The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector within the Polokwane Municipality and the challenges that stifled its growth and development were explored by Ms Ana Muchandigona, a 2014 MBA graduate of the Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA).
The research titled: Exploring Factors that Affect Growth Development of Small and Medium Enterprises in Polokwane Local Municipality noted that the difficulty in accessing finance; poor business skills; huge regulatory set up costs and poor infrastructure to set up business were impediments to the success of small and medium enterprises.
Ms Muchandigona explained that most entrepreneurs of small and medium businesses came from disadvantaged communities with insufficient financial resources to set up business and found it challenging to provide collateral security when seeking loans. The outcome was settling for businesses in the midst of poor infrastructure with the difficulty of managing and marketing as professional entities.
The existing view that small and medium businesses have the potential to revitalise economies, solve the problem of unemployment and contribute to poverty eradication, led to Ms Muchandigona exploring the sector for the research dissertation. Ms Muchandigona indicated that SMEs made a positive contribution to the livelihoods of entrepreneurs and for growth and development in Polokwane.
According to Ms Muchandigona the government needed to step up its activities so far as entrepreneurial skills development of SMEs is concerned. “This would equip the SME operators with the means and knowledge to contribute to national challenges, such as unemployment, on a bigger scale as their establishments would grow and develop into entities that operate not only at municipality, but national level allowing SMEs to contribute to the economic growth of South Africa significantly,” she said.
In response to achieving her MBA Ms Muchandigona said:
“The MBA coupled with my other qualifications will open up greater opportunities and I think the sky is the limit now.”