Entrepreneurs Need Skills

Entrepreneurs Need Skills


Access to skills development has been identified as an impediment to growth in small businesses. This arose from the Small Business Summit held in Mpumalanga last week.

Other issues identified include access to finance and barriers to entering the market.

At the various commissions held during the course of the summit, impediments to small business formed part of the discussions.

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) urged small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to make use of opportunities that are being made available to small business within state owned entities.

DPE is the shareholder department for eight entities, including Eskom and Transnet.

In 2007, the department started its Competitive Supplier Development Programme (CSDP), which was created to stimulate economic growth.

Mbali Hlophe, director for strategic relations at the DPE, said entities have opportunities for SMME participation, such as in cleaning services and waste management at Eskom.

However, SMMEs face issues such as skills development. In efforts to address this, Eskom had established a Contractor Academy to assist upcoming contractors.  To date, 268 business owners have concluded the programme in the last five years.

Elizabeth Thabethe, deputy minister of Trade and Industry, acknowledged that although progress has been made on policy and development of support infrastructure for SMMEs, further development was still needed by the sector.

“We do, however, still need to encourage further development and growth of SMMEs and co-operatives as a vehicle for job creation and economic development of the country,” said Thabethe.


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