World Cup will disappoint SMEs – NYDA

2010-02-03 12:43

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to benefit from the World Cup could be in for disappointment, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) said today.

A survey on SMEs had found that the promise of a World Cup windfall for South African businesses in 2010 was likely to “fall dramatically short”.

“Especially because Fifa is known for fiercely protecting the rights of its sponsors to do business in zones surrounding match locations and as a result this counts against many SMEs,” said the agency.

This perception was reinforced when reports showed that Zakumi, the official World Cup mascot, was being produced in China.

The NYDA-sponsored survey polled 2 500 SME business decision-makers on issues they faced and on ways to overcome them, particularly in the current economic climate.

“The 2010 Fifa World Cup brought with it the opportunity to promote and sell the South African experience.

“We were hoping that young entrepreneurs in industries such as arts and culture, food and beverages, transportation and accommodation would get a cash injection during this tournament,” said NYDA chief executive Steven Ngubeni.

He said the lack of benefits to SMEs should not “cast doubt” on their ability to offer world-class products and services.

“There is no doubt in our minds that there is a pool of talented young South African SMEs that are running successful businesses and can deliver at the drop of a hat,” he said.

Ngubeni urged young entrepreneurs to continue looking for business opportunities outside match location zones and ensure that these were businesses which would survive after the soccer festival.

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