While the small business sector continues to show promising growth, more is needed from business to help create workable links with the government and other stakeholders.
So said Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.
He was addressing a number of small businesses, procurement professionals and government stakeholders during a breakfast at the Western Cape Smart Procurement Conference, recently hosted in Cape Town.
Winde said there was a need to improve relationships between big business, procurement professional and suppliers.
He added that local small businesses must work with the government and other role-players to identify red-tape blockages and make more room for access to existing local and international markets.
“I’ve come across many businesses saying they aren’t keen on doing business with government, citing reasons that it is difficult and ‘boring’ to do so. I think it’s time to change that,” said Winde.
Some existing governmental procedures aimed at boosting business activities are still at odds with the needs of many businesses and are currently up for review.
This means doing business with major corporate companies and the government is proving more challenging for the small enterprise sector.
“This shows a clear role needed to be played by small business. The only way for small businesses and government to do business is to talk and see how we can remove red tape,” said Winde.
The gathering preceded the first day of the first Western Cape Smart Procurement Conference which tackled issues affecting business and professionals in the goods and services procurement industry.
Although small businesses contribute significantly to the local economy, many struggle to enter certain markets – indicating a need for “stronger relations” between small firms and procurement professionals, said Winde.
Other speakers at the event highlighted the need for small business growth.
Malcom Farell of CNet highlighted that “about 45% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from small businesses”.