A 75-year-old, not-for-profit organisation
A Member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)
Constituted to promote the economic and business interest of its more than 100 chamber organisation members and thousands of SMEs in the wider economy.
Stands for sustainable, market-led job creation, inclusive economic growth, transformation and ethical leadership
More than 95% of registered businesses in the world are small in size, employing fewer than 250 people and account for 60%-70% of the entire working population.
Not in South Africa. That should worry us and we need to change that.
To create employment for over nine million unemployed people, policy makers and regulators must support in practice, an enabling environment for SME to grow and flourish. We must engage on potential solutions in open discussions using facts and evidence
SBI stands for a free-market approach to grow SMEs, create jobs, and provide ethical leadership. We envision a country where small- and medium-sized businesses are supported by thoughtful, evidence-based policy that limits obstacles to their success and sustainability and the private sector works to eliminate structural obstacles to competition, access to markets and effective entry into supply chains.
We advocate for policy makers and big businesses to ‘think small first’. We lobby for government to consider and support SME sustainability in legislation, regulation and procurement policies. Our campaigns include big businesses where SME-supportive supply chain management and payment terms contribute to a thriving sector.
2017 in review
The organisation spent 2017 envisioning a role to give it more relevance, visibility and impact. SBI has laid the groundwork for a more noticeable presence – in the media (social and traditional), with its core constituency and ultimately with policy makers. The board restructured the organisation to ensure financial sustainability and its resources will be deployed in line with the new vision.
The year ahead
In 2018, SBI will continue on this path to become the authoritative voice of the small and medium business sector in South Africa on issues relevant to inclusive economic growth, transformation and job creation and to:
SBI PresidentThe president will work with Chambers, GrowSA and other organizations to promote a more sector-based focus for the SBI. Expanding membership, canvassing and satisfying demands of the regional structures and reporting to them regularly is the responsibility of the president.
SBI ChairmanThe chairman is responsible for overall strategic guidance, ensuring that proper governance procedures are followed, especially in respect of financing and the auditing thereof, and that directors deliver on their mandates. He will champion and direct the Indabas. Initial endowment fundraising and peer-level corporate interaction will also fall to the chairman.
SBI Vice President and Vice ChairmanSipho will substitute for either president or chairman as the need arises
Director Corporate RelationshipsThe director of corporate relationships is tasked with expanding corporate sponsorship and membership and is responsible for reporting to these constituents. A particular focus for 2018 will be to obtain sponsorship for SME owners attending Indabas and the town hall meetings in more rural/impoverished areas SBI will host in the year ahead.
Director Sectoral co-ordinationWith a renewed focus on sector-specific interventions SBI can make to foster more sustainable small and medium enterprises, the Director of Sectoral Co-ordination’s portfolio will play an integral role in SBI’s work for its chamber members.
Non-Executive Director: FinanceThe Finance portfolio will ensure that the commitments in the new Memorandum of Incorporation are ensured in respect of governance, financing and auditing.
Director: Entrepreneurship and YouthThe Entrepreneurship and Youth portfolio Director will promote the activities of SMEs as a way for many to enter the mainstream economy. Visiting schools and inspiring young people to choose a constructive, creative career in business forms part of his responsibilities. He will be coordinating with university departments focusing on entrepreneurship development.
Director: CommunicationsThe Communications Director will act as National Spokesperson for the SBI, build relationships with reporters and editors on the organization’s behalf, drive coverage of statements, research findings, op-eds and Indabas. In addition, she will be hosting Town Hall meetings to engage with SMEs and our chamber organisations in rural and township settings around South Africa both to collect anecdotal evidence of successes and challenges and disseminating information on behalf of the SBI. She will also source opportunities for various Directors to participate in relevant seminars and panel discussions focusing on issues of importance to SMEs.
Director: Research and AdvocacyThis portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.
Alternate Director: Research and AdvocacyThis portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.
Director: Government LiaisonThe director will work with appropriate government departments to encourage ‘thinking small first’ and exploring ways to limit red tape, access to markets and unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to the sustainability of SMEs. Feedback from ministries and SARS will inform research and policy papers.
Director: BUSA RepresentationAs a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), the SBI has the opportunity to sit on task teams and reference groups to provide the Big Voice for Small Business while engaging with other business organisations influencing national and their own policies in reference to their supply chains. This portfolio will disseminate our research, advocate for positions that accommodate the needs of SMEs and assist BUSA and members articulate our positions in NEDLAC.
Alternate Director: Government LiaisonThe director will work with appropriate government departments to encourage ‘thinking small first’ and exploring ways to limit red tape, access to markets and unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to the sustainability of SMEs. Feedback from ministries and SARS will inform research and policy papers.
Manager: Events and ConferencesSBI held five Indabas around the country in 2017 and participated in panel discussions hosted by other organisations. Influential role-players delivered keynote addresses to SBI’s members, including former Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen, Corruption Watch’s David Lewis, DSBD DG Edith Vries, Magda Wierzycka, Mosiuoa Lekota and Business Leadership South Africa CEO Bonang Mohale as well as presidential contenders Matthews Phosa and Zweli Mkhize. Panels exploring the political economy included editors, political analysts, economists and academics. Inspiring entrepreneurs reminded us that challenges are overcome with the right attitude and aptitude.
SBI General Manager
Tel: 012 348 5440