Constitutional Hill was the perfect setting to host a breakfast debate on the 31st May 2016 on how SMME’s struggle to access finance, markets and business skills. With growing pessimism from those seeking funds, the country is in dire need of stakeholders across the value chain, coming together to eradicate barriers to entry.
The breakfast session was aimed at stimulating dialogue amongst stakeholders and how efforts going forward should be tangible and sustainable. The current imbalance is indicative that efforts to eradicate the state of impoverished communities, is still lacking.
The panel included MIC CEO Mary Bomela, Stanlib Chief Economist Kevin Lings, Inyosi Enterprise & Supplier Development Portfolio Manager Evan Jones, Luvuyo Rani from Silulo and Sane Bukula from Afrox.
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The Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) and Stellar Credit have partnered to create a solution which specifically addresses access to funding, access to markets and access to skills for black owned SMME’s. The session included the many success stories from this combined effort and reflect the heartfelt gratitude of the fund recipients.
SMME’s, as a microcosm of the global economy, play a critical role in ensuring economic transformation through job creation and the inclusion of marginalised communities in the greater economy. Due to their size, small businesses tend to be creative and implement innovative ideas that benefit communities and ensure business growth and sustainability.
“MIC seeks continued improvement in BEE status by both our own business and by companies in which we invest. We are ‘active equity partners’. This is reflected in the value we add as an investor and by active engagement in the work of transformation. This debate is a primary example of one of the ways we live our values”, says MIC CEO Mary Bomela.
The cycle of impoverishment is never ending. While we talk of efforts to educate every child and to ensure that every South African has access to basic needs, this is not our reality. People are stuck in the cycle because they face the constant struggle to access finance, markets and business skills. Startup capital and cash flow is critical to the growth and sustainability of SMMEs.
Recent reports attributed to the Minister for Small Business Development Ms. Lindiwe Zulu have outlined a proposed review of government expenditure on SMME’s with the aim of developing interventions that could assist small, macro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) to expand and become sustainable.
Growing pessimism is a real threat especially with predictions that South Africa’s economic growth is set to slow even further this year. Business opportunities will continue to be strained, especially in light of the recent Monetary Policy Committee, stating an unchanged interest rate, but alluding to potential rate hikes later this year.
“As an investment portfolio that is mandated to invest into black owned SMME’s and working with management teams to create market leading businesses, we have to have a holistic approach,” says Evan Jones, Portfolio Manager of Inyosi Enterprise and Supplier Development Investments.
“Since our launch of the Enterprise Development Investment in 2012 we have focused on lending to black owned SMME’s. With almost 400 companies that have invested into our Enterprise Development Investment, we have loaned over R120m to black owned SMME’s beneficiaries. We are proud that our loans facilitate change for many and that our initiatives can assist in stimulate real growth in a crucial segment of the market. What is even more encouraging to see, is how the loan recipients are able to enhance their businesses and to increase their economic contribution to South Africa.”.
“The conversations will continue to happen until solutions are found. MIC will continue its active involvement in the value creation activities of its investee companies and of BEE SMME’s.” added Bomela
For more information about MIC and its current projects, visit www.mic.co.za.