Web tool kit to boost small businesses

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

A South African edition of www.smetoolkit.org, a web resource for small business, created by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and IBM, was launched yesterday.

The new southafrica.smetoolkit.org site is sponsored by the Trade and Industry Department and private equity firm Business Partners.

Web-based applications offered free at the site include business plan writing tools, accounting and finance software, business forms used for employee performance evaluations and software to build a website.

It also encourages business owners to communicate with other entrepreneurs.

South Africa has 600000 active small businesses in the formal sector. Only 30percent of the country's small businesses survive passed their first 18 months.

The new website is aimed at improving the survival rate of new ventures in the country.

Ben Dikobe Martins, chairperson of the portfolio committee on trade and industry, said small businesses that did not have Internet access could visit their local constituency offices and log onto the sme tool kit there for free.

Visit: www.southafrica.smetoolkit.org to access the South African sme tool kit.