SMEs: Stop thinking about it – start
To listen to the interview by Melitta Ngalonkulu from Moneyweb click here.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: The value of a thriving small-medium enterprise sector cannot be undermined and that is why the government welcomes the introduction of new ventures and small setups that help curb unemployment and pump money into the market. In fact, small and medium-sized enterprises are the bedrock of most developed nations. With the start of a new year I am sure that many have starting a business as one of their new year resolutions but the red tape that’s involved is not as understandable to everyone. Today we are joined by Bulelani Balabala, who is the founder of Township Entrepreneurship Alliance to speak to us on starting up a business and the complexity of it in South Africa. Hello, Bulelani, how are you doing?
BULELANI BALABALA: Hi Melitta, howzit.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: I am great, President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken numerously about how the youth should start up their own small businesses but now when we look at it in detail, how simple is it to start a business in South Africa?
BULELANI BALABALA: You know what, I understand the President’s call and it’s a novel call because you look at the economy and the performance of the large-scale companies that are really the ones that are being impacted the most with what’s happening at the current moment, and the saving grace is SMMEs. I think the call in itself is a great call, but it needs to be a supported call, it becomes an empty call when you’re calling people into a space where there won’t be any opportunities for them. Government is the largest procurer in the whole entire country and I think that call must go with opening up the right market…opportunities from a government perspective and starting to mobilise agencies that are under certain departments, for instance, the dti would have various agencies other than that are supposed to then push out SMME development, Department of Small Business Development would have SEDA, they would also have SEFA and then you have other players with all these partners. But the biggest challenge is these government agencies that are there to offer business support for SMMEs are replicating and duplicating their work. So you can imagine if they had a better streamlined funnel they would be able to create more impact for the SMMEs at the end of the day. I think it’s a great call but you can’t have our triangle of development bulky at the bottom, whereas there are no funnels of development on growth, and the entrepreneur is going to stay as a startup for the next 15 or 20 years.
To read more, visit Moneyweb.