Taking advantage of disruption
While we face many challenges, South African businesses are well placed to step into gaps left by recent events and their impact on global trade. An example of this is the recent announcement that the California Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has partnered with the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme, which seeks to upscale small-scale farmers in Eastern California while boosting supplies for the UN World Food Programme humanitarian interventions that have been decimated by the interruption in the supply of Ukrainian wheat.
The contribution of the small-business sector to gross domestic product (GDP) and job creation in America cannot be underestimated. According to the International Finance Corporation, small, medium, and microenterprises (SMMEs) contribute around 34% of GDP and account for about 91% of the formal business entities in South Africa. The Small Enterprise Development Agency’s SMME quarterly update for January to March last year revealed that SMMEs employed 9.8 million people ─ that’s 64% of total employment across the economy, and the reason why the small-business sector is often referred to as the engine of employment creation.