Representative groups from Seda, South Africa’s Small Business Development Agency, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) and India’s National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) gathered in India for the third Tri-Nations Summit on Small Business from 19-21 November.
Held annually, the Tri-Nations Summit on Small Business is part of the trilateral IBSA initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange. The Summit seeks to strengthen the existing relationship between Seda, SEBRAE and NSIC through tangible deliverables, facilitate business linkages as well as exchange views on the regulatory environment, global economic conditions, access to finance, innovation and technology support.
Ms Hlonela Lupuwana (Acting CEO) of Seda said that the challenge for this Summit was to create a stronger cooperative framework between the institutions. "Consensus has been reached that the objective of the Tri- Nations is not simply to create a common understanding and build relationships between the participating countries on how our combined efforts can most effectively support SMMEs, but also to create platforms for import and export of products between countries"
The main focus areas for the third Tri- Nations Summit included market intelligence in terms of business linkages, market access, technology innovation, knowledge management and capacity building for business advisors. A full inventory of SMME product and service data collected to date in the three countries will be made available online and hopefully an increase in trade between the countries will be the end result.
Country representatives among others, discussed issues and compared best practices in areas such as increasing SME access to finance and the role of business incubators.
Ms Lupuwana said," that on a practical level, short, medium and long term areas of intervention were identified, and national coordinators were appointed per institution to coordinate implementation. These coordinators will come up with work plans to effect the various projects that were identified and will report back at the next Summit."
"As government agencies we play a very important role in driving small business development in our respective countries and we can certainly assist each other," says Ms Lupuwana. "This dialogue forum enables us to promote and explore business linkages between the countries. We will continue to share international best practice and enhance international co-operation in the area of small business development.
We make it our business to build your business
Helping small enterprises to start and grow is an important part of the government's fight against unemployment and poverty. More growing small enterprises mean more jobs, more goods and services being offered, and a better life for all. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) was set up by the Department of Trade and Industry in December 2004 and aims to support the growth of small enterprise in South Africa, to help create a better regulatory environment for small enterprise, and to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship.
Seda's target market
Seda focuses 80% of its resources on potential entrepreneurs who want to start a business, as well as on micro and very small enterprises, both formal and informal (incorporating cooperatives and traditionally registered small enterprises). 20% is then focused on the small and medium enterprises. Seda’s clientele include entrepreneurs from all sectors.
Seda's products and services to small enterprises include information, advice, training and mentoring in business planning and business development. Seda is not a small business funding agency, but helps clients to become ready for funding.
Marius de Villiers
Senior Manager: Corporate Communications
012 441 1219