Small businesses should be top priority at #WEFAfrica2017


Small and Medium Businesses should be a bigger priority as political, business and other leaders of society from across Africa gather at events such the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Durban this week to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

A sector that represents the economic future of the continent is still not being heard by the people shaping economic policies.

“Our recent research shows that 49% of small businesses in South Africa don’t feel fairly represented in the country’s political decision making. Their limited inclusion at forums such as WEF Africa simply confirms that policymakers should allow more time to really understand and provide solutions addressing their concerns,” says Anton van Heerden, Sage Africa and Middle East Managing Director and Executive Vice-President.

“As owner-driven and managed enterprises, Small and Medium Businesses create wealth for families and communities as well as much-needed jobs for local people. In fact, small businesses create two thirds of all the jobs in most economies, and represent over 98% of all businesses. I’m pleased that Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, acknowledged the role of Small and Medium Businesses in addressing inequality and poverty in one of the few talks at WEF to focus on small business. It’s also good to see that the data affordability issues facing small business are being addressed.

“We have raised our concern before that business builders are not a priority in forums like Davos, and we once again urge multilateral institutions, big business and policymakers to make space for them at the table. This is also why we launched the Forum for Business Builders recently; a platform that we hope will come to represent the voice of small business owners both locally and globally.”

Van Heerden says that the launch of the South Africa Internet for All project this week, in partnership between the Government of South Africa and WEF, is welcome. One of its aims will be to explore how Internet for All can better support the development of Small & Medium Businesses.
“We’d love to see more initiatives like this, with more emphasis on listening to business builders to find out how policymakers can support their growth,” he says.


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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