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Shona Buhr | 6 October 2023

If we get behind our small businesses, we can address unemployment.

This is according to the Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, speaking at the South African Breweries (SAB) inaugural Beyond Awards in Sandton, Johannesburg on Tuesday.

In an interview with Sunday World, Ndabeni-Abrahams explained how unemployment is squashed by the hands of small businesses.

She said experience across the globe has demonstrated that the majority of jobs are created by small and medium enterprises.

She added that our own National Development Plan tells us that 90% of jobs would come from small businesses, and that small businesses are seen as catalysts for the much-needed economic growth and engines for job creation.

The minister described the relationship with SAB as one of the critical stakeholders and partners in the empowerment and development of small businesses.

“We continue to work with SAB in our efforts to build a strong and sustainable small business sector,” she said.

In a celebration of commitment to championing sustainability, the platform shines a spotlight on African organisations and individuals who have made a noteworthy impact through their sustainability initiatives.

Ndabeni-Abrahams gave the award ceremony a thumbs-up, stating that the awards serve to motivate small businesses and encourage them to aspire to be better.

“It is also a platform for businesses to learn from each other.”

Winners for each category were as follows:

Sustainable Development Goals Champion Award

This prestigious award recognises the organisation with the most comprehensive and impactful overall contribution towards the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Winner: Woolworths Holdings Ltd.

Sustainability Report Of The Year Award

This award celebrates the most comprehensive, relevant, and engaging sustainability report.

Winner: Sun International.

Sustainability Project Of The Year Award

This award recognises an initiative in the sustainability area which has had outstanding impact in the African continent and is scalable and sustainable.

Winner: Tweak Carbon

African Trailblazer Award

This special recognition goes to remarkable individuals who have significantly contributed to advancing sustainability in Africa. These individuals may come from various fields, including business leaders, media personalities, civil society activists, or government officials – and they have all left a lasting footprint in the realm of sustainability.

Winner: Dr. Jaisheila Rajput.

Diving into what small businesses can do to become sustainable she mentioned some much needed traits.

She said: “One key determinant is the resilience and determination of the entrepreneur, his ability to identify business opportunities and grab them, business, financial and marketing management skills.

“However, there are also other factors that are external to the entrepreneur. Small businesses need an enabling environment to thrive and become sustainable. Among these are market access, financial support, a supportive policy and legislative environment.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams put a stamp of approval on the moves that small businesses were recently making.

She said the contribution of SMMEs to the economy has been impressive despite the increasingly difficult economic conditions.

“We are determined to strengthen the small business sector to enable it to occupy its rightful place in the mainstream economy.

“The tax revenue collected from SMMEs also demonstrates that this sector is increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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