SBDI and the South African Department of Small Business Development to launch the country’s first National SMME Policy Colloquium
The Small Business Development Institute (SBDI), in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development has announced that it will be hosting the inaugural National SMME policy colloquium. Its major aim is to develop a small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) Master plan linked to the National Development Plan (NDP) so as to build a robust and sustainable policy environment that places SMMEs at the epicentre of accelerated economic growth and development.
The colloquium, which will serve as a platform to effectively engage relevant and influential key stakeholders on SMME policy positions, will be held at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) from 21 - 23 October 2014.
An array of inspired thought leaders from broad and specific areas of economic development are scheduled to participate in the event that is hosted by the Colloquium Committee comprising SBDI and its strategic partners – the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT), South Africa Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA), NAFCOC, The International Society for Small and Medium Enterprises (ISSME) and the Black Business Council (BBC).
The colloquium’s principal focus is to debate and interrogate policies that hamper the growth and sustainability of SMMEs. These inhibitive issues include access to credit and project finance; enterprise and supplier development and skills development and training.
”The Ministry of Small Business Development was established as part of a recognition of the important role this sector plays in the social and economic development of our country. In fullfilling our mandate, we will seek to promote a co-ordinated and integrated support across government for SMMEs”, said the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu.
“We will pursue an aggressive entrepreneurship drive and create an enabling environment that will make it easy for South Africans, particularly the youth, women and people with disabilities to start and sustain their businesses. We are clear that through this intervention, we will be able to unlock economic opportunities and thus achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable employment”.
“We now have an opportunity to move with speed on the critical question of de-racializing the economy and opening up opportunities to those who have been historically excluded. The time is now for us to intensify our efforts aimed at broadening participation in the economic mainstream of our country”, she concludes.
“The establishment of the Ministry of Small Business Development means it can no longer be business as usual, and South Africa need to have a paradigm shift in its casual approach to SMME strategic approach. Whilst the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has done excellent work in this regard, through developing various strategies, programmes and support mechanisms over the years, the lack of a national master plan renders most of these ineffective with little traction with the greater national economy, and therefore minimises the prospects for long term impact.
The state of SMME development is in disarray with different sectors and tiers of government acting without any coherence. The colloquium provides an opportunity to explore and interrogate these issues collectively and comprehensively,” says Xolani Qubeka, CEO of Small Business Development Institute.
“We see the colloquium as the first step in a journey that seeks to positively influence the formulation of policies affecting SMMEs. Our aim is to work with policy makers to influence change where we can, to ensure that sustainable job creation and accelerated economic growth can be attained for long term prosperity,” Qubeka concludes.
Chuma Siswana (SBDI)
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