Cape Town's seventh annual Small Business Week opens on Thursday 16 August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Anyone who owns, manages or is interested in business is welcome to attend this multi-day event, which facilitates access to markets, finance and business opportunities.
No business is too small to benefit. Although the definition of a Small Business is any enterprise with fewer than 50-100 employees, in 2006 almost half of the 3 500 visitors were from businesses employing fewer than five people. More than 90% of these delegates said they would attend Small Business again - and now is their (and your) opportunity to do so.
People passing through the exhibition stands this year will have the opportunity to access a range of small business products and services, including information and referral for business support services, compliance procedures required as suppliers to big businesses/government, accessing opportunities, accessing BEE suppliers, joint venturing and networking, financial assistance and support.
The Business Linkage Programme has proven to be a particular drawcard, with delegates and exhibitors able to register on a linked database that provides individual reports of businesses they can do business with, financial institutions that best suit their financing needs, and a list of companies interested in improving their BEE scorecard.
Small businesses conduct the bulk of business in the Western Cape, and are therefore a vital part of our local economy.
"Small Business Week is one of the major programmes presented by the Department of Economic and Human Development which focuses on and benefits entrepreneurs and business people in Cape Town," says Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development and Tourism, Councillor Simon Grindrod.
"Small Business Week contributes to the achievement of four of the six Business Support Policy Objectives of the City. It also contributes to the spread of business opportunities."
During last year's Small Business Week, more than 60 businesses exhibited at the event, and 1 100 businesses were registered on the business linkages database. More than 700 people attended the various workshops.
Most of the delegates attend in search of information, access to finance, and to network, while almost half were members of close corporations; many more were either sole proprietors or individuals. Seventy percent of delegates said they had made useful business contacts, and close to 90% of the delegates were the key decision-makers in the business (either owners or managers).
Small Business Week is hosted by the City of Cape Town and supported by Provincial Government of the Western Cape. Important partners include parastatals, the private sector, financial institutions and business development service providers.
Entrance to the exhibition is free, and doors close every day at 5pm. The final day of the exhibition is Saturday 18 August.
For more information about Small Business Week, please visit www.smallbusinessweek.co.za.
For more information about the business linkages programme, please visit www.proseed.co.za.