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President Ramaphosa Engages with National Presidential SMME and Cooperative Award Winners - He pledges Intentional Support for their Growth and Success

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Author: JT Comms
Date: 19 Apr 2023

President Ramaphosa hosted a meeting with the winners of the Inaugural National Presidential SMME and Cooperative Awards at the Union Buildings yesterday (18 April 2023) where he commended their positivity and resilience in the face of various challenges. The winners represented a diverse range of businesses, including Eitaradio, Lotsha Onaka, Borotho Bakery Enterprise, MM Electro Mech Service, Memeza Shout, Kevinot Farming, JT Communication Solutions, Bizcash, SiMODiSA, South African All Brothers Product Certification Body, Ditsogo Engineering, and Browns Food.

Each of the winners were able to share with President Ramaphosa the need to have more support for entrepreneurship and SMME development and the needs of each business. From agricultural land rights to inviting investors to look at how they can mutually develop ecosystems, the winners demonstrated their willingness to be used as a pilot to show the holistic enabling framework for entrepreneurs. The President emphasized that the winners were a specifically chosen cohort from 8000 entries, and their success stories showcase the value that can be brought to South Africa's economy by supporting small businesses.

During the meeting, the president also addressed the challenges that many SMMEs and cooperatives face, such as lack of capital, access to finance, load-shedding, regulatory frameworks, and access to markets. He acknowledged that these challenges are exacerbated by the monopolies that control access to markets and create barriers for entrepreneurs. In addition to these problems, the President agreed with the entrepreneurs that dealing through third parties makes it difficult for entrepreneurs, who are the custodian of their skills, to sustain and improve productivity with so many layers.

The President acknowledged that load shedding is a significant challenge for small businesses and that the government is working tirelessly to find a solution. He outlined the measures being taken, such as the unbundling of Eskom, upgrading the grid, and developing technology to manage power usage. The President also emphasized that intentional support to take these SMMEs forward will allow a pilot of how the enabling systems work, which will not only benefit these businesses but also serve as a blueprint for future growth and success in the small business sector.

The President suggested that the Minister of Small Business Development host a forum later this year where entrepreneurs can come together to tell their stories, showcase their talent and outline their challenges. This positive response from the President indicates that the government is committed to supporting the growth and success of the small business sector in South Africa.

This meeting represents an important step towards addressing the challenges faced by SMMEs and cooperatives in South Africa, and the government's commitment to finding solutions that support their growth and success. The President recognized the need to remove barriers and red tape that impede entrepreneurship and pledged to work closely with SMEs to drive entrepreneurship and create jobs.

‘Being recognized as a winner of the Presidential SMME and Cooperatives Awards is a great honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication we have put into our businesses. We are grateful for the support and recognition from President Ramaphosa and the government, and we look forward to working together to build a more inclusive and supportive ecosystem for small businesses in South Africa,” says Nonopa Tenza – Managing Director of Kevinot Farming

For interviews with any of the winners and access to high-resolution photos, please contact JT Communication Solutions on media@Jtcomms.co.za or (083 268 1446)

Note to editors:

This press release was created as a joint effort statement from the winners to thank President Ramaphosa and Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for Hosting the National Presidential Inaugural SMME and Cooperatives Awards and for the meeting at the Union Buildings.

All Category Winners:

SMME - Eitaradio

Startup SMME of the year - Lotsha Onaka

Homegrown SMME – Product: Borotho Bakery Enterprise

Homegrown SMME – Service: MM Electro Mech Service

Social Enterprise - Memeza Shout

Rural-based SMME - Kevinot Farming

SMMEs Owned By Persons with Disabilities - JT Communication Solutions

Fintech - Bizcash

Ecosystem Enabler - SiMODiSA

Business Development Services Provider -  South African All Brothers Product Certification Body

Women-Led SMME - Ditsogo Engineering

Breaking Ground SMME - Browns Food

Pitch for Funding Winners:

Namhla Collection – Namhla Dotwana

All Day Jam – Gontse Selaocoe

Hydra Power – Sameer Khan

Boroto Bakery – Refiloe Rantekoa

Molo Health – Nthoneng Dinaala

Partners & Sponsors of the Awards:

The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and its agencies, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) hosted the Inaugural National Presidential SMME and Co-operatives Awards.

The awards served as a platform to launch the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and were hosted in partnership with the Ecosystem Development for Small Enterprises (EDSE), the European Union (EU), Huawei, Google, Telkom and 22 On Sloane.

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