The Small Business Institute (SBI) launched an Instagram account to showcase products and services offered by SMEs in South Africa. File Image: IOL

DURBAN - The Small Business Institute (SBI) launched an Instagram account to showcase products and services offered by SMEs in South Africa. 

Some of what is shared there will be amplified by its other social media platforms. The idea was motivated by people tweeting photos of things they make, said Jennifer Cohen the Executive for Policy and Advocacy.
 
"I’m always so inspired when I see requests by entrepreneurs for others to re-tweet a photo of something they’ve made with the hope that their next customer is in our timelines," said Cohen. She added that the hustle and heart are so typically South African. 
 
The SBI is a national chamber organisation and a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA). Its main focus this year is to grow its network of business chambers – particularly in small towns and townships – to interact fruitfully with municipalities where the ‘tyre hits the tarmac’. 

The national organisation advocates for evidence-based discussion and policy around issues of importance to SMMEs. Limiting obstacles to entrepreneurial success and sustainability will help South Africa’s economy grow, transform and become more inclusive. SBI also supports a competitive, ethical private sector.  Big business should promote access to markets and effective entry into supply chains and pay their invoices on time!
 
"Our chambers are made up of small businesses; research from our partner SBP has highlighted for years the red tape, compliance requirements and challenging business environment SMMEs in South Africa face. We hope this initiative can help buyers and sellers find each other to build micro, small and medium businesses in this country – 11 million job-seekers are depending on it," said Cohen. 
 
SBI will also be sharing good ideas for networking, professional development and notifications from our chamber members as well as highlighting speakers or panellists at our upcoming #SMEIndabas.
 
The Instagram account is @SBI_SouthAfrica. Small business owners should submit a picture, their contact details or a website and a brief ‘sales pitch’ for their product and services to [email protected] The SBI won’t endorse, but will showcase what SMEs would like to promote.

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