ED'S NOTE

Launching SMME opportunities

Opportunity Editor, Lindsay King
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We must never underestimate the contribution of SMMEs to job creation and economic growth in South Africa. Especially the roles they play as importers and exporters to the country’s economy will in the future become the golden thread that will make or break our international standing.

These factors were among the main considerations when President Jacob Zuma and his team created a government department especially for this purpose. The Department of Small Business Development, under the leadership of Minister Lindiwe Zulu, will spearhead Government initiatives to develop small businesses in every community throughout the country and link small business development with economic growth and opportunity in every sector of the economy.

One of the most powerful drivers behind small business development is the South African National Infrastructure Plan(SANIP). With 18 Strategic Integrated Projects countrywide comprising a total of at least 645 identified projects, the SANIP promises a host of concrete opportunities across the value chain for SMMEs that are equipped to participate. Naturally, it takes considerable business acumen for any SMME to participate in mature projects, whether as part of SANIP or any other tender. Fortunately, South Africa is blessed with a host of small business incubators and other facilitators expertly equipped with the means to
lend small business wings.

My point is: if Government is that serious about growing SMME’s in South Africa, it is our responsibility as business leaders across the spectrum to embrace this notion and put all our weight behind this effort to boost our country and invest in a sustainable future economy.

In solidarity with all of the above, Opportunity magazine will join this mission in May 2015 with the launch of its first in a serious of events, the SMME Opportunity Roadshow, in Gauteng, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town with the intention to showcase opportunities under the umbrella of the SANIP – and to provide focused guidance for SMMEs to mainstream their competitive advantage as effectively as possible.

As a community conscious publication, and in our quest to thread together South Africa’s trade and investment opportunities, we believe that this initiative will enable SMMEs to position themselves advantageously in the value chain of any project. SMMEs participating in the roadshow will also be networking with key players in every economy sector, meeting the people they need to take their business further.

Our choice to create a roadshow, opposed to a one-venue-event, has lots of merit as we would like to reach and include as many people as possible across South Africa.

The SMME Opportunity Roadshow will kick off in Johannesburg on 6 May (Emperors Palace). Dates for the other venues are as follows: Durban: 20 May (Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani); Cape Town: 27 May (The Clocktower Conference Centre, V&A Waterfront) and Port Elizabeth: 8 July (Boardwalk Hotel & Conference Centre). For more info, you can contact Venesia Fowler on 021 6817000 or 082 9544395 or send her an email to venesia@capemedia.co.za.

I’m looking forward to meeting you at this amazing initiative!

Lindsay

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