President Ramaphosa has asserted that, “the growth of our economy will be sustained by small businesses, as in the case of many countries”.  And most of our policy documents since the 1995 white paper have laid out South Africa’s ambitions to emulate the job creating power of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world.  Under the right conditions, a robust SME community has the capacity to be a dynamic transformational force since, in the words of the World Bank, “relative to larger firms, SMEs enhance competition, entrepreneurship, job growth and spur economy-wide efficiency, innovation and economic growth.”

But without credible small business data, it is not possible to formulate reasonable and targeted strategies – by both the public and private sectors –  to help grow and invigorate this important segment of our economy.