Helping small businesses beat financial woes

2019-07-10 06:01

IT has been reported that the unemployment rate is currently at 27.6%, resulting in consumers with less disposable income and tighter purses.

In the current economic climate, small businesses globally have been suffering due to the economic downturn, crushing the dreams of thousands of entrepreneurs. However, with its many robust interventions in place, Ithala remains optimistic that the situation can be turned into a positive.

Ithala strives to play a catalytic role in stimulating and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of SMMEs and promoting enterprise development in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Inflation, coupled with a lower demand for goods and services and retrenchments across various industry sectors, have added to the plight of small business owners who are battling to find ways to grow their customer base. Ithala has initiated tailor-made programmes for SMMEs to turn people’s dreams into reality,” said Ithala Corporate Social Investment Co-ordinator Andile Mabaso.

A key programme initiated by Ithala which has played a pivotal role in transforming the SMME sector, The My Business Indaba business clinic was hosted in partnership with Msinga Municipality at the Mkhuphulangwenya Community Hall on June 26 and June 27.

Mayor of Msinga, Her Worship the Mayor B.P Ngcobo, welcomed Ithala’s initiative, especially for rural developing communities such as Msinga. She emphasised the importance of such initiatives, that bring the community together to share much-needed knowledge, and she encouraged entrepreneurs young and old to not be deterred by the current state of the economy, but to persevere while moulding their businesses to meet the demands of their target market, find a unique selling proposition and provide excellent services.

Most South African women generally start businesses and participate in the early stages of entrepreneurial activity but their businesses typically remain stagnant and never realise their full potential. That is why day two of the My Business Indaba business clinic focused on women in business in the aptly titled “Imbokodo Iyazenzela” or “Women doing it for themselves”.

This women empowerment programme is a unique enterprise development journey which seeks to acknowledge dynamic women making a positive impact in their communities on a public platform.

Launched in 2015, the programme has been a pillar of support for female entrepreneurs who require access to finance and the resources to grow.

A series of workshops will be held across the KZN province over the next two months (July – August) with the next sessions due to be rolled out at Mbazwana, Mtubatuba, Vryheid, Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu (INK) and Kokstad. The workshops provide valuable insights into the challenges that entrepreneurs face when starting businesses including a lack of critical information, operating unregistered businesses, access to finance and the documentation required to be able to access finance, a lack of knowledge about how to formulate a business plan, limited business management skills, access to markets, ensuring quality standards, and obtaining mentorship.

Imbokodo Iyazenzela has a competition element in which entrepreneurial excellence is rewarded. A winner is selected after being nominated by their community. The competition is open to 100% women-owned, registered and compliant businesses operating in KZN, with a community impact and with clear evidence of promoting of job creation. The competition closes on September 30 and nomination forms are available at Ithala Head Office, Ithala SOC Limited branches, and online at

For more information on Ithala visit or call Sitandiwe Dimba, Ithala Reputation Management Manager, at 031 907 8921 or send an e-mail to — Supplied.


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