FREE TO READ | SMMEs' role in the economy examined

In this inaugural issue of our new magazine, we try to answer the many questions small business owners have to help them thrive

Hopes for improved growth in employment rests on the role of SMMEs in the economy.
Hopes for improved growth in employment rests on the role of SMMEs in the economy.
Image: Sunday Times/123RF/karandaev

By now, most South Africans are keenly aware of the role small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) play in the economy. We understand that it is these small businesses, not established corporates, that are most likely to provide employment and perhaps even stimulate job creation. We know that SMMEs stand a greater chance of fostering inclusion for marginalised groups and may even plant the seeds for new industries to flourish. And we know, from the number of start-ups providing niche products and services that were previously unheard of, that they have the potential to solve social problems.

Sadly, we also know that a small-business owner’s journey is a difficult one. Far from dreams of becoming the next Elon Musk, most of SA’s SMME owners have more humble goals: how to get that next round of funding? Are there any alternatives to traditional finance houses? What skills do I need to sharpen if I don’t want to fall behind? How can I find out more about enterprise and supplier development — is it the answer to greater market access?

We’ve tried to provide answers to these and other crucial questions in our inaugural edition of SMMEs: Accelerating Growth. The reality is that while SMMEs are all about big-picture thinking, and there is perhaps no other sector as driven by aspiration and ambition, there is also no other sector where these need to be tempered by pragmatic considerations. Let’s start here.

Lisa Witepski, editor


Browse through the full magazine below (zoom in or go full screen for ease of reading):