Cecilia Sibiya attended the Five-Year Soweto Economic Business Development Plan launch yesterday with the hope that the initiative will help her struggling business.
Sibiya, 20, of Orlando East, said she and her friends - four women and a man - formed a construction company two years ago.
But their company, Sotoba kaMacingwane, has not succeeded.
"We build houses from scratch and do renovations, but we don't have money. Some of us have had to find jobs to fund the business. We want to sub-construct for big companies so we can develop," she said.
"We have knocked at many doors looking for help, but got empty promises. We were promised a sub-contracting deal in the rebuilding of Orlando Stadium, but it did not happen."
She said she hoped the plan to boost Soweto's economic development would benefit small businesses.
Most people were concerned that they would not benefit economically from the 2010 World Cup. Others said the mushrooming of shopping malls would kill small businesses.
Hawkers, who said metro police impounded their stock for violating by-laws by trading illegally, protested outside the conference at Ubuntu Kraal in Orlando West. They urged Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo to intervene. Masondo said there were programmes underway to address their plight.