First birthday!

Clement Manoko

This month Small Business Connect celebrates its first birthday! A lot has happened in the past year since the newspaper was launched in September 2013 by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

At the launch event Davies said the newspaper complemented the overall thrust of the government’s support for small businesses.

“It is an information exercise about what you need to do to start a small business, where one can go for mentorship opportunities,” said Davies.

He said that issues specific to small businesses are not always covered in commercial mainstream media.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) saw the need for an information source to support small business owners in growing their businesses and appointed SA Business Owner & Co as the publisher after a tender process.

“We are pleased with the success of Small Business Connect. The platform has played a critical role in reaching small business owners and co-operatives across the country. As we mark the first anniversary, the DTI marketing communication and stakeholder engagement would like to thank Minister Rob Davies, Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe (now with Small Business Development), and Lionel October, for their invaluable support that made it possible for the publication,” says Clem Manoko, the department’s head of communication and marketing.

A total of 30 000 copies a month are distributed nationally.

With the demand for information being much bigger than the newspaper’s reach, social media platforms such as Facebook, and most recently a monthly online Small Business Connect Radio show, have been added.

“During most of the first year we focused our attention on refining the content, achieving a good regional spread and concentrating on the distribution through points most frequented by business owners,” says managing director Gcobani Ndabeni.

Entrepreneurs can access Small Business Connect content through any of the following channels:

  •  The monthly 20-page newspaper distributed through 200 points nationally. For a list of distribution points visit
  • Daily updates on the Small Business Connect website at
  •  Feeds via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ which can be followed by entrepreneurs.
  • Subscription to a daily email digest of new stories posted on the website.
  •  A monthly “behind-the-scenes” email newsletter, which readers can subscribe to from the website.

The Facebook page has seen a surge in fans with the number of followers now at well over 8 000 likes. Here is what some of the Facebook fans had to say about the newspaper.

Tumelo SiliGa: “Love the way it brings me inspiration just by reading about others entrepreneurs who are thriving in their businesses.”

Stephan Cronje: “I enjoy all the discussions and advice on here. I am hoping to gain some valuable advice myself to use in my business and to help expand in the near future.”

Jenny Claasen: “Excellent read. Great info!”

Clem Manoko, Community, , gcobani ndabeni, , Rob Davies, SA Business Owner & Co

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