Sage, the global market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, has welcomed the call for South African government to support entrepreneurs and grow a sustainable Small & Medium Business sector in the country.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told delegates at a recent Nando’s Daily Maverick The Gathering that the private sector creates 70% of the jobs in South Africa, while government creates only 30%. Since the private sector is by far the biggest engine of employment in the country, we need to help Small & Medium Businesses to succeed so they can create jobs and address the challenge of inequality.
Anton van Heerden, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, Sage South & Southern Africa, says: “We are always pleased to hear that South African government recognises the contribution entrepreneurs and Small & Medium Businesses make in helping address to the challenge of unemployment. There are nearly 9 million people unemployed in South Africa, and growing the Small & Medium Businesses sector is our best option for creating decent work for them.”
Van Heerden says that Sage strongly endorses the call for more inclusive growth in a country and a world where inequality is a major challenge. Small & Medium Business tend to be more labour-intensive than larger businesses, and hence have potential to create employment for more people, says Van Heerden.
In addition, entrepreneurship creates wealth for business owners, their families, and their communities. “Minister Gordhan is correct when he says that politicians cannot create jobs,” adds Van Heerden.
“A vibrant private sector, supported by a business-friendly government, holds the real key to unlocking South Africa’s economic potential.”
South Africa’s National Development Plan relies on Small & Medium Businesses to create 90% of the 11 million new jobs it seeks to create by 2030. To meet this goal, South Africa needs nearly 50,000 Small & Medium Businesses growing at a rate of 20% a year, says Van Heerden. Sage believes that this target can be achieved if large businesses, the public sector and entrepreneurs work together.
“As Minister Gordhan noted, one important element of a jobs strategy for South Africa is providing training and education for the youth,” says Van Heerden. “From our side, we would welcome partnerships to grow awareness of risks and rewards of entrepreneurship among the youth, and to provide mentoring and training to entrepreneurs.”
“It would be a pleasing, positive opportunity for us to work with government to help Small & Medium Businesses face challenges like regulatory access to finance, compliance, skills development and mentoring,” says Van Heerden.
Recent research from Sage shows that business owners are investing in the future, but would like to see more action from the Government.
Despite their efforts, however, most South African business owners say that they have never received financial or other support from the government, and outline the top five things they want to see from our Government, to help them thrive:
- Reduce business rates and taxes
- Reduce red tape
- Control energy and utility costs
- Simplify labour regulation
- Bring stability to foreign exchange rates
“Millions of entrepreneurs in the world’s Small & Medium Businesses trust Sage as they power the global economy,” says Van Heerden.
“It is these entrepreneurs who are the drivers of prosperity. It takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life. Support from government and large businesses could help entrepreneurs improve their odds of success, with positive results for their communities and the country.”
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Off The Beaten Track
What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.
This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.
The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.
“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.
“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.
According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”
Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.
FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development
First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.
First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.
DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”
FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.
“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.
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