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The Small Enterprise Development Agency(Seda) is responsible for the Implementation of the small business plan of the national government; and to Create and deploy a shared, standardized, and uniform national delivery network. It is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development in South Africa. The Agency was established in 2004 through the National Small Business Amendment Act, Act 29 of 2004.

Its vision is to make a difference in SMMEs' lives every day and its mission is to promote entrepreneurship and develop small enterprises by providing customised non-financial business support services that result in business growth and sustainability in collaboration with other role players in the ecosystem.

Seda collaborates with many ecosystem stakeholders and allocates significant resources to promote entrepreneurship and the growth of Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) throughout the nation. With 54 branches, 46 co-location locations, and 110 incubators, Seda has the largest office network in the nation.

Seda programmes

Seda has numerous programs, many of which are aimed towards kids, women, and individuals with disabilities and are available in most areas of the country including several townships and rural areas.

Seda Technology Programme

On 1 April 2006. the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti - as it was known then - established the Small Enterprise Development Agency [Seda) Technology Programme (STP) as a special ring-fenced programme of the dti, housed within Seda.

The STP was established as part of government's national strategy of consolidating and rationalising small enterprises support interventions across the different government departments and government agencies with the overall objective of improving the delivery of small business support services to entrepreneurs and small enterprises.

The Seda Technology Programme is responsible for the following

  • Increase accessibility to, and the utility of technologies and management support for SMMEs through structured platforms such as technology business centres
  • Facilitate the acquisition and transfer of technology to SMMEs, particularly those operating in the second economy
  • Promote the use of quality and standards by SMMEs
  • Improve SMMEs' performance and productivity
  • Improve SMMEs' competitiveness
  • Promote entrepreneurial activity and the success of identified target groups, particularly women and youth
  • Reduce the failure rate of SMMEs

The Seda Incubation programme

resorts under the Seda Technology Programme. This unit offers a three-year programme designed to strengthen technology commercialisation and harness the entrepreneurship of the technology community in South Africa. Anybody with a viable business idea or any registered SMME that is struggling to grow may apply for participation in this programme.

Each of the 72 Seda-supported incubators has its own incubate recruitment and selection process that is unique to its sector. Through incubation, enterprises develop skills, knowledge and markets and these improvements are intended to lead to increased profitability and growth. Click on the link for more info on incubation .

In addition to Incubation Seda’s Technology Programme division also provides technology transfer services. The Objective of the Technology Transfer Unit is to promote and facilitate the transfer of technology which is appropriate, effective and competitive to small enterprises. This includes grant funding for the acquisition of technology, such as equipment and machinery, to facilitate technology transfer;improving access to technology information by small enterprises;improving access to technology transfer funding through structured referrals to funding institutions;linking inventors , universities or science councils with small enterprises or entrepreneurs with matching needs; and facilitating technology partnerships between businesses locally and internationally. Click on the link for more info on Technology Transfer

The Quality and Standards programme

that also falls under the Technology programme ensures that small businesses have access to quality control and assessment processes, and provides training and access to accreditation and certifications. The aim is to promote the importance of Quality and Standards as key drivers of South Africa’s competitiveness and to enhance the quality and standard of products and services produced by South African small businesses through management systems implementation (such as ISO9001 and OHSAS 18001), product testing and certification. Click on the link for more info on Quality and Standards

Other programmes offered under Seda’s Enterprise Development Division include, the Cooperatives and Community public and private partnership programme. The goal with this programme is to ensure that cooperatives grow and increase their contribution to sustainable and equitable social and economic development, employment and wealth creation. It further aims to increase the number of cooperatives trading in townships and rural areas through coordinated efforts with other stakeholders and to increase the number of cooperatives supported through supplier development programs through transversal agreements generated through the DSBD. Click on the link for more info on the Cooperatives and Community public and private partnership programme