South African global support office opens for business | News | Small Business Connect

ISSME was first established in India and has now spread globally.

Small business owners will soon be able to leverage off the expertise of their overseas counterparts after the International Society for Small and Medium Enterprises (Issme) set up shop in South Africa earlier this year.

Issme, which began operating in South Africa in March, aims to assist institutions that help small businesses and to develop a global association of business owners.

Moses Mwanjirah, the country representative of Issme for South Africa, says the organisation was set up in 2010 with the belief that all small businesses around the world face similar challenges.

The first office was opened in India, with more offices having since been added in other countries.

“We realised that small business owners need to speak the same language and that everyone in the sector needs to work together,” says Mwanjirah.

He says the aim in South Africa is to create and provide a platform for small business owners where everyone in the sector works together.

Mwanjirah says he is already in talks with various government departments and small business associations to form partnerships.

He believes that the challenges faced by small business owners in the country can be addressed through working together.

Another key issue his office is working on is addressing challenges facing the informal sector.

“I feel that this sector is not receiving enough attention and therefore I am working on creating partnerships to address these issues,” says Mwanjirah.

Plans are also in the pipeline for Durban to host the fourth Small Business World Summit next year as well as to host the World Small Business Awards.

As the South African Issme office becomes more established, training and networking programmes will also be made available to business owners.

“Currently we are in talks and setting up round tables with business associations and business owners in Gauteng.

We have already had one in the Western Cape late last year before we officially launched and another will take place in Durban,” says Mwanjirah.