SME Survey, the largest annual study of factors influencing the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in South Africa, has scored an international coup. A paper based on the findings of the 2007 edition of the study has been selected for inclusion in the prestigious International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Conference to be held in Canada in June.
The paper, entitled “The blueprint for a successful SME in South Africa”, is based on interviews with more than 5,000 decision-makers in small, medium and micro enterprises in South Africa.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase the resources used by competitive SMEs in a developing country such as South Africa,” says the study’s principal researcher, Arthur Goldstuck, who will present the paper at the conference. “SME Survey has always produced groundbreaking insights into issues affecting SMEs in South Africa. Having our 2007 findings presented at a high-level international conference is an indication that the findings have relevance for other developing countries too.”
This will be the 53rd ICSB World Conference and the theme of the conference is “Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship: From Research to Results”. A key aim of the conference is to bridge the gap between research and action.
All papers submitted for the conference are subjected to a peer-review process, with a selection panel scoring the submissions and selecting the highest-scoring papers for presentation at the conference. Researchers, educators, policy makers and business service providers from around the world will attend the event, to be held at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from June 22-25 2008.
Scott Gilmour, Head of Customer Strategy for Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank, says: “Standard Bank is thrilled to learn that local research will be shared at such a renowned platform. This provides a great opportunity for South African entrepreneurs to benchmark themselves against other developing countries, and facilitates an exchange of information that could help accelerate the development of small business in the country.”
Dumisani Mtoba, Portfolio Manager Services at Fujitsu Siemens Computers South Africa, adds: “Fujitsu Siemens Computers is delighted to be able to play a part in the SME Survey 2008. This year we will focus on communicating our proposition for SMEs which is: “Enterprise-class Solutions for Small Business.” This theme concentrates on our holistic offering which sees us complement our comprehensive platform portfolio with services. This enables us to ensure that customers have the added peace-of-mind of our broad range of IT Infrastructure Services, ensuring that they have the best possible solution for their business situation. It’s another way that we deliver on our ‘we make sure’ undertaking.”
The research for SME Survey 2008, presently under way, focuses on the infrastructure challenges faced by SMEs in South Africa. The 2007 research was made possible through the sponsorship of Standard Bank and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, who have also sponsored the SME Survey 2008 project.
Please visit www.smesurvey.co.za to get more information on the 2007 findings