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The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has been appointed a permanent member of the International Small Business Congress (ISBC) Steering Committee at the Congress event that concluded yesterday at the Sandton Convention Centre.  Seda CEO, Ms Hlonela Lupuwana, was also elected ISBC Vice President for Africa during the Congress.  Lupuwana is the first incumbent of this newly created position.

The ISBC gathers individuals from governments (policymakers), small business support agencies, entrepreneurs, business membership organisations, academia, financial institutions, international development agencies and various others with an interest in entrepreneurship and small business development around the world to discuss issues pertinent to the promotion of entrepreneurship and small business worldwide.  Since the first Congress, held in Hawaii in 1974, the ISBC has hosted thirty-six annual congresses in different parts of the world, enabling entrepreneurship and small business promoters to gain exposure to different contexts, thereby enriching their own practice in their home countries.  The 37th Congress in Sandton was the first to be hosted in Africa.

Accepting Seda’s appointment into the ISBC Steering Committee and her own appointment as ISBC Vice President for Africa, Lupuwana said this was recognition of Seda’s contribution to the work of small enterprise development in South Africa and the Continent.  Lupuwana indicated that Seda would use its new role within the ISBC to promote the interests of African small enterprises in the global economy.

“Ours, as we step in to represent Africa in this world body, is to work with our partners in the rest of the world to promote fair and equitable trade for small enterprises all over the world, and especially in Africa.  All that our small enterprises require is a fair opportunity to trade, and we want to advocate for this imperative through the ISBC,” says Lupuwana.

The Congress, held from 15 to 18 September, was hosted under the theme “Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide.”  Lupuwana says this theme is aligned perfectly to current global economic shifts that offer Africa enormous opportunities for economic transformation and a more resilient pattern of economic growth, as long as the region can enter higher value-added areas of trade.

Seda and Lupuwana take up their positions with immediate effect and will be looked upon by the rest of the small enterprise community in Africa to champion the interests of African entrepreneurs in the global small enterprise development community.

“We look forward to being in constant contact with respected policymakers and small business support agencies of the world as we trail-blaze on the path of small business development.  We will use this opportunity to create much needed exposure not only for our clients, but for each and every small business in Africa that wishes for an opportunity to compete fairly in the world market,” concludes Lupuwana.


ISSUED BY: Seda - Small Enterprise Development Agency
MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO: Lindokuhle Nkomonde – Manager: Corporate Communications and Media Relations
TEL: 012 441 1210
Date: Wednesday, 19 September 2012