Spaza's worth R7bn

Spaza Shop

JOHANNESBURG – In an industry that turns over more than R7bn annually, spaza shop township micro-entrepreneurs have a potential which cannot be ignored. Emerging as micro-convenience stores during apartheid there are now an estimated 10 000 spaza-shops spread across South Africa according to the South African Cities Studies conference paper published in 2011.

The Absa SME Index indicates that business ownership is on the rise but a majority of businesses in South Africa, two thirds, employ only one person. On average spaza shops employ between one and four people. The potential for sustainable job creation is evident. However, spaza shops exist in the informal economy meaning they exist outside of the institutional and regulatory frameworks.

Spaza shops range from survivalist endeavours to complete mini-supermarkets. Christo Botes, executive director at Business Partners says that the challenge with survivalist entrepreneurs is that they have no vision and often do not have the skills or training to move their business to the next level.

This is the current challenge being faced by local spaza shop owners in townships who are being forced to close down or are bought out by foreign spaza shop owners. The different approach to business adopted by foreign spaza shop owners has allowed them to compete against local spaza shops.

via R7bn worth of untapped township potential – MyBusiness | Moneyweb.

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Spotlight On Small Business Development

The main entrance to the International Convent...

The 37th International Small Business Congress, taking place in Johannesburg from 15-18 September, will help to chart the way for small business development in South Africa, with a particular focus on emerging industries.

Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the congress would provide a platform “to benchmark and draw lessons from both the developed and developing countries with a view of sharpening policy development and high impact programmes in the South African SMME sector”.

It will be the first time that the congress is held on the African soil, and more than 1 000 international delegates are expected to descend on the Sandton Convention Centre to discuss the future and role of SMEs in the global economy.

International Small Business Congress president Catherine Swift will be joining speakers from South Africa, Canada, England, Nigeria, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Cameroon, Japan, France, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and India.

The theme of the congress will be “Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide”.

Davies said this theme was “of particular importance to South Africa, especially as we widen the market for South African goods and services through stronger focus on exports to the region and other economic groupings such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

via allAfrica.com: South Africa: Spotlight On Small Business Development.

Small Business Congress

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 11JUN2009 - Rob Davies...

The 37th International Small Business Congress, taking place in Johannesburg from 15-18 September, will help to chart the way for small business development in South Africa, with a particular focus on emerging industries.

Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the congress would provide a platform “to benchmark and draw lessons from both the developed and developing countries with a view of sharpening policy development and high impact programmes in the South African SMME sector”.

It will be the first time that the congress is held on the African soil, and more than 1 000 international delegates are expected to descend on the Sandton Convention Centre to discuss the future and role of SMEs in the global economy.

International Small Business Congress president Catherine Swift will be joining speakers from South Africa, Canada, England, Nigeria, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Cameroon, Japan, France, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and India.

The theme of the congress will be “Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide”.

Davies said this theme was “of particular importance to South Africa, especially as we widen the market for South African goods and services through stronger focus on exports to the region and other economic groupings such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

via Spotlight on small business development – SouthAfrica.info.

Africa signs agreement for Africa Free Trade Zone

A Landsat image of Cape Town overlaid on SRTM ...

Image via Wikipedia

The leaders of three African regional economic blocs signed an agreement to develop a free trade zone stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.

The so-called Grand Free Trade Area would encompasses 26 countries, 600 million people and have an estimated gross domestic product of about $1 trillion, according to a statement released after a conference in Johannesburg today.

“The establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area will bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market, increase investment flows, enhance competitiveness and develop cross-regional infrastructure,” according to the statement.

The meeting was attended by leaders from the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community. It is their second since an initial summit in October 2008. They agreed to further negotiations, without publishing any timeframes.

South African President Jacob Zuma told a press conference that Africa needs to remove hurdles to the movement of goods across boundaries and that infrastructure development must lift intra-Africa trade “from the current low base of 10 percent.”

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is driving regional integration as it seeks to create a larger market for companies such as Shoprite Holdings Ltd. (SHP), Africa’s biggest retailer. Africa’s economy has grown an average of 5.7 percent each year over the past decade, according to the International Monetary Fund, fueling the expansion of a new middle class.

via African Trade Blocs Sign Agreement to Develop Continental Free Trade Zone – Bloomberg