Gauteng Business News

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BUSINESS: Neglected! Entrepreneurial Business Still Feels Overlooked


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With SMEs typically contributing 50% of GDP and 60% of employment nationally, 1 Regus has surveyed the opinions of SME owners globally in order to take the pulse of the entrepreneurial sector and uncover how entrepreneurs feel about the level of support their national governments and institutions are providing. Fully 75% of business owners globally feel that the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises are typically overlooked by government, in South Africa 70% of business owners feel that their interests are neglected.

The survey canvassed the opinions of over 5,000 entrepreneurs in 78 countries asking them about their recent revenue and profit trends, along with their main concerns and causes of stress in the past years. These latter indicators form the basis for the report’s Entrepreneurial Environment Index, reflecting entrepreneurs’ feelings as to how easy it is to do business in their country. For South Africa in particular, the global index revealed a slightly below average rating of 94 points compared to the global average of 100.

74% of respondents globally and 85% in South Africa declared that banks should be forced to lend more to entrepreneurial ventures and small businesses, highlighting that access to credit is an issue for entrepreneurs. 86% of entrepreneurs globally and 95% in South Africa also stated that government venture capital funds should be available to support entrepreneurs and their business initiatives. Indicating that maintaining cash flow is an issue for small businesses globally, 86% of respondents globally and in South Africa declared that legal penalties should be introduced for late payment of invoices.

Mark Dixon, Chief Executive of workspace solutions provider Regus, comments: “In spite of its massive importance to national economy, the SME segment struggles to get its voice heard. In the aftermath of the global down turn, this key sector for the economy has had difficulties securing capital and maintaining cash flow.

“In particular South African SMEs complain of difficulties accessing credit. Although in 2009 the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) received a € 60 million credit line from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance private sector SMEs, South African entrepreneurs are still very concerned with access to credit, without which they will struggle to take full advantage of the economic recovery

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