepreneurs? And why?

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. By Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Everyone should read this; one will really see many things in everyday life through different eyes…


What is the best business advice you have received?

“If you don’t ask, you won’t get” (this was advice by a colleague in the context of a salary negotiation more than twenty years ago in Europe). But it’s really about not short-selling oneself and being confident in ones’ own ability.


What advice do you have for the 12 Threads participants?

The world has shrunk – figuratively in the sense of the internet, social media, smart devices, the internet of things, consumer choices, trends…but also in terms of markets. As entrepreneurs, don’t confine yourself to the local market; international preferential market access opportunities abound, logistics are slicker and faster, borders have become “thinner” or have fallen away. Companies increasingly base their decisions on a raft of fundamentals where regional or international market preferences are high up on the list. And while trade tariff barriers are declining, non-tariff barriers remain a challenge, and this means that entrepreneurs need to continuously familiarise itself with the technical and administrative aspects of trade, and to be (increasingly, rapidly) responsive and flexible to the evolving needs of the marketplace.

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.