Five years of small successes

It might be a movement for small businesses, but Small Business Friday is building a big following and on Friday 2 September the movement will celebrate five years.

The campaign was launched in 2012 by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and sponsor Nedbank in an effort to draw attention to the important role entrepreneurship plays within the local economy as well as to the need to grow the sector.

NSBC CEO, Mike Anderson, says the success of “Small Business Saturday in the USA” is what inspired the NSBC to bring the movement to South Africa.

“However, it was determined that Friday would be more appropriate as most small businesses are open on a Friday rather than a Saturday. Small business is the mainstay of our economy and the solution to alleviating unemployment and driving job creation. If every consumer could change their mind-set and opt to support and spend more at their local small businesses, these small businesses would benefit from a growth in infrastructure and as a result this would ensure employment for more people from the local communities. This is meaningful job creation and nation building.”

And as the campaign turns five, Anderson hopes to encourage South Africans to engage every Friday.

“By making a conscious decision to support a small business on a Friday, consumers are demonstrating a powerful commitment to developing the local economy. “

Over the past five years the NSBC, together with Nedbank, has created a community of small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

“The initial campaign was conceived within weeks and consumers were urged to support it through a national radio, digital, social media and PR campaign. We didn’t know how big it was going to be and were surprised by how fast it grew as well as by the positive feedback and general acceptance of the movement,” says Anderson.

“Business and consumers alike have embraced the movement and recognised the importance of the cause. The first five years have been about putting the tools in the hands of small business owners and rally them to own the day as well as speaking to consumers to encourage them to support the movement and go out and support local small businesses. This will of course continue.”

While the campaign is recognised as a movement, Anderson says that it really is about a new mind-set and simply the right thing to do.

“Through the NSBC’s annual national small business survey, we have ascertained that the number one small business requirement and challenge is to grow its customer base. It is for this reason that we want to mobilise and encourage the nation to give greater support to small businesses.”

Although it is difficult to measure the impact of the campaign, the NSBC has received thousands of emails and letters from consumers, small businesses and big business pledging their support and committing to encouraging those around them to do the same.

“The frenzy is building momentum and enormous awareness has been created over the five years. What we do know is that many more are leaning towards their local small businesses for their daily needs. More people are shopping ‘small’ and more businesses are winning – small businesses are getting many more customers to support and buy from them,” says Anderson.

He adds that the results are not only meaningful to the business but the overall bigger entrepreneurship picture.

“If more people could support small businesses, they will be able to build their infrastructure and employ more people, therefore alleviating unemployment and driving job creation. This is nation building at its finest.”

The campaign is looking to mobilise across all sectors, encouraging more businesses to participate and building partnerships with other corporations to support the small business cause, Anderson explains.

“The future plan is to win support not just from small businesses, consumers and activists, but also other larger companies it could partner to promote the cause and importantly to lobby Government officials to make it ‘an official day’.”

Small Business Friday will take place on Friday 2 September. Pledge your support on the pledge wall at www.smallbizfriday.co.za.

It might be a movement for small businesses, but Small Business Friday is building a big following and on Friday 2 September the movement will celebrate five years.

The campaign was launched in 2012 by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and sponsor Nedbank in an effort to draw attention to the important role entrepreneurship plays within the local economy as well as to the need to grow the sector.

NSBC CEO, Mike Anderson, says the success of “Small Business Saturday in the USA” is what inspired the NSBC to bring the movement to South Africa.

“However, it was determined that Friday would be more appropriate as most small businesses are open on a Friday rather than a Saturday. Small business is the mainstay of our economy and the solution to alleviating unemployment and driving job creation. If every consumer could change their mind-set and opt to support and spend more at their local small businesses, these small businesses would benefit from a growth in infrastructure and as a result this would ensure employment for more people from the local communities. This is meaningful job creation and nation building.”

And as the campaign turns five, Anderson hopes to encourage South Africans to engage every Friday.

“By making a conscious decision to support a small business on a Friday, consumers are demonstrating a powerful commitment to developing the local economy. “

Over the past five years the NSBC, together with Nedbank, has created a community of small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

“The initial campaign was conceived within weeks and consumers were urged to support it through a national radio, digital, social media and PR campaign. We didn’t know how big it was going to be and were surprised by how fast it grew as well as by the positive feedback and general acceptance of the movement,” says Anderson.

“Business and consumers alike have embraced the movement and recognised the importance of the cause. The first five years have been about putting the tools in the hands of small business owners and rally them to own the day as well as speaking to consumers to encourage them to support the movement and go out and support local small businesses. This will of course continue.”

While the campaign is recognised as a movement, Anderson says that it really is about a new mind-set and simply the right thing to do.

“Through the NSBC’s annual national small business survey, we have ascertained that the number one small business requirement and challenge is to grow its customer base. It is for this reason that we want to mobilise and encourage the nation to give greater support to small businesses.”

Although it is difficult to measure the impact of the campaign, the NSBC has received thousands of emails and letters from consumers, small businesses and big business pledging their support and committing to encouraging those around them to do the same.

“The frenzy is building momentum and enormous awareness has been created over the five years. What we do know is that many more are leaning towards their local small businesses for their daily needs. More people are shopping ‘small’ and more businesses are winning – small businesses are getting many more customers to support and buy from them,” says Anderson.

He adds that the results are not only meaningful to the business but the overall bigger entrepreneurship picture.

“If more people could support small businesses, they will be able to build their infrastructure and employ more people, therefore alleviating unemployment and driving job creation. This is nation building at its finest.”

The campaign is looking to mobilise across all sectors, encouraging more businesses to participate and building partnerships with other corporations to support the small business cause, Anderson explains.

“The future plan is to win support not just from small businesses, consumers and activists, but also other larger companies it could partner to promote the cause and importantly to lobby Government officials to make it ‘an official day’.”

Small Business Friday will take place on Friday 2 September. Pledge your support on the pledge wall at www.smallbizfriday.co.za.


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