A national business plan competition, Seda Small Business Stars, with a unique focus on entrepreneurial education at a provincial level, has been launched in the Western Cape by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).
Seda hopes that this will encourage more entrepreneurial development within the Western Cape, which, it says, is one of the most entrepreneurially dynamic provinces in the country, yet still contributes just 14.4% to the country’s gross domestic product.
This, says Seda, is partly due to the lack of entrepreneurial education and infrastructure in the region.
Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) account for approximately 40% of South Africa’s gross domestic product, and employ more than half of the private sector workforce. However, 80% of small businesses fail within their first five years, and according to the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study South Africa lags far behind many developing nations in terms of its entrepreneurial activity levels.
The competition which runs until April 11 next year aims to drive sustainable venture creation by providing small business owners – who often struggle to survive after launching into business unprepared – with a more systematic approach to business planning.
“Traditionally, business competitions receive thousands of entries, but only end up benefiting the few who ultimately take home the top prize,” said Seda’s CEO, Hlonela Lupuwana.
“Our aim with Seda Small Business Stars is to provide real value for the entire entrant base, all of whom will receive access to free specialised training, designed to strengthen their knowledge of sound business principles, which they can then apply to their business plans going forward.”
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