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State and national business organisations are failing small business - CDE

By unknown | Jun 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Ever heard of Afro Hairdressing and Beauty Employers Association of South Africa, South African Spaza and Tuck Shop Association, or Soweto Tourism Association?

Entrepreneurs from Soweto formed these associations because the better known national business organisations are failing them, a study by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) found.

Small business operators canvassed by the CDE are caught between bigger business opening chains in Soweto and illegal competitors who undercut them by flouting tax laws and health and safety regulations.

"There are so many disadvantages. I'm alone; no one is helping me," said an entre-preneur quoted in the CDE's report Young Soweto Entre-preneurs: Organising for Small Business Advocacy.

The CDE advised big business to demand that the national business organisations it funds pay more attention to the townships.

Government's various programmes designed to promote small business development, especially among young people, are making very little impact and are not connecting with active entrepreneurs, the study found.

The responses of the young Soweto entrepreneurs revealed how much they have in common with the rest of the South African private sector in their concerns about crime, infrastructure costs, and regulation.

"If entrepreneurs want changes in the operating environment, they have to start by helping themselves," the report concluded.

The new associations the study uncovered indicates Sowetans are doing this.


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