The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) once again underlined its position as the key small enterprise development organisation in the country when it released its annual report for the 2012/3 financial year recently.
The addition of 10 in-cubators during the reported year increased the Seda Tech-nology Programme incubator network to 42, supporting more than 2 000 small firms, which in turn offer job opportunities to more than
2 300 employees.
Government hopes to further increase the number of incubators in South Africa through the recently established Incubation Support Programme.
In accordance with this programme, the Department with Trade and Industry (DTI) collaborates with the private sector in setting up new incubators.
The development of high-tech and high-growth sectors will be the main business of these incubators.
Another area reported on is the SMME Payment Assistance Hotline which facilitated payments of R46.86 million during the year under review and brought the total payments facilitated since its inception in September 2009 to R347.88 million.
Some 28 operational secondary cooperatives were also supported.
Seda increased its footprint in the Western Cape with an additional 12 satellite branches.
Three critical areas were identified to be priotised going into the future: focused communication and advocacy on small business issues, taking a medium-term to long-term view of small business development, and focusing on demand-side issues to enhance the performance of the small business sector.