The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) today launched its national electronic information kiosks initiative – aimed at providing entrepreneurs with all the information they need, on the spot, to start their businesses. A total of 38 of these kiosks have already been rolled out by the service provider, Breadbin Interactive, on behalf of Seda to venues all over the country. The last two of the 40 planned units will be installed by 19 November 2010, almost a month ahead of the scheduled delivery date.
Speaking at the launch, Seda CEO, Hlonela Lupuwana, said the kiosks would provide entrepreneurs in local communities with instant access to pertinent information around starting and running their own businesses.
“Our research has shown that access to relevant business information is a major challenge facing pre-start up and start up enterprises in South Africa, particularly those in communities outside of the major centres. Through The “Seda Information Kiosk” initiative Seda aims to provide business information, instantly, to entrepreneurs, thus assisting to improve its service delivery also in areas where it currently has a limited footprint,” Lupuwana explained.
Essentially a self-service, electronic information unit, the Seda Information Kiosk displays preloaded business information for entrepreneurs and interested members of the public that can be downloaded to CD, DVD and USB flash drive.
The units utilise a computer-based system and the information is updated from a central point as and when needed by means of 3G technology. Users interact with the system via a touch screen. Once users have accessed the system, they can search for information about Seda, such as its offerings, products and services and training programmes available to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
In addition the Seda Information Kiosk also provides entrepreneurs with access to a wide range of relevant business resources, including SMME information websites, publications and sector-specific research reports. Entrepreneurs will also be able to download Seda information brochures and templates which they can adapt and use in their business, such as memos, fax cover sheets and purchase orders. Entrepreneurs will even be able to download templates of business plans and marketing and budget plans.
The Information Kiosks list all Seda’s partners and national role players in SMME development as well as provide information on important SMME events such as training programmes, exhibitions and workshops.
The launch of the Seda Information Kiosk initiative is directly in line with the agency’s strategic objective to ensure equitable access for small enterprises to business support services through partnerships.
As such, the electronic information kiosks have been rolled out nationally to secure locations hosted by Seda’s partners, such as Red Door, Absa Small Business Advisory Centres, Local Libraries, Municipal Offices, Enterprise Information Centres (EICs) and Local Economic Development (LED) offices in all nine provinces.
The launch, hosted by Seda Western Cape this morning at the GCIS Information Resource Centre in Parliament, was attended by Parliamentary Trade & Industry Portfolio committee members, Seda partners and senior management and staff of Seda.
In her keynote address Lupuwana outlined Seda’s strategic focus areas in developing small enterprises and how the Seda Information Kiosk initiative supports those objectives, before unveiling the venue’s new information kiosk. This was followed by a practical demonstration of the unit by the project manager Ivor Hendricks (Seda Training Specialist at the Western Cape Provincial Office).
For more information on the location of the Seda Information Kiosks entrepreneurs can call the Seda Information Centre on 0860 103 703 or click on the Seda website on www.seda.org.za.
ISSUED BY The Small Enterprise Development Agency
MEDIA CONTACT Lindokuhle Nkomonde – Manager: Corporate Communications and Media Relations
TEL 012 441 1210
DATE Friday, 12th November 2010