Small Business Development and state of the nation June 2014
President Jacob Zuma did address issues affecting the country and not much has been said regarding small business development support. The Government has established a number of Agencies such as Small Enterprise Finance Agency to deal with the needs of small businesses. At this stage the role and effect of these interventions has not been felt. The new Minister of Small Business Development will have to carve out a new and South African approach to small business development in order to take South African entrepreneurship forward.
The only problem I have is entrepreneurship requires that we address various issues such as legislative barriers to doing business, financial and funding issues, promoting great ideas, education and training as well as basic infrastructure provision. The new role of the Ministry of small businesses has to be clear regarding the role they are going to play to enhance start-up businesses that will grow within a supportive environment instead of tenderpreneurship.
Putting the right jockey to the right horse is very important. Has the new Minister of Small Businesses started and sustained a small business before? I say this because in order to her to understand the needs of small businesses, she must have experienced it before so that she can have empathy to the small businesses out there in the cold. We are told that South African imports more than 40% of chicken from Brazil, how is that going to change to transform local entrepreneurship?
The role of academic institutions and other sectors of society should not be undermined. There is a need to partner with business, academics and civil society to address all the impediments to doing business in South Africa.
In conclusion, there is still hope for small business development in South Africa instead of big elephants such as your Shoprite Checkers, Game, Woolworths and others which are only benefitting the already wealthy and connected in the economy.