More than 250 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) gathered at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) last week, to build strategic partnerships with financial institutions, public entities and the other attending SMMEs. The penultimate leg of the SMME Opportunity Roadshows included a high-level panel of speakers who offered business owners invaluable advice and input regarding the relevant opportunities and information aimed at empowering their business growth.
Employment opportunities are a growing concern for every city in South Africa, together with the importance of that employment being sustainable. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report released in February 2016, 73% of adults in South Africa view entrepreneurship as a good career choice and about 45% of the working-age population feel they have the ability to start their own business. Despite these figures, only 9.2% go on to do so*.
“An important question that that needs to be answered is why so few people are willing to take the risk and start their own business,” says Abigail Botha, Event Manager at Cape Media, organisers of the SMME Opportunity Roadshow.
A key factor contributing to SMME failure across all economies is a lack of profitability and poor cashflow. Roughly one-third of failed SMME businesses cited a lack of profitability as a key factor in their demise, and these statistics paint an unpleasant picture for South Africa’s entrepreneurial activity. It’s clear that South Africa needs to develop an enabling framework for entrepreneurship that will allow untapped entrepreneurship to emerge and flourish*.
“We recognise that entrepreneurship has a vital role to play in addressing the country’s unemployment woes. The SMME Opportunity Roadshow was brought to life with the aim of providing much-needed assistance and guidance to South Africa’s entrepreneurs. The annual Roadshow is an insightful event that helps SMMEs and business owners tackle the daily challenges that they face and helps them to develop sustainable business models that will create jobs and promote skills development,” says Robert Arendse, Managing Director of Cape Media.
Justin Asher of Picup Technologies, the Programme Director for the day, kicked-off the proceedings on a motivational note. Asher encouraged the gathering of business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to make the most of the event and take to heart all the information to their disposal provided by the seasoned industry experts who presented to the plenary. He explained that entrepreneurs are a breed of their own who are tenacious, ambitious and willing to work hard for their businesses to be successful. He added that there is a responsibility on the shoulders of entrepreneurs – young and old – to be the positive change needed in South Africa’s economy.
Among the inspiring presentations were exceptional master classes that focussed on key topics for SMMEs, including The Fundamentals of Sustaining and Growing SMMEs, Enabling Funding for SMMEs and Scaling-up SMMEs for Future Growth.
“As Cape Town is one of the world’s most iconic and multicultural cities with a unique business dynamic, it set the stage for one of the most exciting Roadshows yet. Up-and-coming SMMEs that operate side-by-side in the city with many of the country’s major retail groups, insurance companies and design companies provided a fresh outlook to the current the entrepreneurial environment,” shares Botha.
In addition to the wealth of knowledge shared, attendees had an opportunity to engage with numerous stakeholders and exhibitors during the day’s break-away sessions.
“The Cape Town Roadshow provided a thrilling and valuable knowledge-sharing platform for the SMMEs that attended. It set the stage for a fantastic final event and we can’t wait to see what the city of Port Elizabeth holds in store for the Eastern Cape’s SMMEs,” concludes Arendse.
Registration is still open for the final Roadshow of 2016, which takes place on Wednesday, 16 November 2016, at the Boardwalk Hotel & Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth. Limited seats are available. To secure your seat, visit http://www.smmesa.co.za/registration, select the Port Elizabeth option and apply for your free registration.
For more information about the SMME Opportunity Roadshow or exhibition opportunities, please contact Abigail Botha at Cape Media on 021 6817000 or [email protected]. The SMME Opportunity Roadshow is also on Twitter (@SMME_Roadshow) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/smmeor).
* B, Phakathi. 2016. SA rated one of the worst in Africa in terms of entrepreneurial activity. [Online] Available from: http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/2016/02/18/sa-rated-one-of-the-worst-in-africa-in-terms-of-entrepreneurial-activity [Accessed: 2016-08-29].