East London – Aspirant young Eastern Cape entrepreneurs have been encouraged to take advantage of various government initiatives being offered to assist them.
Speaking at a recent summit organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in East London, Dti Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said entrepreneurs must think beyond the country’s borders.
“People must be willing and ready to exhibit their products outside our national borders, which government will help them do as well,” said Thabethe.
She acknowledged it was sometimes difficult for young entrepreneurs to contact the department because they lack computer facilities. She encouraged them to use local branches of structures like the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to find out how to fund and register small businesses.
BCCM manager of small, medium and micro enterprises, Vuyani Mbatha, said buy-in from the business community was essential for developing entrepreneurs, while acknowledging the important role played by institutions like SEDA, Proudly South African and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation.
He acknowledged there were shortcomings in the system, which made it difficult for entrepreneurs to access funding.
“I hope that through engagement between business and government, we can come up with solutions to these problems,” said Mbatha.
Eastern Cape National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Phumzile Ndendela, also highlighted the problems entrepreneurs faced in accessing funding.
“Accessing funding takes too long. There are so many documents to fill in and submit. This must change if we truly want small entrepreneurs to succeed,” said Ndendela. – Mfundo Piliso, BuaNews