Access to market a major challenge for SMMEs

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Professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering.
Professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering.

Research in North America has revealed that new job creation in the economy comes from small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), not from large companies.

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Since unemployment is a major problem in SA, the growth of SMMEs as a source of new jobs needs to be supported, according to the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE).

"SMMEs also play an important role in promoting innovation and increasing competitiveness in our economy," says professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of the JCSE.

Dwolatzky will present on SMME development in SA, at Experience Micro Focus Universe 2018, to be held on 6 September, at the Inanda Club in Sandton.

"Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of emphasis on supporting SMMEs," he says.

For example, the revised B-BBEE code has placed a great deal of focus on "enterprise and supplier development (ESD), and there is a growing number of incubators and accelerators, many of which have been established in response to ESD and B-BBEE".

"We also have a relatively new government department of small business development, headed by minister Lindiwe Zulu."

One of the major difficulties faced by new SMMEs is 'access to market', he notes.

"How do they get large companies and government to buy their goods and services? In addition, bureaucracy, in both the private and public sectors, makes it extremely difficult for SMMEs to do business.

"Government is also notoriously slow at paying, which creates cash-flow problems for these entities."

During his presentation, Dwolatzky will discuss some of these issues, and stress the importance of a supporting ecosystem, such as Wits University's Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, for the growth of technology-based SMMEs.

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