South Africa’s business trends and the entrepreneurial landscape demand sophisticated skills in order to achieve competitiveness and ensure survival of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).

This is according to the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Johannesburg on Monday.

“Business failure is often attributed to the lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills such as innovation and risk taking and therefore should not be overlooked as essential ingredients to SMME success,” Minister Zulu said.

Other contributing factors for business failure included low levels of education and training, as well as poor business skills.

Minister Zulu said her department was committed to facilitating innovative interventions to support the SMME and cooperative development in order to boost employment opportunities.

“To address the skills challenge, my department has embarked on a journey to develop entrepreneurs. Together with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, we are launching Centres of Entrepreneurship across all our provinces,” she said.

The Department of Small Business Development has launched the centres in False Bay College in the Western Cape and at Gert Sibande College in Mpumalanga, focusing on the hospitality sector.

Two more centres of entrepreneurship will be launched in the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister Zulu said to meet the National Development Plan target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030, South Africa needed scalable SMMEs, growing at a rate of 20 percent per annum.

“This means that small businesses will have to contribute roughly 800 000 jobs per year until 2030 according to our calculation. In South Africa, SMEs contribute 55percent to GDP and are estimated at more than two million in number,” she said.