The colloquium’s principal focus was to debate and interrogate policies that hamper the growth and sustainability of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME). The colloquium also tried to find sustainable solutions to the challenges that confront small businesses and cooperatives and to identify policy interventions that can contribute to the growth and sustainability of small businesses. Among the biggest issues od sout africas economy – especially among black business entrepreneurs is a complete lack of financing. Credit markets for SMME basically have collapsed.
The second National SMME policy colloquium highlighted the first anniversary of the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and provided for instance an opportunity to the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, to report to the nation some of the progress and key milestones her department has achieved since its establishment. The American Embassador, Patrick Gaspard, confirmed Americas support for South Africa and explained some of the support measures that the US is willing to implement.
Prof. Woywode from Mannheim University described the way Germany is currently supporting entrepreneurship and made the point that only sustainable entrepreneurship is able to help a country like South Africa in the long run. For this to happen, South Africa needs to reform and stabilize its institutions and fight basic problems like crime and corruption more effectively. Also it needs to unite the relevant stakeholders which are still rather distrustfull to each other to get things done. As Prof. Woywode said at the end of his talk: “The world is not waiting for South Africa”.
According to Xolani Qubeka, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Development Institute, the colloquium provides a platform to all stakeholders in the public and private sector to debate and influence policy options that would contribute towards a thriving and sustainable SMME sector.
“SBDI is committed to playing a pivotal role in fostering the growth and development of SMME’s and co-operatives as major drivers for economic growth and job creation, and through the colloquium we aim to influence participation and engagement between SMMEs, private sector as well as government.
The colloquium’s principal focus is to debate and interrogate policies that affect the growth and development of small businesses. More importantly, it seeks to build a more robust and sustainable policy environment that places SMMEs at the centre of economic growth and development in our country”, said Xolani Qubeka.