According to National Treasury, there are 2,8 million SMMEs in South Africa that make up 57% of GDP, and provide 60% of jobs, and the government’s National Development Plan (NDP) envisages that SMMEs will create 90% of all new jobs by 2030.
In a bid to help increase the number of SMMEs contributing to the economy, Nedbank has given R1 million funding to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, a non-profit entrepreneur foundation.
The funds, which were made available at the beginning of theyear, have gone towards supporting 70 aspiring entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
The entrepreneurs have completed two courses including a foundation course covering the basics of starting up a business, and an advanced course which outlines how to develop and grow a startup. Other areas covered in their training are finance, governance, HR, marketing and strategy.
SMEs, the engine of the economy
According to Gavin Meiring, the Branson Centre’s marketing manager, the latest Stats South Africa report shows that the skills level of black people aged 25 to 34 has regressed since 1994.
“Since many young people turn to entrepreneurship due to a lack of opportunity elsewhere in the economy, they don’t have the skills that are necessary to build successful and sustainable businesses,” says Meiring.
“They need advice, networks, resources, training and support.”