Key Points:

  • Government is not doing enough to help small business. It has implemented initiatives for small business development but these still reflect issues of capacity, strategy and the appropriate institutional form for promoting small businesses.
  • A policy analysis conducted years ago revealed that neither Ntsika (a government agency created to provide non-financial support to small businesses) nor Khula (a government agency created to stimulate access to finance for small businesses) knew what its strategies were.
  • Many well-intentioned efforts to provide support to small businesses fail and it is important to understand the reasons for failure as well as unravel the reasons behind successful small business development initiatives.
  • Collaborative relationships are crucial to the success of small business development and structures to facilitate this between the public and private sector are necessary.
  • If South Africa is to promote the growth of small businesses, the government should start answering the following questions: should it be intervening in this area at all? Or should its only role be to get rid of legislation and regulations that inhibit entrepreneurs?
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