SA’s latest labour force survey shows that the country's unemployment rate has increased to 27.5%. That means more than 6-million South Africans are looking for work. With the economy in recession, this is likely to affect access to basic services such as education, health and energy. Addressing this problem has been a government priority for years, yet unemployment has been rising steadily for the best part of the last decade. From a low of 21.5% in 2009, the trend has been consistently upward. President Cyril Ramaphosa has shown his commitment, with initiatives such as October’s jobs summit and the investment conference, aimed at attracting more capital into the economy. There is no question that SA needs more investment, but only time will tell whether the conference paid enough attention to one of the areas where it will have the most impact: early-stage finance in support of the entrepreneurs and enterprises shaping SA’s small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME) sector. The su...

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