The launch of the SA SME Fund, a collaboration between government, labour and business, comes at an opportune time in the democratic era. Black business, especially black-owned small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs), still play largely outside the mainstream economy. They face many structural hurdles, such as the lack of access to funding, lack of access to markets and an uncompetitive regulatory framework. A more conducive environment for black-owned businesses and SMMEs to thrive must be created to amplify the role these businesses play in the economy of the country. The SA SME Fund aims to invest in SMMEs with turnovers of between R20m and R500m. While I applaud this initiative, we must be mindful of the many early-stage businesses that turn over between R500,000 and R10m a year, which have a large impact in terms of jobs created. Expanding the mandate of the fund to be more inclusive will be a commitment of the highest order given that for decades, entrepreneurs who run SMM...

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