Big leap for small business gazelles
Small business gurus have lauded Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu’s initiative to support high-potential small and medium-sized businesses.
The programme – known as the President’s Gazelles – will give 40 small businesses with high-growth potential support to create employment and expand quickly. Zulu launched the initiative in Johannesburg early this week. Its launch in South Africa is the brainchild of Thami Mazwai, a resident executive at the Wits Business School, and adjunct professor at the universities of Fort Hare and the Western Cape.
Mazwai said research showed that developed countries supported and propped up established small businesses. South Africa, on the other hand, supported start-ups – which had a high failure rate.
The gazelles, he said, “will get specialised, high-powered support to be sure they don’t collapse. They’ll also take advantage of the state’s directive that 30% of its business goes to small businesses.”
Welcoming the initiative, Business Partners MD Nazeem Martin said: “Gazelles grow much quicker and make a bigger impact on eradicating unemployment and poor economic growth.”
He said a gazelle was a small business with the potential to grow by more than 20% each year for more than three years.
“It started in the US about 15 years ago. These businesses get special attention and receive love, care and technical assistance.”
Zulu said Ernst & Young and KPMG would select the 40 gazelles from 200 identified small and medium-sized businesses.