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    Gauteng sme study 2008 Gauteng sme study 2008 Presentation Transcript

    • Quantitative and qualitativeresearchon SMEs in Gauteng USAID Financial Sector Program
    • CONTENTS
      Acronyms
      Background
      The Financial Sector Program
      Methodology
      GIS findings and maps
      Quantitative findings
      Qualitative findings
      Demographics
      Need and use of financial BDS
      Banking and financial services
      Legal and regulatory matters
      Knowledge and information management
      Analysis and conclusions
      Key Recommendations
    • ACRONYMS
    • BACKGROUND
      The Small Business Act (1996) and subsequent legislation gives recognition to the important role played by SMEs in the South African economy
      It is estimated that SMEs account for 41.7% of private sector employment in South Africa.
      Increasingly, government has looked to this sector (as opposed to micro enterprises) as the source of job creation in the country.
      In Gauteng alone there are about 1 053 818 small business owners
      However, as (very often) members of the second economy, the challenges faced by SMEs (both historically and currently) have to do with, for example, access to markets, finance, business opportunities or business support services
      Small businesses were ranked based on their level of business sophistication in Gauteng (BSM) in the 2006 FinScope study. SMEs mainly belong to BSM 6 and 7
    • BACKGROUND
      Small and Micro-Businesses by Sophistication Segment
      Source: FinScope, Small Business Survey Report Gauteng 2006 (Johannesburg: FinScope, 2006)
    • BACKGROUND
    • BACKGROUND
      Small business and the formality of the business
    • FINANCIAL SECTOR PROGRAM (FSP)
      The FSP is funded by USAID. The objective of the program is to:
      expand access to financial services and lower financing costs for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through
      reforming the legal and regulatory framework affecting the financial sector and business environment and
      improving the commercial viability of lending to historically-disadvantaged SMEs in South Africa.
      The ultimate result is to mitigate market credit risk leading to increased SME access to a range of quality affordable financial services.
    • FSP Workstreams:
      Financial business development services
      Financial management, business planning, access to and use of support organisations
      Banking and financial services
      Financing from outside the business, use and constraints of loans.
      Legislative and regulatory matters
      Improve financial sector legal and institutional framework; enhance regulatory environment for SMEs
      Knowledge and information management
      Access to and sharing of information, knowledge of changes in business environment, use of ICT
    • RESEARCH BRIEF AND PURPOSE
      Quantitative analysis of SMEs in the BSM 6 & 7 FinScope small business survey of 2006
      Qualitative research by way of focus groups among HDI business owners with a turnover of more than R200 000
      The purpose of the above was to provide the most relevant information that will enable the FSP team to accurately design and implement their work plan and determine the targets of the Performance Management Plan
    • ASSUMPTIONS
      The BSM model provides the most realistic segmentation of small businesses
      Used adjusted Banking Association’s definition of SME
      Turnover of R500 000 to R20 million per annum
      Bottom threshold was decreased to R200 000
      To include SMEs in transition to higher level
      Includes the highest concentration of HDI SMEs
      Expected that this group will need support the most
      Excludes micro enterprises
    • METHODOLOGY
      Analysis of the 2006 FinScope small business survey for BSM 6 and 7
      Identify areas were BSM 6 & 7 are located
      Discussion guide
      Questions pertaining to each of the 4 workstreams
      Criteria for selection
      HDI business owner
      Annual turnover of more than R200 000
      Recruitment of participants
      Recruiters in selected areas
      Recruitment questionnaire
      Conducted 11 focus groups across Gauteng
    • QUANTITATIVE SURVEY RESULTS
    • 2006 SMALL BUSINESS SURVEY
      About 1 053 818 small businesses in Gauteng
      109 441 are HDI BSM 6 & 7 SMEs
      Awareness of support organisations is high
      57% never used support organisations
      42% need for capital most important problem faced
      2% had a loan at the time of the survey
    • 2006 SMALL BUSINESS SURVEY
    • 2006 SMALL BUSINESS SURVEY
      BUSINESS TURNOVER OVER PAST 12 MONTHS
    • BSM Maps
      Created from the 2006 FinScope SME survey using small area estimation techniques
      Maps show percentage households falling into BSM 6 and 7 within an enumeration area
      Most of the focus group areas were selected using BSM 6 map where highest concentration of HDI small businesses are found
      More African and Coloured SMEs found in BSM 6 while Asian SMEs mainly found in BSM 7
      BSM maps enabled focus group areas to be selected and provided epicentres for HDI small businesses to be found
    • Distribution of BSM 6 households
      Inset: Location of Gauteng province in South Africa
    • Distribution of BSM 7 households
      Inset: Location of Gauteng province in South Africa
    • SELECTED FOCUS GROUP AREAS
      Pretoria
      Pretoria CBD – African
      Eersterust – Coloured
      Mamelodi – African
      Soshanguve – African
      Laudium - Asian
      Johannesburg
      Eldoradopark - Coloured
      Florida - Coloured
      Lenasia - Asian
      Soweto – African
      Alexandra – African
      Tembisa - African
    • Focus Group Area Maps
      Focus group area maps show selected enumeration areas from BSM 6 and 7 maps in Google Earth
      Examination of focus group area maps show that selected enumeration areas are generally located near the commercial and industrial centres
      Asian and Coloured focus group areas tend to be larger in extent than African areas
      African focus group areas differ from one another depending on levels of urbanization and formal settlement
      African focus group areas tend to have several separate areas where SMEs are concentrated
    • MAMELODI FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • EERSTERUST FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • SOSHANGUVE FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • PRETORIA CBD FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • LAUDIUM FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • TEMBISA FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • ALEXANDRA FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • SOWETO FOCUS GROUP AREA 1
    • SOWETO FOCUS GROUP AREA 2
    • ELDORADO PARK FOCUS GROUP AREA
    • QUALITATIVE SURVEY RESULTS
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
    • COMPANY TURNOVER
    • TURNOVER BY POPULATION GROUP
    • BUSINESS SECTOR
    • YEARS IN BUSINESS
    • FINANCIAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
    • Financial Business Development Services
      By Financial Business Development Services (BDS) we mean a range of services that are intended to develop/improve business performance. These services are provided by government agencies, private sector and NGOs. Financial BDS focuses on:
      Financial management, which includes budgeting, costing / pricing, cash flow management, records keeping, book keeping, preparing and analysing financial statements, auditing and tax submissions
      Provision of consulting and advisory services, training and mentoring
      Key issues relating to financial BDS that need to be assessed include access to information and financial ‘intelligence’; and proximity/accessibility, affordability and relevance of services
    • Aware of Financial BDS
      Aware of following support/advice services (in order of prominence):
      • Khula Enterprises
      • SETAs
      • DTI
      • Umsobomvo Youth Fund
      • NAFCOC
      • GEP
      • DBSA
      • FNB, ABSA, Nedbank
      • NEF
      Aware through advertising, offices nearby, forums and consultants
      Mostly approached for loan but not successful
      SETA approached for training and professional advice
      Others approached for business and marketing plans, support in running businesses, training and education
    • Aware of Financial BDS
      BDS support not up to standard and not making a difference or fulfilling their mandate
      • Resulting in SMEs doing their own financial management, development of business and marketing plans
      • SMEs have closed down because of a lack of support
      Support from BDS institutions must be systematic and over a period of time
      BDS providers not keeping pace with needs and expectations of SMEs
      Unrealistic expectation of BDS for SMEs to develop ‘big’ and ‘beautiful’ business plans
    • Need for Financial BDS
      Financial support the most important need
      Advice and training on the step-by-step procedures needed to start and run an SME including:
      • Determining if a business is viable
      • Securing start up and longer term funding
      • Determining the legal vehicle to use
      • Setting up and structuring the business
      • Developing business plans and profiles
      • Locating the business
      • Securing and maintaining clients
      Need for bookkeeping services to assist with VAT, PAYE, SDL, UIF, etc
      Affordability of bookkeeping services identified as a concern
    • Need for Business Plans
      SMEs understand the value of business plans
      Need for business plans is increasing because they are needed to access finances, support services and to tender for work
      One SME indicated that the business plan was needed to grow the business and keep it sustainable into the future
      Advice on developing business plans from business associates, financial advisors, advocates, family and friends
      Some SMEs use professionals to develop business plans but some question the ability of SMEs to operationalize these
      Many SMEs don’t develop business plans because they are ‘too busy’.
    • Need for Marketing Plans
      SMEs see marketing plans as important in reaching potential customers
      Marketing plans must be ‘workable’ considering limited turnover of SMEs (ie use appropriate marketing tools – pamphlets, wall signage, etc)
      Location of SMEs in relation to their customers was seen as critical
      All focus groups indicated need for training in developing business and marketing plans
    • Use of Financial BDS
      Limited knowledge and infrequent use of BDS institutions and service offerings now and in the past
      Needs of SMEs not being met when approaching BDS institutions because:
      • No feedback given on application
      • Given the run around and staff not helpful
      • Bureaucratic processes and lack of capacity
      • Deposit and documents required too restrictive
      • Assisting too few SMEs because of restrictions
      • To get assistance must have developed business plan (catch 22 situation)
      • Location of BDS must be closer to SME business premises
      • Need for support/advice in own language
    • Business Records
      Some SMEs have bookkeepers and keep records
      Family members
      Self
      Many others not keeping records because they are too busy or have not been trained to do so
      Most SMEs are using manual systems – few have progressed to using computerized systems
    • Communication with BDS institutions
      Communication problems include:
      • Inability to get hold of BDS providers, especially in government:
      the “phone will ring until hallelujah”
      • Inability to be put through to the right person
      • Time to get feedback is lengthy and sometimes the issue is not addressed at all
      • Only way is to know someone in the BDS institution
      • BDS staff are often unfriendly
    • RECOMMENDATIONS
      Strategy to improve awareness of BDS support/services offered by organisations
      More communication, advertising and coordination of BDS offerings required
      Training of BDS staff in addressing needs and being responsive to SMEs
      Development of simple information products on the availability of BDS – institutions to contact and individuals to speak to
      Booklet on how to set up and manage small businesses and how BDS providers should communicate with SMEs
      Integrated approach in the provision of BDS support/advice in different sectors – government to facilitate
    • RECOMMENDATIONS
      SMEs identified need for dedicated capacity building on:
      • business planning
      • financial management
      • day-today business management
      Sector specific mentoring required
      Location & quality of support to be improved through training of BDS staff
      Research into BDS provided in public and private sectors to determine what they offer, effectiveness of services and medium used to communicate with SME
    • BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
    • Banking and Financial Services
      Banking and financial services covers the areas of:
      Existing use of finances from formal and informal institutions and under what conditions
      Suitability of financing from an amount and repayment perspective
      Need for financing
      Past experience in applying for financing and reasons for being declined
      Reasons for not applying for financing
    • Access to Finance
      Majority of SMEs have personal bank account, business bank account or both
      Type of account is mainly a savings or ATM
      Black SMEs and females have less access to bank accounts and have greater challenges in getting access to financing
      Need for finance to enable:
      • Businesses to grow
      • Improve workplace conditions
      • Buy stock and equipment
      • Find bigger and better premises
      “Yes, we are always short of cash flow. The more money you have the more stock you can buy. In a business you can never have enough money” (Laudium businessman)
    • Obstacles to accessing finance
      Many indicated that they could not get funding and found financing/ BDS support a challenge
      There are numerous reasons why SMEs have difficulty getting access to financing including:
      • No accounts with institutions – must have an account for at least 6 months
      • No credit history
      • Poor credit history
      • Lack of security/collateral
      • Not enough cash flow
      • Not enough equity in their business
      • Inadequate financial records and no accountant – needed 3 years of bank statements for business
      • Poor financial literacy
      • Not in business long enough
      • Blacklisting
      • Business owners don't have always have title deeds to their residential properties
      • Feel intimidated by financial institutions
      “They [financial institutions] have a fear when you dressed like that [in a suit and tie with a briefcase]” (Tembisa businessman)
    • Further obstacles to accessing finance
      Banks only allow savings accounts to start up businesses that don't provide statements
      High interest rates
      Institutions only fund large projects and in specific sectors
      “With Umsombovu you have to understand that they are interested in big projects, like manufacturing. They will send you to Gauteng Shared Services, the DTI, or Gauteng Growth something. They’ll tell you that those people will be able to help you with those small funds, but they are not interested in those projects.” (Alexandra businessman)
    • Obstacles to accessing government finance
      “ .. I am aware of all of those, I am in business for a long time now, I went to KHULA and they told me that they will provide a loan, but they want security. It is a long process. When you go to them they will assist you and then they send you there and then they decide if your business is worth it, it is a waste of time. Maybe it is where we come from and we are used to struggling to make ends meet and then maybe in the end we will grow.”
      “What happens here is that they all have different names, they but they all want the same. If you have a bad experience with one of them, you look at them as just another one.”
      “Umsombovu, yes, but it’s not more of a financial assistance if you are in services. They are also not interested in something less than R60 000. If you come up with a need for a small amount like R45 000 they say go to a financial institution. You must remember they are a bank themselves and need to make a profit. Even Khula is also not funding on a small scale”.
    • Sources of finance used by SMEs
      Because it is so hard for SMEs to access financing from formal and informal institutions they secure funding from:
      • Family and friends
      • Retrenchment packages
      • Pensions and other savings
      • Other sources of finance
      • Bond on their home
      • Use property as surety
      • Loan taken in personal capacity
      • From industry
      • Black listed SMEs forced to use informal money lenders
    • Support from financial institutions
      SMEs reported working through consultants and filling in applications but still not getting support
      SMEs informed to come back after 3-6 months once had enough bank statements
      SMEs requested institutions to visit their premises to see potential of businesses
      Indication of cultural/racial issues in securing funding
      “There was a white relationship manager at the bank … I needed a cheque that had been deposited into my bank account cleared urgently … there was a big problem … if I had a Black relationship manager there would not have been a problem”
    • Opinions on financial institutions
      Banking is only for the good times
      “....for a long time my account was okay and then I ran out of money, so I went to the bank to ask them for money and they said no”.
      Banks are perceived to be a good place to get finance
      “We normally approach the bank because it is the trustworthy party.” (Soshanguve business women)
      Banks don't consider SMEs important
      “I suppose I am a small thing” (Lenasia business man)
    • Opinions on financial institutions
      Banks don't provide the full loan amount required by SMEs
      “Yes I had an account, I still remember I borrowed only five thousand Rand; they didn’t give me more and couldn’t cover everything.” (Soshanguve business women)
      Banks don't reject loan applications because of race/cultural considerations but because of ineffective communication on their side
      “I don’t think it is based on colour, it is based on risk but they don’t go to the level where they explain to you what makes you a high risk.” (Eersterust businessman)
    • Deficiencies in SMEs
      Lack of financial education and literacy
      Lack of business training
      Highly competitive and undiversified markets
      Lack of record keeping and proper documents (eg company documents, tax clearance, UIF, etc)
      Inability to present formal business plans
      Poor credit ratings
      Lack of collateral/security for loans
      Limited capital bases and ability to grow capital
      Misconceptions about the risk analysis process
    • Deficiencies in financial institutions
      Rigid credit scoring policies
      Rigid collateral requirements
      Reluctance to provide small loans
      Rigid repayment schedules
      Support organisations acting like banks
      Lack of understanding of cultural differences
      Poor report-back to applicants on loan refusals
      Poor communication of services offered
      Lack of differentiation of product and approach offered to clients
      Restrictions placed on lending via the National Credit Act - additional documentation, calculations and checks
    • Recommendations
      Investigate possibility of informal lenders being part of credit scoring system in future
      Develop clear step-by-step guidelines on what is needed to secure funding from institutions
      Provide guidelines to staff in financial institutions and government organizations on communication standards
      To address deficiencies on the supply and demand side as regards access to finance
    • Recommendations
      Develop equity accumulation programs – subsidized share schemes – include in Financial Sector Charter requirements
      Government funded equity/asset base creation program – fund fixed assets development for SME's (start-up capital)
      Re-design collateral scoring techniques – consider "non-western" collateral
      Provide tax incentives on mentoring programs from bigger business
      Relaxation on re-payment "holidays", interest rate capping, extended re-payment periods
      Extensive financial literacy training programs
      Easy/cost free access to firm's credit rating information
      Develop the third tier banking system granting smaller loans with short repayment periods – create Micro Banking/Divisions
      Encourage formal banks to finance third tier banking
      More flexible interpretation of National Credit Act for categories of small business
      Change mindsets of the formal banking institutions vis-a-vie small business
    • Recommendations
      Fund technology drive in small business
      Develop creative funding approaches learned from informal/NGO schemes:
      Repayment in public
      Notional collateral
      Targeting women's groups
      Develop market access programs
      Encourage segmentation of Donor/Support Agencies against specifically targeted SME segments – using the BSM
      Simplify the "business plan" requirements process
      Expand geo-graphic coverage of Micro Bank/Division coverage from formal banks
      Subsidised/lower interest for start-up capital/technology purchases for small business
      Better training of bank staff to understand small business needs
      Government capital injection incentive program for small business - -for every compliance registered get 10 points – 100 points equals computer
    • LEGAL AND REGULATORY MATTERS
    • Legal and regulatory matters
      Legal requirements and compliance
      knowledge of benefits and liabilities associated with different types of companies; knowledge of regulatory requirements; need of legal/regulatory training.
      Relationships with public institutions
      At the national, provincial and municipal levels
      Knowledge of BEE legislation
      Awareness of business opportunities and benefits associated to BEE legislation. Need for training
      Association membership and Advocacy
      Capacity of associations to help and defend members
    • Legal requirements and compliance
      SMEs were registered mainly as close corporations (CC) and sole proprietors
      • Larger SMEs tended to register as CCs
      Benefits of registering as a CC were listed as:
      • Made business sense
      • Get access to VAT number and Tax Clearance certificate
      • Better positioned to get access to government work
      • Some were not aware of the benefits
      • Few knew that it reduces risks and liabilities of SME
      SMEs started business because wanted to own their own business
      Advice received from business associates, family and accountants in selecting legal vehicle
    • Legal requirements and compliance
      Reasons why SMEs were not registered included:
      • Limited time available to SMEs
      • Limited knowledge of registration process – registration process is not complicated or expensive
      • Saw themselves as too small a business
      • Did not see the benefits of registering
      Most participants did not understand the benefits associated with the different types of companies
    • Legal requirements and compliance
      Most SMEs try to respect their obligations towards SARS, but were not aware of the new VAT threshold in 2009
      SMEs knew to register their employees for UIF
      SMEs more likely to comply in paying income tax and PAYE
      Reasons for non-compliance was indicated to be a lack of knowledge
    • Relationship with public institution
      SMEs indicated that public institutions were not very useful
      SMEs raised several concerns about public institutions:
      • Were not accessible as they were located in major urban centres
      • Did not understand SMEs so they were not able to help them properly
      • Needed to communicate with them better and within local languages
      • Did not know where to find public institutions
      • Bureaucratic and length procedures, not transparent and practiced nepotism
      • Staff needed to be trained in understanding policies/regulations and how to deal with customers
      • Did not follow-up with SMEs after initial engagement
    • Relationship with public institution
      Government should assist SMEs by:
      • Facilitating access to loans from financial institutions
      • Providing training and education in the setting up of SMEs
      • Providing access to business premises
      • Providing access to relevant information in local languages
      “Most important thing is that they must make information more easily accessible in all the languages; some off us has difficulty in finding the right information”
    • Knowledge of BEE legislation
      SMEs generally don’t know the BEE legislation - they think it is biased and reserved for big companies
      SMEs were not aware that they had to register to be BEE
      “Yes, I haven’t register for it, I thought being black you are automatically registered as BEE”
      Almost all SME were not registered as a BEE company and most of them did not know how to do it.
      SMEs don’t see how they can benefit from the BEE legislation.
    • Knowledge of BEE legislation
      SMEs were not registering to be BEE because:
      • They were too busy running their business
      • BEE is a mechanism whites use to get government business
      SMEs indicated they needed more information and training on the benefits of BEE
      Some SMEs felt that BEE only benefitted Africans
      “BEE is a waste of time for us, for me, myself because first of all it hasn’t been marketed properly. We - I’m talking as a young Indian businessman – we haven’t been educated as to what resources we can get w.r.t. BEE. I think to be quite frank it is only beneficial to the Black man in the country. In the old government I wasn’t white enough, now I am not Black enough. That’s my view.”
      SMEs felt that they were overlooked because they were located in townships and were too small
    • Association membership or professional association
      Limited membership of professional associations with no advocacy role
      Women, colored and Asian seem more likely to participate in business forums and associations
      “I think communication is a problem, especially in the taxi industry. The only time we communicate with them is when we strike.”
      “On the issue of communication between the community and the government, the communication does reach us, and it goes back to them. The problem is that there is a messenger in-between, so there is a break-down, so it’s not sufficient.”
    • Conclusions
      SMEs need:
      • More information and training on all aspects relating to registering of businesses, Labour Relations Act
      • Training on BEE legislation and business opportunities created by BEE legislation
      • More support of public institutions in their neighbourhood.
      • More support to strengthen their business/community associations and forums.
    • KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
    • Knowledge and information management
      Knowledge and information management focuses on:
      Mechanisms of sharing knowledge and experiences between organizations
      Support being provided by government and other organizations
      Needs, capacities and challenges in sharing knowledge and learning
      Best practices being used amongst SMEs in sharing knowledge and learning
      BEE businesses and influences from a cultural, identity and learning perspective
      ICT support for SMEs
    • Sharing of knowledge and learning
      Learning of SMEs obtained mainly from previous employer
      SMEs generally not sharing knowledge and learning with one another
      Type of sharing mechanisms suggested
      • Regular production of bulletins and pamphlets
      • Simple step-by-step procedures in handbook
      • Use of Internet (E-mail and web)
      • Business EXPOs
      • Organize forums and workshops
    • Mechanisms of sharing knowledge and learning
      SMEs not participating fully in Chambers of Commerce and other associations because
      • Not aware of them
      • Too busy to attend
      • Too far away from their business premises
      • See them as a waste of time
      SMEs acknowledge need for forums and workshops
      • SMEs are willing to share ideas
      • Must be close to their business premises
    • Government support
      “Cascading information” down to SMEs on running businesses
      • VAT and BEE benefits
      • Who to contact and where to go
      • Pamphlets
      • Provide hands on training
      • Develop database of small businesses
      • Follow-up and monitoring of SMEs
      • Financing and subsidies of access to ICTs
      • Advertising on TV, radio and in newspapers
    • Needs, capacities and challenges
      Skills development in all aspects of SME management
      Basic literacy training on computers
      • Use of the Internet
      • E-mail clients and suppliers
      Public institutions where SMEs can access ICT facilities free of charge
    • Culture, identity and religious influences
      Soshanguve women said:
      “We never come across it at all”
      Women in central Pretoria said:
      “but with identity you are more likely to get a bank loan if you are white than you are black”
      Knowing someone in a financial institution is seen as a way to get assistance
      “....through knowing the people at the bank we were able to open a bank account.”
      An Asian man said:
      “We need advice on how to grow as a business and how to become a BEE? We don’t know the procedures. How do we qualify, first we are not white enough now we are not black enough”
    • ICTs in sharing knowledge and learning
      SMEs use of computers:
      • Internet banking
      • Not many use it for financial management purposes
      • More advanced uses are for bookkeeping, income and expenditure, tracking profits, monitoring sales and stock taking
      E-mail is used to communicate with clients and suppliers
      Web is used to access information and place orders with clients
      Internet and phones can be used to hold teleconferences
    • ICTs in sharing knowledge and learning
      Mobile phones used to do banking and SMSs used to send and receive relevant information, monitor bank transaction and check bank account balances
      Radio can be used to:
      • present short programmes in appropriate time slots (e.g. after 8pm) on running businesses
      • Have invited guests with people phoning in to ask questions
      Similar programmes can be presented on TV
    • RECOMMENDATIONS
    • Analysis and conclusion
      Quantitative analysis has allowed us to get a ‘handle’ on what is a small business in Gauteng
      Developed an understanding of the characteristics of these SMEs and the size of the sector
      Enables areas to be identified for selection of qualitative focus groups
      Qualitative research enabled researchers to develop more nuanced understanding of SMEs in relation to:
      • Financial business development services
      • Banking and financial services
      • Knowledge and information management
      • Legal and regulatory matters
    • Analysis and conclusion
      Financial BDS services are there but not being used as effectively as should or in addressing needs of SMEs
      This is because they are:
      Unfocused
      Many factors inhibiting the use of financial BDS
      Most important need is for financial support but also training, advice and services (eg bookkeeping)
      Need for business plans is increasing to enable SMEs to access finance and work
      Communication is a major stumbling block between financial BDS and SMEs
      Key recommendations made in relation to issues identified in focus groups
    • Analysis and conclusion
      SMES generally have personal or business bank account
      Many obstacles to SMEs getting finance but there is a distinct need
      SMEs are not well positioned to access financing from institutions – deficiencies in supply and demand
      Consequently, SMEs are getting finance from other informal sources
      Many recommended opportunities for intervention – most of all FSP workstreams
    • Analysis and conclusion
      Sharing of knowledge and learning not happening amongst SMEs
      Mechanisms for improving knowledge and learning clearly articulated
      Government has a distinct role to play in providing information, training, databases, monitoring, facilitating access to finances and communication
      Needs of SMEs in the knowledge and learning arena clearly articulated
      ICTs being used but there is a need for more use and training
      Key recommendations made with the development of a knowledge portal being at the forefront
    • Analysis and conclusion
      Although SMEs are formally registered – great need for training and education in benefits and mechanisms of establishing legal vehicles
      Generally there is good compliance amongst SMEs in registering with the various regulatory bodies, especially SARS
      Public institutions are not assisting SMES as much as they should - facilitate access to loans, training and education and to relevant information
      SMEs simply don’t know enough about BEE, its legislation and its potential benefits
      More developed SMEs part of professional associations but not bodies that act in an advocacy role
      Many opportunities for input by FSP but especially in conduct research into making SME associations and forums more effective
    • Discussion.