Technical Assistance programme for small and medium enterprises in South Africa

The Technical Assistance programme for Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa is providing entrepreneurs and SMEs who are getting access to finance with the possibility to upgrade their businesses skills to enhance their growth potential and create jobs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Africa
Private sector and entrepreneurship
01.07.2017 - 30.06.2027
CHF 2'100'000
Background South Africa still faces important development challenges such as persistence of poverty, high unemployment rates and inequality. While unemployment is high at about 25%, young people between age 15-24 are up to 50% unemployed. This is an important threat to economic inclusion and social stability. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are important contributors to jobs and to the GDP of the country. However, SMEs in South Africa still face numerous challenges that inhibit entrepreneurial growth, for instance access to finance or skills.
Objectives The overall objective of the Technical Assistance (TA) Programme is to support entrepreneurship and job creation with interest free TA loans. The Programme for SMEs in South Africa is a partnership between Business Partners Limited (BPL), a South African investor company, and SECO. Its aim is to provide access to skills and knowledge to enhance entrepreneurship and grow SMEs in an inclusive and sustainable way. Through its long-standing experience in South Africa and the African Region, BPL is providing financing to SMEs and together with Development Partners adds TA as a service for its clients. The TA services cover the knowledge gaps that entrepreneurs might have from general to more specific business knowledge.Expected impact after 10 years:1. job maintenance or creation of an expected 80'000 jobs2. minimum 35% of activities into women-owned and managed business ventures3. minimum 40% of activities outside of current main economic centers
Medium-term outcomes At outcome level, the project will increase SMEs competitiveness, access to finance as well as access to management capacities. 360 SME's will get access to financeBased on BPL’s past experience, it is expected that supported SMEs increase:by 25% the average turnoverby 40% average profitabilityby 10% average corporate tax payments

Expected results:   The main outputs of the TA are that the TA Programme is operationalized in South Africatraining delivery to around 500 people per yearTA loans are disbursed in the amount of USD 800'000

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'100'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   4'100'000
Project phases Phase 10 01.07.2017 - 30.06.2027   (Current phase)