File image: Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Economic Development and Tourism is set to release a new tool later this year that will assist businesses in becoming more digitally savy. 

The SMME support platform will be a mobile-friendly site that will enable small businesses to connect with various support services as well as funding institutions. 

Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde said that small businesses play a huge role in the in the development of our economy, and in driving employment in our province. He added that this new platform will put the whole support system for entrepreneurs into the palms of their hands, making it easier for them to innovate and grow. 

What will first be rolled out as a site will then most likely translate into an app, said Winde. 

Currently, government is in talks with various businesses and the tool is in its consultation phase. In order to identify exactly what it is businesses need and to brief organisations on how they can get involved, the EDT Department is currently hosting a series of roadshows. 

Notably, the first roadshow was held in Woodstock, with five more to be hosted in the remaining districts in the Western Cape over the course of next month. 

“There is a great push to move government and services to a new level and for businesses to get the support on a single platform”, said Davies. 

“It is essentially a resolution as we move into the fourth industrial revolution”, he added. 

The Minister said he envisages the platform to take the form of an Uber app which will map out a region and businesses will be able to see other businesses and turn on their visibility and availability to do business. 

The platform will include practical value for small business owners, mentors, funders, SMME support organisations, business chambers and economic development officials in local government and procurement decision makers.

"This platform will give us, and the many organisations actively working to support entrepreneurs, a better way of linking SMMEs to resources, and to opportunities. For example, when a new school or clinic is built, the positive ‘sub-contract ripple’ can be harnessed for the benefit of SMMEs in the area by making the project and opportunities visible on this platform", concluded Winde. 

Take a look at the upcoming roadshows that are set to take place:


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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE