Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Opportunities and Challenges in Management, Economics and Accounting
Exploring financial support systems for SMME business growth in the Ugu District of KwaZulu–Natal province, South Africa
Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) are key in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rise and the creation of employment opportunity. SMMEs are receiving funding from different organisations for sustainability and job creation. The current SMMEs contribution to the country’s GDP and employment creation has over the years been on a decline. Therefore, the aim of the study was to explore the effectiveness of financial support received by the SMMEs in the UGU district. This was a qualitative study conducted among 10 SMME owners/managers who were selected purposefully. Data were collected using in-depth interview and analysis was done thematically. The result of the study indicates that the district institutions were offering average quality standard of financial and non -financial support to SMMEs within the district with growth impact of such initiatives at a minimal level. SMMEs experienced challenges of lack of financial assistance, lack of information, unavailable mentorship, unskilled administration and limited assessment within the various institutions and access to financial support. The study found that there is no standard assessment criteria to motivate for SMMEs funding and support or a sector specific criterion. The findings of the study indicate a need to reassess the impact of the current funding instruments offered within the district. Further is the need for government to reemphasis the importance of SMMEs growth at local and district level to providing effective monitoring and evaluation. Significant priority be placed on support institutions and government to create a sector specific SMMEs assessment criterion as opposed to applying a blanket approach on all business sectors support.
keywords: Financial support, SMME challenges, business growth, sustainability.