Small business is often seen as a key potential driver of job creation, equality and innovation in South Africa. The National Development Plan argues that small business can open new opportunities to create jobs as well as be a route to economic empowerment. In manufacturing, small business accounts for only a tenth of revenue, but a fifth of employment. Small business provides 55% of formal employment and the available evidence shows virtually no increase in the number of small businesses since 2008, and only relatively slow employment growth. South Africa continues to have low levels of small business compared to other middle-income economies.
This Special Edition of The Real Economy Bulletin first reviews the state of small business in South Africa and its evolution over the past decade. It then summarises the findings from two TIPS studies into policy related to small business: proposals around the definition of small business, which in turn affects who benefits from state support; and a review of regulatory obstacles and burdens that arise from national legislation.
Read online: The State of Small Business in South Africa
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