According to Ben Bierman, Managing Director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium owner-managed businesses, South Africa’s challenges will not be resolved unless the country can successfully grow out of them, and that economic development is key to this growth.
In order to unlock the country’s potential it is absolutely imperative, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that the course for economic growth set by President Ramaphosa is followed without delays.
Bierman identifies key highlights from the address which he believes will support the growth and development of small and medium enterprises:
The problems at Eskom are bigger, wider and deeper than what many of us previously thought, so the fact that the President is prioritising it and trying to ensure sustainable and reliable electricity supply will benefit SMEs, as they do suffer disproportionately when it comes to load shedding and unreliable electricity supply.
Businesses require a stable electricity supply in order to implement their growth plans.
Youth unemployment and tourism
Businesses that operate within the tourism sector often have low barriers to entry and significant job creation capabilities, which is exactly why the industry offers much opportunity for small and medium business.
Ensuring the country’s policies are conducive for increasing the number of foreign tourists visiting the country is therefore key to unlocking the possibility that it presents, especially when it comes to alleviating youth unemployment.
These planned projects will not only improve the country’s infrastructure, but also provide significant downstream opportunities for small and medium businesses across various sectors, improve general business confidence and result in various positive spinoffs.
Lowering the cost of data
It’s positive to note that the need to bring down the costs of data was a key point in the SONA, as more affordable data is essential for both economic development and for unleashing opportunities for young people.
Lower connectivity costs will encourage the younger generation to be more creative and explore entrepreneurial opportunities, which will in turn stimulate future small business activity.
We propose an interview with Bierman, who is keen to discuss the following:
- Why he believes that President Ramaphosa delivered a robust State of the Nation Address and the positive impact it is likely to bring about for SMEs;
- Why small and medium businesses have a significant role to play in President Ramaphosa’s five fundamental goals;
- The downstream benefits for SMEs of the infrastructure initiatives announced, specifically within the construction and manufacturing sectors;
- Why it’s imperative that the course for economic growth set by President Ramaphosa is followed.