R45m channelled to boost Eastern Cape SMEs
THE Small Medium Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) pumped more than R45-million into developing small businesses in the Eastern Cape in the 2016-17 financial year.
This was revealed by Seda chief executive Mandisa Tshikwatamba at the annual stakeholder forum held in East London on Friday, where she said the province had also received the second largest portion of their total budget of R754-million, after the Western Cape which had received R50-million.
“These are the provinces which have the least resources in terms of funding and partnerships, whereas Gauteng, which we supported with R29-million, the least amount in all the country, is among those inundated with funding and other development agencies,” she said.
In the 2016-17 financial year, the government agency has supported 12 215 enterprises as compared to the 10 679 in the 2015-16 financial year, an increase of 14.3% more small businesses.
Of those 95% of the beneficiaries were black owned, 47% women owned and 2% owned by people with disabilities, while 45% of the businesses were owned by youth. Tshikwatamba said the year under review marked an improvement in Seda’s incubation programme with 2 663 enterprises supported. “These enterprises made a total turnover of R825 688 064 in the 2016-17 financial year.
“We [have] also seen improvements in return on investment, rising from 532% in 2015-16 financial year to 766% in the 201617 financial year, creating 2 582 jobs in the process. “Seda continues on a positive performance path, with its 2016-17 results showing both qualitative and quantitative improvements in its work,” she said.
Board chairman Dr Ivor Zwane said part of the priorities for the 2016-17 financial year had been to increase network of support through partnerships targeting higher learning institutions like TVET Colleges graduates.
“Five centres have been launched during the financial year at which the entity and its partners facilitated entrepreneurship education and support to 2 181 graduates in the process, enabling the establishment of 142 SMMEs/cooperatives by these graduates.
“This innovation provides for entrepreneurship theoretical learning and provides selected youth with tools, space, expertise, coaching and other support through rapid incubation model to develop new business ideas into viable commercial activities.”
Business owner, Max Mabuti of Flat Foot Engineering, a company which started in Mthatha in 2006 and has now expanded to East London and Port Elizabeth, said he had received a lot of guidance and support through the various programmes, giving his business a lot of exposure.
“Recently I had the honour to attend small business training summit in China with Minister Lindiwe Zulu and it was an exciting experience. The Chinese have shown an interest in our products and we are talking about contracts. Although they have asked for us to have a manufacturing plant there, I have made it clear that manufacturing will take place in the Eastern Cape,” he said.
Mabuti who is also a National Gazelle of 2016, a national SME growth accelerator funded by Seda and the Department of Small Business Development, has been invited to the Value Builder Systems Summit in Las Vegas as guest speaker. —