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Business Brief by James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities 

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the City will implement a new Supplier Development Programme that will build on our efforts to boost small businesses and job creation.

The programme will be run by the Business Hub which has assisted over 5 000 SMMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs since its launch in August 2019.

It’s not an understatement to say that small businesses are vital to job creation and the economy in South Africa with SMMEs absorbing 66% of the country’s workforce in 2019.

Sadly, our country’s entrepreneurs have endured their most challenging times yet as the pandemic and lockdowns wiped out prospects for supply and demand of products in most industries. Month after month, it is revealed that more fledgling businesses have been forced to close up shop.

This is also not unrelated to the country’s highest joblessness rate on record. And while Cape Town maintains its status as the metro with the lowest unemployment rate on the expanded definition, the figure of 29.1% unemployment is still worryingly high.

It is thus vital that we provide as much support as possible to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, such as Glynn Mashonga, who initially struggled to grow her security solutions business due to a lack of funding. After contacting The Business Hub, Mashonga attended one of the City’s Smart Supplier Programmes where she received training on pitching to major corporate clients. The training she received helped her to land more and bigger local and international clients, and grow her workforce.

The upcoming programme will similarly empower businesses with workshops and training on matters including:

  • Business improvement
  • Tendering
  • Costing and pricing
  • Corruption awareness

The Hub will also host supplier-networking sessions and give advice on how and where to access funding.

In the last two years, this business helpdesk has already:

  • Responded to 5 000 service requests/ enquiries
  • Resolved 98% of requests/ enquiries within 2 working days
  • Facilitated 61 red tape business cases

In March this year, it launched a mobile helpdesk to go directly into communities and assist local businesses where they are based.

Thus far, the team has gone on the road to assist clients in Delft, Mitchells Plain, Bellville, Athlone and Strand.

This approach reduces the cost and time it would take for business owners to come to the Hub, which is based in Cape Town CBD, thus contributing to a healthier business ecosystem in communities.

I am exceptionally proud of the work done and the success achieved over the last two years. The team has helped thousands of people from all across Cape Town.

In my time as the City’s Mayoral Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, I’ve had the privilege to meet many of these determined and innovative entrepreneurs who work hard to supply unique or necessary services and products while providing others with employment.

Our economy as a city and country is dependent on them and through platforms such as the Business Hub, I believe we will facilitate a great deal of growth.

To participate in these programmes, register on the City’s vendor platform at http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Register/Business-and-trade/Register-as-a-supplier

For more information on these programmes, visit The Business Hub or contact the team on business.support@capetown.gov.za or 021 417 4043.

 

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