The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) recently released its report “SMMEs: Understanding the Landscape”. As in previous years, Saica conducted a survey to ascertain the views of small, micro- and medium-sized entities (SMMEs) to identify and assess which factors materially affect their current business environment.

The success of the SMME sector is crucial, especially as an important mechanism to generate new jobs. With the National Development Plan (NDP) forecasting that 90% of new jobs will come from the sector by 2030, it’s important to address the challenges SMMEs face now, with the set target only a decade away.

The Saica report highlights five challenges that SMMEs face: access to finance; business skills and knowledge; access to education; access to markets; and regulations and policies.

These challenges are not new: the question is why they have not been addressed? Though there are reasons these challenges still exist, when reading this report it’s clear that the message Saica portrays is that of hope.

About the author: Jeanne Viljoen is project director: practices at Saica.
About the author: Jeanne Viljoen is project director: practices at Saica.
Image: Supplied/Saica

The report focuses on the solutions already available to SMMEs and how Saica and its members are part of the solution. Saica advocates strongly to key stakeholders on behalf of SMMEs. With SMMEs, the key stakeholders and Saica working together to resolve these challenges, this will result in an economy that produces better-quality entrepreneurs, ensuring the survival of the SMME sector.

The world today looks very different to that of 12 or even six months ago, with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) leaving no country immune from its economic impact, especially on small businesses. Though one can’t turn a blind eye to the impact of the pandemic on the economy, the Saica report does not deal with the virus specifically but rather focuses on the challenges and bottlenecks SMMEs faced before, and will face after, the pandemic.

Partnering with a chartered accountant as your trusted business adviser will help improve the sustainability of your business by assisting you in managing and reducing risk, taking appropriate action, and preparing the business for the longer term. 

The SMME: Understanding the Landscape Report is available on the Saica website.

This article was paid for by The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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