73% of South African SMEs learn new things from online search – Facebook Survey

Posted on May 9th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (9 May)

In the latest Future of Business Survey, an ongoing collaboration between Facebook, the OECD and the World Bank, 42% of businesses across the globe revealed that they learn from each other to master the new mobile environment, second only to online searches (64%).

Nearly 200 000 SMEs, drawn from the 70 million businesses with an active Facebook Page, in more than 40 countries have taken the survey. South African SMEs closely followed the global trend with statistics showing that:

  • 50% of the SMEs learn new things from other businesses
  • 37% of the SMEs learn new things from friends and family
  • 73% of the SMEs learn new things from online search
  • 42% of the SMEs learn new things from online blogs or forums
  • 36% of the SMEs learn new things from online trainings (e.g webinars, e-learning courses)
  • 31% of the SMEs learn new things from offline trainings (e.g courses, books)
  • 44% of the SMEs learn new things from media (e.g TV, journalists)

The Future of Business Survey also indicates additional global trends on how SME connections can impact economic outlook, job creation, and international trade.

The report shows that when businesses connect and learn from each other they are more confident. Nearly half (45%) of businesses that are confident about the economy are learning from other businesses, whereas two-thirds (64%) of unconfident businesses are not.

With regards to international trade, the report says a supportive community can help businesses scale geographically. Businesses that trade internationally learn from more sources and have a higher than average number of business-related educational interests. They are also three times more likely to cite educational interest in better information on international trade.

Nearly half (47% and 45% respectively) of businesses that have added jobs in the past six months or plan to in the next six months also learned from other businesses. In contrast, among businesses that have decreased the number of jobs in the past 6 months or plan to do so in the next 6 months, learning from other businesses is less pronounced (41% and 37% respectively.)

DTI Invites Companies On Trade Mission To Zambia

The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday called for applications from companies to take part in a trade and investment mission to Zambia from 26 to 28 July.

Zambia is one of South Africa’s top five trade partners in the SADC region, with total trade between the countries amounting to R33 billion in 2016.

The DTI said the mission was aimed at advancing commitments made between the two countries’ heads of state in December during Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s visit to South Africa. The two presidents agreed to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations.

“The mission will present an ideal platform for South African companies who would like to export value-added products and services, as well as companies which are looking for investment opportunities and joint-venture partnerships in Zambia,” the statement said.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said the mission would enable South African companies to interact with leading private sector entities from agro-processing, agribusiness, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, energy, tourism, mining and capital equipment, and others.

“South Africa remains committed to the regional integration agenda as espoused in Agenda 2063,” Davies said. “Platforms of this nature afford us the opportunity to not only consolidate political ties, but also to create the much needed value chains, skills and technology transfer and employment generation required to give effect to our economic ambitions.” (via African News Agency)

MTN Group Signs Agreement To Invest R500mln In Iranian Net

MTN Group on Monday signed a non-binding preliminary agreement to invest approximately R540 million into Iranian Fixed Broadband Provider, Iranian Net, for a 49 percent stake.

The South African based cellphone network provider also made a further investment of about R3,4 billion in both equity and loans to facilitate Iranian Net meeting its rollout targets over the next five years.

MTN said the preliminary agreement remains subject to finalising suitable transaction agreements.

Iranian Net has a national license for the construction and operation of an optical data transmission network and fibre optic access network across Iran.

MTN said this investment, should it be completed, would represent an opportunity to capitalise on the continued strong growth expected in the Iranian broadband market, with an initial focus on eight of the main cities. (via African News Agency)