Help for local SMMEs

2011-07-05 00:00

TWO key roleplayers in local economic development have teamed up to launch a critical intervention, recognising the small business sector’s need for advice, support and skills.

Banking giant Absa and the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) yesterday launched a small, micro and medium enterprise (SMME) desk, based at the chamber.

Noluthando Ndlovu will head the desk.

PCB chief executive officer Melanie Veness said entrepreneurship and the SMME sector in South Africa need significant support as this area of the economy suffered greatly during the recent economic recession.

Veness said the chamber approached Absa with a view to supporting the SMME sector and improving the sustainability of small businesses. She said support will be offered through workshops, a mentorship programme, networking sessions, seminars, exhibitions and conferences.

The two partners have built on the success of the Absa/PCB women empowerment desk, which was launched in 2006.

Provincial head of small business at Absa business banking, Sid Moodley, described the SMME desk as an upgrading of the women empowerment desk.

Moodley said Absa has consistently undertaken various projects in support of the sector, including the establishment of enterprise development centres in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Ndlovu, who joined Absa in 2005, told The Witness that she is passionate about providing budding entrepreneurs with business knowledge and skills. She said that she is excited about joining a team of talented women at the chamber.

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