“Small business and entrepreneurship is the backbone of the South African economy, not only in serving their communities but by creating job opportunities as they grow,” says founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) Mike Anderson.
“Created 11 years ago with the aim of sustaining this vital sector, Small Business Friday has gained increasing momentum. Now sponsored by Absa and driven by the NSBC, #AbsaSmallBizFriday is a call to the nation to get out there with support for local small businesses.”
With this 365-day drive that peaks on the first Friday of spring every year, NSBC and Absa are looking forward to consumers supporting both independently owned business and South African-manufactured goods this year.
“As Absa, we are committed to the vital SME segment and connecting individuals to communities. Small business is the mainstay of our economy, contributing over 40% of our country’s gross domestic product and employing two-thirds of South African workers. This means that the more support they receive, the more people they can employ, and the more successful our country becomes,” says Ronnie Mbatsane, segment head SME for Relationship Banking at Absa Group.
“One easy way to show support is to spread the word. For a small business, word of mouth is often their most powerful tool in reaching potential customers. If you’ve purchased something from a small business, make sure to tell your friends and family about it or post a positive comment on social media.”
By creating Small Business Friday, the NSBC aimed to assist these entities with the difficult task of getting more customers. “Eleven years down the line, we’re happy to see how many South African consumers are opting to give their business to small, local operations,” says Anderson. “This shows that the population is serious about driving positive social, economic and often environmental impact.”
As we celebrate the first Friday of spring on 2 September, there’s no better time to look out for budding opportunities to support. Whether it’s a local coffee shop, a home-based hairdresser or a farmer delivering fresh produce to your area, every purchase will ultimate be a meal on the table for that small business owner.
Anderson reiterates the NSBC message for people to ‘Go big by supporting small’. “We’re anticipating even greater nationwide support for this special movement this year as we celebrate 11 years of spotlighting the importance of the small business community.”
According to Anderson, when the NSBC launched Small Business Friday, nobody could have foreseen the success it has been and its positive impact on businesses that need it most. “On our 11th anniversary, we invite you to join us in Africa’s most powerful small business and job creation movement as we mobilise the nation to go out and support small businesses.
“Whether you’re a business or a consumer, we’ve created a National Supporter’s pack for you to help make the most of #AbsaSmallBizFriday. We’d like to hear the country shouting from the rooftops and promoting their involvement on social media. Every single action counts,” he says, “so visit our website here (download your National Supporter pack here) and be an 11th year, job-creating cheerleader for small business.”