This initiative proved to be an essential offering, considering that - according to the South African Government's National Development Plan - SMMEs are expected to create 90% of new jobs in the country by 2030, making them a crucial component of the country's economic growth and development.
"The purpose of the summit was to boost small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) by facilitating direct connections with representatives from the corporate and public sectors involved in SMME funding, training, and market access. By attending the summit, our SMMEs had the chance to engage, learn from, and interact with the individuals who have the potential to advance their businesses, presenting valuable prospects for expansion, progress, and operational enhancement in the SMME arena. Furthermore, we were proud to offer this free of charge, as added value, to participating SMMEs," said Adele Hartdegen, CEO of both Dogan Exhibitions and events at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.
The summit included live streams, speeches, and panels hosted by industry experts in SMME development, training and assistance and was packed with advice for new and established companies. The keynote speaker was Lumka Dlomo, destination marketing manager, Joburg Tourism Company, who spoke about SMME development, support and empowerment in line with tourism and the growth of the economy within the City of Johannesburg.
Other speakers and topics covered in the summit included:
Attendees were enthusiastic about the offering.
‘’I found the SMME Summit very informative as it allows the delegates attending to share more insight on their businesses and what they do. Absa shared that they have six different types of speed point machines that they use, which cover different sectors of a business. All in all, the SMME Summit was of great value,’’ said David Moipatli, area manager of the MTN Gauteng South Cluster.
Elizabeth Mogale, owner of Diragotlhe Trading & Projects, said “I found SMME Summit to be very educational and interesting as we have learned a lot as entrepreneurs. What stood out for me was the talk on how to source funding as a small business owner,’’.
‘’The SMME Summit was very interesting, especially the talk on new products that have been introduced, such as gadgets that can be used to receive payment from clients. I found all the talks helpful and informative,” said Cordelia Nkabinde, owner of Ibhongo Group.
‘’I listened to the session by Absa where they were talking about how they are assisting small businesses to process transactions and general banking. This SMME Summit is a great platform for us as entrepreneurs to come and showcase our businesses and let people know what we do, which leads to brand awareness,” said Sphamandla Dlamini, owner of Yenza (sneaker brand).
By connecting and growing this vital part of South Africa's economy, the Rand Show hopes to impact the country's future development.