Empangeni and Richards Bay business people welcome the launch of Financial Literacy for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs)
21 Jun 2011
One of KwaZulu-Natal’s fastest growing business hubs, Richards Bay/Empangeni, became abuzz when more than 200 small, medium and micro business owners gathered on the eSikhawini campus of the Mfolozi Further Education and Training (FET) College to officially launch the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) Financial Literacy focus group’s awareness launch today.
Also attending were the local business leadership of the Zululand Business Chamber, the president of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Business Chamber and Isolezwe who has now also joined the Association. The SMME focus group is one of five groups that operates under the umbrella of the KwaZulu-Natal Financial Literacy Association.
MEC for Finance in KwaZulu-Natal, Ina Cronjé, and also the champion of the Association, was the keynote speaker at the event, which was sponsored by Ithala Development Finance Corporation. MEC Cronjé threw down the gauntlet to the youth to recognise business opportunities and encouraged them to be leading the way in becoming entrepreneurs. She reminded them that with small beginnings one can conquer the world.
“However, it requires hard work. Let’s forget about getting rich quick without rolling up our sleeves. It also requires being financial literacy. Starting a business is not driving flashy cars. You have to understand the basics of what you do. It is also important not to mix your personal and business accounts. So understands your target market. Is your market interested in what you offer have you priced it correctly?” Clearly you have some homework to do before starting a business,” she said.
Leader of the SMME sub-committee, Ntokozo Zikalala said the one of the problems affecting our economy is that new businesses start up all the time and afterwards, they quickly close down.
“A major barrier to growth of sustainable SMMEs is generally identified as a lack of access to start up capital, financial illiteracy, poor planning and lack of financial management skills. We are currently assessing all existing programmes and identifying gaps and needs which will enable this focus group to present a three-year plan of how we envisage to roll out financial literacy education for the SMMEs in the province,” said Zikalala.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsor, Ithala, acting executive manager, Siphiwe Madondo said it is hardly a secret that the majority of South Africans have a bad record of saving and this is attributable to lack of financial literacy.
“Some businesses display remarkable financial illiteracy in their planning and the general use of money. As Ithala, we want to participate in the Association’s activities to help take the message of financial literacy everywhere in the province so that the businesses, most of them started by previously disadvantaged people, do not crumble,” he said.
Mrs Masinama Lushaba chairperson of the Sikhulile Cooperative praised MEC Cronjé for her role in growing entrepreneurs. She was one of the first cooperatives, appointed by the KZN Department of Education in 2006, to participate in the school nutrition programme. Not only has the cooperative pad back their loan but they are now ready to expand. Lushaba said the financial literacy programme comes at the right time to advise them on expansion.
Also praising the initiative was Mrs Zandi Nkwanyana. She started Zandi Tuckshop in eSikhawini and has grown her business, with the help of savings and a loan through Ithala. “I also teach my children how to save through the business. It is better to save first and then buy.” She said she would like to learn through the Association how to do her books.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury
21 Jun 2011
[ Top ]