Small businesses can drive economic growth and job creation

by MMC
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Focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives can boost growth, create jobs and build a more inclusive economy, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.

“As a country, we must support our entrepreneurs and SMEs and strengthen the ecosystem that supports them,” the president said.

The country’s first citizen was speaking on Friday evening at the 2nd edition of the National Presidential Awards for SMMEs and Cooperatives in Johannesburg.

The President told delegates that the ceremony was urgent given the volatile global situation.

“Our prospects for a faster and more sustainable recovery from COVID-19 have been dashed by continued supply chain disruptions, high inflation and depressed market demand.

“Governments are under pressure to stimulate the economy and provide more social assistance, but with reduced budgetary resources. »

This is why he believes that SMEs can stimulate growth and job creation.

He told guests that he was encouraged by the work done by the Department of Small Business Development since the launch of the third iteration of the country’s SMME strategy almost a year ago.

The National Small Business Development Strategic Framework aims to use resources from the broader ecosystem to build practical partnerships that enable the growth of entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The government is creating a new one-stop agency for small businesses which will bring together the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA), the Small Business Finance Agency (SEFA) and the Bank Development Agency cooperatives (CBDA).

The strategic framework calls for partnerships and concrete actions in four areas. This includes tackling the administrative formalities and regulatory constraints that frustrate SMEs.

“The Ministry of Small Business Development is also streamlining business licensing processes, with the Business Licensing Amendment Bill soon to be gazetted.

” But there is still a lot more to do. We know some of the frustrations that technology start-ups in particular are experiencing with exchange controls that hamper inflows of venture capital and affect local registration of intellectual property.

Other areas of focus include addressing market concentration and enabling market access, particularly for SMEs owned by women, youth and other underserved communities; access to financing and support for entrepreneurship.

“If we can do this, we can change the fortunes of the country. »

The current administration, he explained, has set a goal of creating 100 new small business incubators. To date, the state has created 110 with 11 more in development.

“It is encouraging to see that the number of people engaged in entrepreneurial activity has increased significantly. »

Citing the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, he said the working age population involved in business creation in South Africa increased from 6.5% in 2001 to 17.5% in 2021.

“This clearly reaffirms what our National Development Plan predicted, namely the creation of 11 million jobs by 2030, including nine million from small businesses.

“We just need to scale up our interventions to create an enabling environment for SMEs and encourage other ecosystem partners, especially the private sector, to play their role. »

He told entrepreneurs in the room that citizens depend on their innovation and entrepreneurship to create the opportunities that will enable them to get the jobs they so desperately need.

“Congratulations to the winners and finalists. You have gone through a rigorous selection process and fully deserve to be here. It is your dynamism and dynamism that will revitalize our economy and improve our global competitiveness. – SAnews.gov.za

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