The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) Limpopo recently hosted a stakeholder meeting in Polokwane with representatives from municipalities, government departments, parastatal organisations, business owners and clients attending.
The golden thread that ran throughout the meeting was that government, the private sector and Seda have to work together in order to reach SMME growth goals in South Africa.
Provincial Manager Koenie Slabbert explained Seda’s mandate, saying the organisation has to implement government’s small business strategy, design and implement a standard and common national delivery network for small enterprise development, and integrate government-funded small enterprise support agencies across all government tiers.
“Any country’s economic growth revolves around the way that they develop SMMEs. Government promised to create 11 million jobs by 2030 and this is not possible if we only focus on industry as industry sheds up to
50 000 jobs per annum,” he said.
He laid out Seda’s strategic objectives and explained that the expected result would be to increase the contribution of SMMEs to the South African economy and to promote economic growth, job creation and equity.
Martin Rafferty, acting Provincial Manager gave a performance overview. “Over the past three years Seda Limpopo has reached 18 167 people through outreach programmes, saw 16 000 new clients visit our branches, assisted 43 000 existing clients, informed 7 293 entrepreneurs in briefing sessions, and trained 2 400 people through Seda’s intensive business management training sessions,” he said, adding that Seda had five branches, one in each Limpopo district.
Rafferty emphasised Seda’s approach, saying that emerging entrepreneurs receive actual one-on-one involvement and support from Seda Business Advisors. “We don’t leave them to their own devices, but help them to take responsibility and find ways to work towards their independence.”
Three of Seda’s clients shared their success stories and received resounding applause.
Story and photos: MARKI FRANKEN