Over 400 players in the small business sector met last month in a bid the create a national master plan that aims to address challenges that inhibit small business development.
The National SMME Policy Colloquium took place in Sandton and was hosted by the National Small Business Institute (NSBI) in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD).
The institute was formed in 2008 with the aim of developing small businesses holistically to ensure supplier-readiness.
The institute’s chief executive Xolani Qubeka says the event aims to create dialog on the main challenges small business owners face as set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) such as regulatory burdens and access to finance and markets and then to use this to create a template.
It is expected that small businesses will create 90% of 11 million jobs by 2030 as required by the NDP.
“We are hoping to come up with recommendations that we could use to develop this master plan that will be adopted by all role players in the sector to ensure that South Africa becomes more small business-friendly and then to use this to further the aims of the NDP,” says Qubeka, who is also the former head of the Black Business Council.
He adds that the event was attended by the chief executive of the Banking Association of South Africa, the heads of the developmental finance institutions, entrepreneurs, small business associations as well as top government officials from Trade and Industry, Economic Development and the DSBD.
Qubeka says it is expected to take about a month for the organisers to compile the information following the event into a template and a presentation will then be made to the portfolio committee on small business development.
Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, says that the department will not be able to achieve the objectives of the NDP alone and will need to partner with various organisations.
“We want to improve institutional framework for small business development by ensuring a cohesive approach…I look forward to the recommendations and deliberations that will come out of this colloquium,” says Zulu.