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SBP Alert - Headline Results SME Growth Index 2015

The SME Growth Index is the largest, most comprehensive study of the SME community ever undertaken in South Africa. The data assembled over the years since its establishment in 2011 provides unparalleled insights into the lived dynamics of South African SMEs. 

This Alert focuses on key themes to have emerged from the 2015 SME Growth Index - the fifth annual round of the study.  In particular it reports on how South African SMEs are faring in terms of employment, turnover growth and their survival in a tough economic climate. 

Please click on the link below to read SBP's Alert. 


SBP Alert - Small firms can be the drivers of youth employment in South Africa


SBP Alert -SME Social Investment in South Africa - the silent benefactors


SBP Alert - SME sustainability and growth should be an obsession for job creation in South Africa

Contrary to global trends where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute the largest employer in either developed or developing economies, smaller firms in South Africa are showing stagnation in both turnover and growth.

The shrinking role of small firms as job creators in South Africa has a troubling dimension.  Not only could they be sources of dynamism and economic growth for the country - as they are in other economies - but smaller firms employ people whose labour market characteristics mirror those of the unemployed.  Given the right conditions SMEs in South Africa could provide an important source of employment for the most marginalised in the South African labour market.

Please click on the link below to read SBP's Alert. 


SBP Alert - A country at the crossroad - towards better regulatory governance in South Africa

Two things are needed to achieve the growth rates planned for in the NDP and rein in unemployment.  Firstly, the growth and expansion of existing businesses and, secondly, the emergence of viable new ones.  In particular it is to the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector - acknowledged worldwide as the chief generators of jobs - that the country must look towards.

Please click on the link below to read SBP's Alert. 


SBP Alert - Examining the challenges facing small businesses in South Africa

The latest SBP Alert publication, focuses on examining the challenges facing small businesses in South Africa.  The Alert, the first in a two part series to be published this year, interrogates the key issues that the new Small Business Development Ministry will need to consider in delivering on its mandate if small businesses in South Africa are to expand and thrive.

Please click on the link below to read SBP's Alert.



Headline Report of SBP's SME Growth Index 2013

The SME Growth Index is a multi-year research project geared towards establishing a solid, evidence-based understanding of South Africa's small and medium enterprises.

It is the largest, most comprehensive study of the sector ever undertaken in South Africa, and one of a few of its kind worldwide.  The research is based on an annual survey that tracks the experiences of a panel of 500 established small firms in the manufacturing, business services and tourism sectors.

The latest findings of the SME Growth Index featured in the Headline Report 2013 pays particular attention to the factors impacting on firm growth and links these findings to an assessment of South Africa's competitiveness.

Click on the link below to download the full report.



SBP Alert -Understanding Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa

This Alert draws on the SME Growth Index's extensive database to present a picture of women entrepreneurs in South Africa SMEs.  It shows some of the key dynamics driving this sub-sector, and examines whether and in what ways entrepreneurs are indeed different from their male counterparts.


SBP Alert - Developing a new path for SMEs in South Africa


Headline Report of SBP's SME Growth Index 2012

Easier, Harder for Small Business in South Africa

South Africa's SME community faces a tough hostile environment, despite regular declarations of its importance to the country.  The second round of the SME Growth Index - the most comprehensive gathering of firm-level data yet undertaken in South Africa - finds that around one third of firms report a threat to their very existence, and large majorities believe it is becoming more difficult to do business.  It analyses the critical issue of whether firms are in fact growing in the current environment, and the related question - central to national concerns - of whether they are taking on new employees.  It also examines the aspirations of SME operators.  The results are intriguing and often sobering, but provide a detailed picture of an enormously valuable resource that should not, and need not, be wasted.


SBP Alert - Current State of Legislation in South Africa

In this Alert we take stock of the current legislative environment in South Africa and present a case of a country that is overregulated and undergoverned.


SBP's SME Growth Index Headline Report, November 2011

"In South Africa, it is estimated that small firms employing less than 50 employees account for 77% of all private hiring in the country, and over 50% of national GDP"

The SME Growth Index for South Africa 2011, is a ground breaking new report on the growth dynamics of this important sector of our economy and the study provides evidence of the important factors supporting and impeding small firm profitability and employment creation.

The SME Growth Index is the first comprehensive longitudinal survey of its kind in South Africa and one of few such indices worlwide.

For further information please visit


SBP Alert, SME Growth Index

This Alert from SBP takes a closer look at further data emanating from the SME Growth Index, and what it suggests about specifically the manufacturing and business services firms on the panel.


SBP Alert - Growing Small Firms, Growing Employment

SBP is committed to producing high-quality research and analysis that bridges the gap between theory, observation and practice.  Our ground-breaking new SME Growth Index will, for the first time, provide South African policy makers and business owners with an understanding of what separates gazelles from the rest of the herd.


Regulatory Impact Assessment Guide (RIA) a short guide

SBP has been closely associated with the evolution of South Africa's RIA system.  In 2005 SBP led a consortium commissioned by the Presidency and National Treasury to investigate the introduction of RIA in South Africa.  The consortium, working with international RIA experts, drew on international good practice and existing South African systems and processes to develop an RIA methodology tailored for South Africa.  This methodology and associated RIA tools were tested through a  pilot process in two national departments.  On this basis, the consortium made further refinements to the RIA methodology and developed recommendations for implementation, which were presented to Cabinet and susequently adopted in 2007.  Since 2007, RIA has been piloted in several national departments.  SBP has undertaken RIAs for  various government departments and organised business, and in 2009 completed the  first official RIA  requested by Cabinet, on the dti's Intellectual  Property Laws Amendment Bill.


Roundtable - Towards Better Regulation: RIA and Stakeholder Consultation

A Roundtable discussion on the new Companies Act and its Business Rescue Provisions

This roundtable formed part of SBP's 2010 series of discussions on Making South Africa a better place to do business.  This summary highlights some of the main points that emerged in the discussion.




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