Small and informal businesses have been given a boost to improve their operations, thanks to the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). The agency handed over equipment and tools to fourteen recipients at its Mangaung branch last week.
The handover was a part of the Informal and Micro Enterprise Development Programme (IMEDP), which aims to uplift businesses in the informal sector as a way to stimulate employment.
According to Provincial Manager, Jackie Ntshingila, the programme is also aimed at closing the gap between the formal and informal sector by providing basic equipment and tools for informal and micro businesses. “We make it simple for these businesses to run properly without them having to go through all the red tape in the small business sector that can get in the way of their operations,” she said.
Recipients are not only given equipment and tools according to their business needs but are also offered training by the agency. “We have to ensure they know what they are doing, so we give them basic business training so they will know how to run a profitable business,” explained Ntshingila.
The fourteen businesses that offer various products and services like catering and landscaping, and even hawking among others, are based all over Mangaung. “We focused mainly on the informal sector, so we were able to assist businesses that needed fridges, stoves and smaller things like wheelbarrows and pots,” he said.
“Applications for the IMEDP undergo a rigorous adjudication process where all required documentation and qualifying criteria are verified for validity at Seda,” added Ntshingila. The recipient businesses have to qualify for this programme in that the entrepreneur must have been trading for at least three months and have undergone mandatory business development training, which takes place at their local Seda branch, among other criteria.