Johannesburg: The requirements for small businesses to access finance remains a barrier for small businesses to get funding, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe said today.
Speaking at the closing session of the International Small Business Congress (ISBC) held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Thabethe said while big businesses had entire divisions devoted to obtaining finance, small businesses didn’t have the same capacity.
She said South Africa is very proud to have hosted the conference and said she had attended many of the breakaway sessions, where she had gained many insights around improving small business support.
Yesterday, at a gala dinner at the ISBC, Thabethe and African ministers together declared 2013 as the year of the entrepreneur for Africa.
Catherine Swift, president of the ISBC said presenters at the conference had highlighted the importance of evidence-based policymaking and the importance entrepreneurs can play in transforming countries with a culture of entitlement into nations with people that viewed the creation of wealth as their own responsibility.
Sipho Zikode, the deputy director general of enterprise development at the Department of Trade and Industry, said the department aimed to take some of the lessons and best practices raised at the conference to help boost support to small enterprises.
Hlonela Lupuwana, chief executive of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), said the ISBC 2012 had been a watershed moment for Africa and thanked the presenters for the their insightful suggestions and contributions on small business.
Lupuwana has been elected as the vice-president for Africa for the ISBC.
Conference organiser Septi Bukula of Osiba Research said 746 delegates registered to attend the conference, and that more than 70 speakers were registered.
Bukula thanked the Department of Trade and Industry for their overwhelming support in helping make the conference happen.