The Small Business Connect Facebook page has been inundated with questions for small business development minister, Lindiwe Zulu.
This month Small Business Connect caught up with the minister and posed some of these questions on your behalf. Read her responses and check to see whether your question has been answered below:
Ivor Brenton Steyn: Certain companies monopolize some industries and prevent small business from entering or surviving in the market. What is being done to encourage fair competition and to discourage bullying?
Minister: We are working with the private sector to ensure that these businesses provide small businesses with the necessary support. We need to create an environment that is conducive to business.
Wonder Choma: How can you get agencies like the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) to train business owners in townships? Businesses still have to go through the Johannesburg and Pretoria offices to get information.
Minister: I believe that communication is key to small business owners. We will be looking at how effective Seda and Sefa are and how to improve these agencies so that there is a quicker turnaround time for support. The success of these businesses depend on the support it receives. We are also busy with national road shows where we will be speaking to business owners.
Neil Springfield: How is she going to change the lack of support we receive from other government institutions like CIPC and the Compensation Commissioner?
Minister: The institutions are there. The resources are there. We need to make people who work at these places understand what they need to do to provide support and how important this support is to small businesses. These are people (business owners) who have families and employees (who also have families) that they provide for.
Thee Patrick Moloko: What legacy would you like to leave or be be remembered for in terms of changing the entrepreneurial game in South Africa?
Minister: I would like to have a legacy of having created very strong, supportive structures. I would like to leave a legacy of having encouraged South Africans to believe that it is possible to get up and do things for yourself. I want to leave a legacy and say I assisted in creating a conducive environment for small businesses and co-operatives. But, more than anything else, I’d like to leave a legacy that says it is possible.