Emerging entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape have lamented the struggles they endure in accessing funds to boost their businesses. Due to the government red tape they face in accessing these funds, their businesses often collapse.
These frustrations were highlighted during the Black Equity Symposium held in East London. The objective of the Symposium is aimed to alleviate the stumbling blocks these entrepreneurs face, particularly black-owned businesses.
These entrepreneurs believe they can turn around the economy of this province if they are given a chance. They say only those who are politically connected get to benefit from government programs.
“People come with great ideas to these funding agencies and then they are told this won’t work and they take that idea and run with it. That’s what we should be trying to stop,” says entrepreneur Sivuyile Ngcanga.
“Public/private partnership must be implemented and not only talked about only on TV by the President. The mayors, city managers must come to the developers to see how we can work together. Infrastructure development creates jobs, contractors get to benefit, SMMEs and then there is no poverty,” says businessman Tim Dlulane.
Meanwhile, government has reiterated that it is cutting all unnecessary red tape for entrepreneurs to receive support.
“We are re-doing the business act which is the first component in terms of addressing the legislative components. The second is to say how we develop a common framework towards funding for businesses,” says Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Analysts believe that the province still has a long way to turn its economic fortunes around.
“I think it’s going to take a little bit more time. It’s one of the things that someone was talking about here. Also the government must come into play, it needs to be more responsive,” says economic analyst Xhanti Payi.
The public has been urged to support locally produced products and services.
VIDEO: Financing symposium in East London looks at challenges faced by black entrepreneurs: