MEC Tasneem Essop Speaks on Western Cape Government's Involvement in Small Business Week 2005
The three key objectives of Small Business Week 2005 are to:
- Facilitate access to finance
- Facilitate access to markets
- Facilitate access to capacity building
The high-profile event aims to empower small business development in the Western Cape and gives recognition to the fact that access to finance; markets and capacity building are the cornerstones to sustainable business growth and the development of SMMEs in the Province. It’s all about creating an environment of opportunity for development, growth and business linkages with all the relevant players – all under one roof!
Following the 2004 theme of Bridging the Gap and Bringing Big Opportunities to Small Business, the central strategy for Small Business Week 2005 is one of Business linkages driving opportunity and creating broader market access for SMMEs in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Supporting this strategy is a drive towards education and skills development for scholars and adults in need of support.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism implemented the (Real Enterprise Development) RED Door initiative in 2004. The RED Door is a single entry point for new and existing entrepreneurs to obtain business advice, information, assistance and support. The aim of the RED Door is also to broaden the ownership base of black businesses.
The RED Door will be exhibiting as an operational office where entrepreneurs will be able to make appointments to see business advisors to access small business support. As with last year’s event, Provincial departments will be based on-site at the RED Door. These Departments will be represented by members of their Procurement teams who will be readily available to talk to entrepreneurs about procurement procedures and opportunities within their departments. RED Door is but one component of the Western Cape Provincial Government exhibit at Small Business Week 2005. Information available from the Provincial exhibition stand will cover everything from “How Departments spend their budgets”, to “Gaps for new suppliers”, plus government tender documents will be available. New suppliers will also be able to register at the Western Cape Supplier database stand to get on to the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government supplier database.
The RED Door initiative is aimed at harnessing and increasing the entrepreneurial drive of Western Cape citizens. It offers advice and support to those who are unemployed and who wish to run their own enterprises. The Western Cape Provincial Government's decision to set up the Red Door initiative was supported by international research, which showed that the small business sector is instrumental in denting unemployment. Approximately 26% or just over 500 000 of the Western Cape's population is unemployed. The first RED Door offices were opened in Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain in November 2004. Since then, a further six RED Doors have opened in Hermanus, Paarl, Atlantis, Knysna, Oudtshoorn and Vredenburg. The Western Cape Provincial Government plans to open 30 RED Door offices across the province over the next three years. Since opening in November the RED Doors have helped small business owners win tenders worth about R11 million.
RED Door received international recognition in June this year. Some high-profile delegates attending the World Economic Forum-organised Africa Economic Summit 2005 visited the Khayelitsha satellite office to study the one-stop business advice concept developed by the initiative.
The Western Cape Provincial Growth & Strategy Framework identifies Small-, Medium-, and Micro-Enterprise (SMME) development as a key driver of job creation and a crucial mechanism for broad-based economic empowerment in the province.
The event consists of an opportunity exhibition, as well as parallel workshops. Small Business Week is positioned as a high-profile showcase of the comprehensive support package offered by Government, Parastatals, Private Corporations, and Business Development Service Providers to SMMEs in Cape Town and the province. The event is an unparalleled platform for any small business person or aspirant business owner who would like to access new opportunities, ask government questions about procurement, and is serious about expanding their business networks.
Exhibition areas include:
- Public Sector / Parastatals
- Financial Services
- BDS Providers
- SMME showcase
- Meeting Place
At least 5 000 SMMEs, especially those in a job-creating growth phase, are expected to attend Small Business Week 2005. Exhibition entrance is absolutely FREE. The event is a fantastic platform for any small business person or aspirant business owner who would like to access new opportunities, ask government questions about procurement, and is serious about expanding their business networks.
Media are requested to liaise direct with Nozibongo Socishe on (021) 531 9088 / 9975 to set up interviews, or e-mail email@example.com. Visit the Small Business Week website at www.smallbusinessweek.co.za.
Media are welcome to attend the Seminars and Workshops at no charge, provided they announce themselves as Media on arrival. It is advisable, however, to arrive early.
Media Accreditation procedure
Media passes will be available for collection at the Registration Desk, Ground Floor. These will be available from 09h00 on Monday 31 October 2005. Please keep these to gain access throughout the exhibition. If you are interested in attending the press lunch (12-2pm on Monday 31.10) – interested parties can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Nozibongo Socishe on (021) 531 9088 / 9975.
Media complimentary parking tickets - available on Monday 31 October from the Registration Desk, Ground Floor. Only valid for Monday 31 October – single entry parking tickets.
The finalised programme, together with all current media releases, can be viewed at www.smallbusinessweek.co.za.
For a personalised tour according to your individual requirements, contact Nozibongo Socishe on mobile (072) 333 1827, or e-mail email@example.com
Issued by Greta Wilson Publicity:
P O Box 12822
On behalf of Small Business Week 2005