In a favourably received event, government officials, business leaders and stakeholders convened a summit in the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) to drive the growth and development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Its main objectives are to raise awareness about the Provincial MSME Strategy and foster collaboration among stakeholders to drive MSME development in the region.
The two-day summit is part of a series of district summits planned for the current financial year. It is organised by the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Development and CHDM.
MEC for DEDEAT, Mlungisi Mvoko, in his address, emphasised the vital role played by MSMEs in sustaining the economy. He urged all stakeholders to join forces and called for more efforts to support MSMEs and entrepreneurship to effectively generate jobs and combat poverty.
The delegates expressed enthusiasm for hosting the summit, viewing it as an opportunity to engage in discussions and strategies for the future.
Mike Ntwasa, a business owner from Go Green at the Komani Industrial Park expressed optimism about the summit and potential outcomes. However, he also urged the government to put more emphasis on practical actions to support businesses in the region.
Sabelo Jayiya, who also owns a cleaning business in the Komani Industrial Park, echoed this sentiment, emphasing the importance of government representatives visiting businesses to gain first-hand insights into their challenges and offer more effective support.
The summit showcased inclusivity, with Mrs K Bebi, the Deputy Chairperson of the People with Disability Association in the region expressing gratitude for the opportunity. She praised the department for demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity in this initiative.
The summit also acknowledged the adoption of the National Integrated Small Enterprise Development (NISED) master plan by the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD).
This master plan acts as a strategic framework for coordinating government efforts with the private sector to support small enterprises’ growth and success. It focuses on various sectoral-based master plans developed with input from business and labour, aiming to enhance transformation, competitiveness and employment creation in MSMEs.
The EC Provincial MSME strategy 2022-2025 aligns with the NISED objectives and concentrates on promoting well-informed decision-making, reformed policies and regulations, effective support services, and strong government and private sector partnerships. The strategy will address crucial aspects like access to finance, technology, markets and compliance.
To implement the EC Provincial MSME strategy effectively, four main strategic pillars have been defined: research focus, law and policy, service delivery and public-private partnerships.
Overall, the summit marks a significant step in promoting the growth and development of MSMEs in the CHDM with the potential to create a more supportive ecosystem and empower small businesses in the region. It was held under the theme “Building an Integrated MSME Ecosystem for the Growth and Development of the CHDM Business Sector.”