SBP’s Alert issue paper interrogates why contrary to global trends where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute the largest employer in either developed or developing economies, smaller firms in South Africa are showing stagnation in both turnover and employment growth. Both these measurements are important – turnover has a strong bearing on the wealth being created in the economy, while employment is vitally important for South Africa’s social stability.

These worrying trends are the latest in the findings from SBP’s SME Growth Index. Conducted by business environment specialists SBP, the SME Growth Index is geared towards establishing a solid evidence-based understanding of the dynamics for SME growth in South Africa.