Access to markets critical for SMME survival

IthalaHundreds of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) who battle daily to gain access to markets to ensure their profitability and sustainability have been thrown a lifeline, thanks to Ithala Development Finance Corporation.

Limited access to markets is one of the key barriers to SMMEs developing and flourishing financially. Ithala is arranging for SMMEs to showcase their products and services.

Speaking at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg earlier this year, Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said the country’s economy needed scalable SMMEs that can grow at an exponential rate which is critical for reducing unemployment.


In line with the National Development Plan, Zulu said local SMMEs needed to grow by 20% per annum in order create at least 800,000 jobs by 2030.

In response to this challenge, day two of the annual “My Business Indaba” workshops hosted by Ithala comprises an exhibition and Market Day session which afford enterprises an opportunity to exhibit their wares and capture a range of visitors and potential buyers.

“My Business Indaba” is a two-day workshop offering inspirational talks, advice, direction and opportunities for youth, women in communities, those who are currently in business and those who aspire to get into business.


“As the key drivers of job creation and inclusive economic growth, there is no question that SMMEs must be supported as part of our development mandate,” said Themba Mathe, Acting Chief Executive of Ithala Development Finance Corporation.

“Against the backdrop of an unfavourable economic climate, it becomes even more pressing for young people to be integrated into the job market to put an end to the cycle of poverty.”


He said access to lucrative markets had remained a sore point for SMMEs for years but platforms such as “My Business Indaba” rendered the necessary exposure for SMMEs and vulnerable groups of society to infiltrate markets, network and be profitable.

Proving popular at the workshops was the handcraft concept which heightened the potential for youth employment.


“Operation Vula” and the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) are two newly launched government programmes which seek to provide SMMEs, cooperatives and small scale farmers with access to markets, thereby enhancing the participation of previously disadvantaged groups in the mainstream economy.

Several workshops were well received in Newcastle, Empangeni, Harding, Jozini and Manguzi. The remaining community workshops will take place in Pietermaritzburg, Port Shepstone and Durban during July and will be advertised on various community platforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.