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The first instalment of the four-part Standard Bank SME Summit online series looks at the role of attitude in determining entrepreneurial actions and behaviour. Picture: 123RF/NIGHTUNTER
The first instalment of the four-part Standard Bank SME Summit online series looks at the role of attitude in determining entrepreneurial actions and behaviour. Picture: 123RF/NIGHTUNTER

Did you know that about 98% of businesses in SA are SMEs? And whereas small businesses across the world are responsible for employing anywhere between 50% and 70% of the workforce, the case in SA is far different. According to the Small Business Institute of SA, small businesses only provide formal jobs for 28% of the SA population. Why the huge difference? Do our attitudes play a role?

Before Covid-19, the SME sector in SA was already burdened by numerous challenges: a shrinking economy that further reduced access to start-up funds and longer-term investment; a human resources vacuum with insufficient expertise and generations of unskilled labour; and a lack of connection to business networks to provide mentorship, access to customers and markets, and support. 

Deenash Pillay, head of enterprise banking propositions at Standard Bank, says: “Supply chains were disrupted during lockdown, resulting in no trade for some businesses, or decreased revenues, leading to retrenchments on a scale no-one would have anticipated.”

Stats SA research, conducted across about 2,200 businesses, shows 90% of SMEs experienced revenue drops in April 2020 alone. With insufficient cash flow they had to lay off more than a third of their employees. Apart from the obvious financial implications, this places tremendous mental and emotional pressures on business owners.

“Entrepreneurs need to adopt a can-do mindset amid all the turmoil,” says Pillay. “Where people need to innovate and create their own jobs to sustain themselves and provide occupation and income for others, we need to provide the psychological tools to support those with ambition. We cannot allow innovators and entrepreneurs to give up on their dreams and visions at this critical time.” 

By supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners with business banking products such as the MyMoBiz account and the SimplyBlu platform for taking businesses online, Pillay believes Standard Bank is filling a gap in the market at a time SMEs need a helping hand most.

In line with Standard Bank’s commitment to nurturing the prosperity of all South Africans through its “Real people, Real dreams, Real business” ethos, the bank will, for the third year, present the Standard Bank SME Summit as a platform to deliver real knowledge, experience, insight and tips to those operating in the small business sector.

“Getting business owners into the right head space to tackle business recovery is an essential first step in the post-Covid healing process,” says Pillay.

Join business growth expert Pavlo Phitidis and a panel of experts in the first instalment of the four-part Standard Bank SME Summit online series on the role of attitude in determining entrepreneurial actions and behaviour. 

How an entrepreneurial mindset turns crisis into opportunity

  • Learn how to rebound in unpredictable times.
  • Learn how to leverage from a crisis, and develop a mindset of innovation and resilience.
  • Rewire your thinking to embrace, rather than resist, uncertainty and change.
  • Move forward with renewed clarity, energy and vigour.

Date: May 12 2021

Time: 12pm — 1.30pm

Click here to register 


The four-part Standard Bank SME Summit series will share insights into the latest industry intelligence, strategies for the coming months, and practical tips on how to transform your business to become more resilient and relevant in a post-
Covid economy.

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