The Department of Small Business Development said it continued to facilitate access to finance for small‚ medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and co-operatives‚ and under the department’s Black Business Supplier Development Programme 221 enterprises had received support to the tune of R60‚7-million in the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.
The department on Wednesday presented its performance report for the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year to Parliament’s portfolio committee on small business development‚ which expressed satisfaction with the progress the department had made over the last three months.
“During the first year‚ the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) disbursed R344-million to 24‚711 SMMEs. A total of 5‚305 youth-owned businesses‚ 22‚296 black-owned‚ 21‚940 women-owned‚ 22‚620 SMMEs and co-operatives in priority provinces have been financed.
“It is important to note that 43% of the allocations were in the priority sectors such as construction‚ ICT‚ mining‚ manufacturing‚ agriculture and tourism as defined in the New Growth Path and Industrial Policy Action Plan‚” the department said.
“It is encouraging that 98% of Sefa support is towards informal businesses. This is consistent with the nine-point plan announced by the president during the 2015 State of the Nation Address. It is important to note that most of Sefa loans are not supported by any form of collateral.”
A total of 2‚174 clients had received support from Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda)‚ an agency of the department.
“This support has made a huge impact on the growth and sustainability of these enterprises — 70% of surveyed clients indicated an increase in turnover; 45% of surveyed clients indicated an increase in the number of people employed; and a 98% satisfaction level from Seda-supported clients was achieved.”
Through the Seda Technology Programme‚ 2‚236 clients were supported by the Seda network of 48 incubators — 535 permanent jobs were created by incubated small enterprises‚ mostly in agriculture and construction sector.
“With regard to our commitment to pay small businesses within 30 days‚ we are pleased to indicate that 97.6% invoices were paid within 30 days during the period under review‚ while the remaining 2.4% were paid one day after 30 days.
“We are recruiting staff in the finance section as part of our determination to ensure that we pay 100% of invoices within thirty days. As champions and advocates of small businesses‚ we will continue to lead by example on this issue and other areas of small business development.”
In relation to employment of people with disabilities and women at senior management level‚ the department said it had met the set targets and exceeded performance in relation to representation of women at senior management level. The department had achieved 48% female representation at senior management level against its first quarter target of 45%.
“The department is convinced that collaboration with the private sector is critical to building a growing and viable small business and cooperative sector. The department has identified the retail sector‚ among other players‚ as an important partner in the development of small businesses.
“In this regard‚ the department and its agencies have consulted widely with the retail sector as part of our collective commitment to explore and find opportunities for small businesses and cooperatives.”
Amongst the retailers engaged by the department‚ Sefa and Seda in a bid to unlock opportunities for small businesses were: SAB Miller‚ Edcon‚ Tiger brands‚ Fruit and Vegetables‚ ZZ2‚ Anglo‚ AIDC- Automotive Industry Development Centre‚ Woolworths‚ Pick and Pay‚ Amalgamated Beverage Industries‚ Boxer Superstores‚ Massmart‚ Woolworths‚ Spar and Shoprite.
“We are confident that these partnerships will lead to unprecedented benefits for small businesses‚” the department said.