First ever Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative SMME Indaba kicks off

MARCH 24, 2015

Around 200 entrepreneurs from Nelson Mandela Bay are expected at the first ever Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative (UDDI) SMME Indaba, which will be hosted in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Eastern Cape Development Corporation, and the Uitenhage-Despatch Business Forum.

The two day Indaba kicking off on Wednesday at the Uitenhage Town Hall is aimed at creating awareness about various government and private sector SMME support initiatives. UDDI will also use the Indaba as an intelligence tool to help the agency compile a cross-sectorial SMME database for the region.

This repository will also inform the UDDI’s cluster development programme which targets small enterprises in sectors such as automotive and transport, agriculture and agro-processing, green economy, manufacturing, tourism and creative industries.

"Ultimately, we aim to emerge with concrete development strategies that will assist with the growth of existing and new entrant SMMEs. The intervention will therefore assist in strengthening the business community and provide a platform for open dialogue to address common challenges and opportunities faced by existing and new entrant SMMES.

“Moreover, although a significant number of government and non-government SMME support interventions exists; accessibility, SMME readiness and awareness still remain a challenge,” says UDDI’s enterprise development manager, Ayanda Ndinise.

Delegates should anticipate presentations from the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), Ministry for Small Business Development, South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and the South African Revenue Services (SARS), amongst others.

This will be followed by a commissions’ session focused on how to structure target sectors and to formalise a working relationship with local business chambers.

“The Indaba forms part of several initiatives within the UDDI’s new Enterprise Development Unit in an effort to assist with the development of SMMEs in the region.

"The unit provides SMMEs with non-financial support services such as a multi-sector business incubation programme, business advisory services, facilitating business registration services with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), mentorship support, facilitating skills development initiatives and referrals to relevant partners,” explains Ndinise.