Business Licencing Bill counterproductive to SMEs growth, South African expert says

Business Licencing Bill counterproductive to SMEs growth, South African expert says

The proposed implementation of the new Business Licencing Bill will further complicate an already restrictive  business environment for both entrepreneurs and existing South African Small, Medium and Enterprises (SMEs) owners due to additional red tape, Business Partners Limited executive director Gerrie van Biljon charged this week.

This bill will be a further deterrent to those contemplating starting a business as a means to make a living, he said.

Only 14% of South Africans are intentional entrepreneurs, according to the  2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) South Africa report.

And van Biljon said this already low percentage has the potential to drop even further as fewer South Africans become interested in starting or running a business, due to the additional red tape this proposed Bill can cause for new business owners.

Business Partners Limited is a South African specialist risk finance company for SMEs.

The proposed new bill’s purpose is ‘to promote the development of the South African economy and encourage a conducive environment that promotes business’.

However, van Biljon said due to a flood of complaints from the industry questioning the intent of the proposed new Bill, the draft is currently in the process of being revised.

What South Africa essentially needs is more entrepreneurs, and not laws which make it difficult to get into, or be in, business, he lamented.

“As SMEs contribute about 50% of the country’s GDP, and are important job creators, the country needs to promote a culture of entrepreneurship to not only ensure wealth creation and economic growth, but also to curb the level of unemployment,” he said.

Photo: Business Partners Limited executive director Gerrie van Biljon

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