SMME Finance Sector Background Paper: A Review of key documents on SMME Finance Client: FinMark Trust. April 2004.

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1 SMME Finance Sector Background Paper: A Review of key documents on SMME Finance Client: FinMark Trust April 2004 Submitted by: Angela Motsa & Associates strategy, research, training and project management consultants Tel: / Fax: Darter Ave, Norscot, Johannesburg PO Box 344 Douglasdale, 2165 File ref: 1559

2 Contents Executive Summary... i 1. Introduction Characteristics of SMMEs and the Potential Market for SMME Finance SMMEs defined South African Definitions... 1 Definitions focusing on Marginalisation of enterprises... 3 Legal Definitions: Formal vs. Informal... 4 Statistical definitions: Labour Force Survey... 4 Definitions linked to Sectors of the economy Comparison with international definitions... 5 Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) vs. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)... 5 Informal vs. formal sector... 5 Opportunity vs. Necessity Entrepreneurship... 6 Stage in the Life Cycle Key findings and Analysis... 6 SMME classification matrix... 6 An SMME focused Finscope Study?... 6 Statistics South Africa data collection classifications... 7 Segmenting products in the micro-enterprise / survivalist category Scope, Size and characteristics of the SMME sector in South Africa Size of sector Contribution to Employment, Job creation and the Economy Characteristics of the Informal Sector Entrepreneurship in South Africa compared to international standards...12 Level of Entrepreneurship Financing requirements of SMMEs...13 Sources of finance...15 Differences between Formal vs. Informal business financing requirements...16 Financing requirements of entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities Obstacles to financing SMMEs Key findings and Analysis...18 Potential Demand for SMME finance...18 Characteristics of the informal sector...18 Entrepreneurship in South Africa...19 Range of financial services requirements...19 Obstacles and constraints on the demand side Historical background to SMME Finance Sector in South Africa National Small Business Strategy (1995) The National Small Business Act (1996) Black Economic Empowerment Act Financial Sector Charter Current Developments in the Legislative/ Policy Arena Key Findings and Analysis...23 Legislation related to Small Business Development...23 The Financial Sector Charter...23 Procurement State Initiated Institutions involved in SMME financing National Empowerment Fund (NEF) Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Land Bank...25 Micro Finance Post Bank Business Partners Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) Khula Enterprise Finance Limited (Khula) Products...28 Loans...28 KhulaSt art...29 Private Equity Funds...30 Credit Guarantee Scheme...30 Thuso Mentorship Programme...31 a

3 4.7.2 Findings of the Khula impact assessment Critical analysis of Khula s role in the sector...32 Disappointing uptake of the Guarantee Scheme by Banks...32 Problems with institutional capacity of RFIs...33 Criticisms and limitations of its impact assessment methodologies...34 Khula s role in facilitating access to micro-finance...34 Retailing vs. wholesaling...35 Ignorance about Khula s role and mandate Khula s Future Role?...35 The National Apex Fund...36 Coordinating efforts Key Findings and Conclusions Private sector programmes for SMME finance Banking sector involvement in the lower end of the market Specialised Banks to exclusively service the poor Banks setting up specialised divisions/ programmes exclusively to serve the poor Linkage Banking Banks role in providing Savings and Transaction services for SMMEs Key Findings and Analysis...42 Developing entrepreneurial and microfinance skills in the banking sector...42 Pursuing Linkage strategies with village banks and cooperatives involved in providing informal financial services to the poor...42 Providing best practice case studies and resea rch on small bank establishment in the sector...43 Further promoting the provision of saving facilities for the lower end of the market for formal and informal institutions Banks involvement in SME lending Products provided by Banks Reporting on scale of SMME activity Risk Assessment Collateral Customer Service Issues Regulatory Issues Role of the state Key findings and Analysis Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds...46 Alternative Stock Exchange Key Findings and Recommendations Insurance Industry Key Findings and Recommendations Commercial Micro-lenders and their role (or potential role) in SMME financing Historical Analysis Current status and potential role in SMME financing Key findings and Analysis Non-commercial or community-based financiers of SMMEs The Non-profit micro-finance Sector Status of Microfinance in South Africa: Overview of its overall impact and factors that have influenced this Factors influencing the performance of MFIs in South Africa Current debates regarding the segmentation of microfinance market Key Findings and Analysis Village Banking in South Africa Key findings and analysis Summary of key findings and recommendations Defining more accurately the potential demand for SMME finance Opportunities presented by recent legislative / policy processes Role of Government Institutions Role of the Private Sector Role of Non-commercial providers...59 Appendices...1 Appendix 1 - Table 1: Definitions of SMME by sector... 1 Appendix 2 - Table 1: Khula RFIs... 2 Appendix 3 - Findings of the Khula Impact Assessment Study... 5 Appendix 4 - Table 1: SA Development Microfinance Sector... 8 b

4 Appendix 5: Case Study on: Provident South Africa...11 Abbreviations ASCAs: AVP: BMR: BCRS: BSM: CLO: COSATU: DBSA: DFIs: DTI: ECI: ESOPs: FNB: FSA: FSC: GDP: GEM: HDIs: HDPs: IDC: ILO: Khula: LBSCs: LFS: LSM: MCOs: MEA: MFIs: MLA: MSEs: NEF: Ntsika: NSBC: PDIs: PSA: RFIs: ROSCAs: SA: SEE: SHGs: SMMEs: SMEs: Stats SA: USAID: TACs: UYF: VAT: Accumulated Savings and Credit Associations Anicap Venture Partners Unisa s Bureau for Market Research Bay Research and Consultancy Services Business Sophistication Measure Collateralised loan obligation fund Congress of South African Trade Unions Development Bank of Southern Africa Development Finance Institutions Department of Trade and Industry Ebony Consulting International Employee Share Ownership Plans First National Bank Financial Services Association Financial Services Cooperatives Gross Domestic Product Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Historically Disadvantaged Individuals Historically Disadvantaged Persons Industrial Development Corporation International Labour Organisation Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd Local Business Service Centres Labour Force Survey of Statistics South Africa Living Standard Measure Micro Credit Outlets (KhulaStart programme) Micro Enterprise Alliance Microfinance Institutions Micro Lenders Association Micro and Small Enterprises National Empowerment Fund Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency National Small Business Council Previously Disadvantaged Individuals Provident South Africa Retail Financial Intermediaries (funded by Khula) Rotating Savings and Credit Associations South Africa or South African Survey of Employment and Earnings Self Help Groups Small Medium and Micro Enterprises Small and Medium Enterprises Statistics South Africa United States Agency for International Development Tender Advice Centres Umsobomvu Youth Fund Value Added Tax c

5 Executive Summary This SMME Finance Background Paper, which is a research document commissioned by FinMark Trust, is a consolidation and synthesis of key documents on SMME finance from FinMark commissioned the research in order to provide those involved or intending to be involved in the SMME finance sector in South Africa with a credible and accessible one-stop source document. The document also provides an analysis which various players in the sector can build on as they seek to identify and exploit opportunities. Section 1 of the report is an introduction to the report. Section 2 of the report deals with the SMME potential market and the main finding was that there are no systematic studies on the demand for financial services in the SMME market broadly. Section 2.1 deals definitions of SMMEs and it was found that there are various and differing definitions of the term SMME within South Africa which makes it difficult to plan and target consistently. The development of an SMME classification matrix as well as an SMME focused study similar to Finscope were recommended. This would provide a more detailed picture of the SMME market in terms of its size, scope and characteristics which could then be linked to the potential demand for finance within a specific market segment. It would also give an indication of whether specific market segments are substantial enough to develop specific products for, and would thus assist financial services institutions in decisions around product development. In terms of available data on the size, scope and impact of the sector, it was further found in section 2.1 that Statistics South Africa s (Stats SA) data collection classifications for SMMEs are problematic. Certain categories of SMMEs are not included in their figures for various reasons making it difficult to find consistent data, especially with regard to estimating the impact of SMMEs on the economy and employment. Given the reliance on Stats SA data for estimation of demand and potential market size, this issue deserves attention as it is likely to hamper effective planning and targeting. Section 2.1 further highlights the need to segment products targeted at the microenterprise / survivalist category. This category has on the one hand potentially viable business that have the potential to grow and, on the other hand survivalist economic activities which are simply income augmentation or survivalist strategies. Although they have different types of financing needs, it is concluded that both these markets need to be addressed, as they serve very important roles in the economy and in addressing poverty. Section 2.2 deals with the scope size and characteristics and found in terms of the potential demand for SMME finance, that while there were differing estimates, it could be estimated that SMMEs, particularly the small and medium ones, make significant contributions to both job creation and the economy. It was also found that SMMEs represent a potential demand of at least R 3 million people or businesses. Section 2.2 further deals with various characteristics of the informal sector as it represents an important starting point for most businesses. The key finding was that by far the biggest sources of finance for starting these businesses was found to be own funds or funds borrowed from friends and relatives. This highlighted the importance of savings products and services in this part of the market. Section 2.2 further dealt with Entrepreneurship in South Africa, which was found to lag behind significantly in comparison with international trends. It was argued that focusing i

6 on access to finance without addressing other constraints to the growth of SMMEs, such as the absence of an entrepreneurial culture and the lack of financial management skills would fail. Efforts focused in the education sphere in terms of developing an entrepreneurial culture were therefore recommended. The last part of section 2.2 deals with the financing requirements of SMMEs. A wide range of financial services requirements are identified in this section. It was found that these requirements go further than just credit; transaction services were found to be crucial as they are the basis for accessing other services. Obstacles and constraints to accessing financial services on the demand side were identified including absence of financial administration skills particularly among businesses run by PDIs. It is recommended that this be addressed as it limits their access to formal financial institutions and results in cash flow problems. Section 3 provided a historical background to the SMME finance sector in South Africa and outlines the various laws and policies that have contributed to the sector since the early 1990s. New developments show that there is a realisation by government that while the legal/ policy environment provided the framework for SMME development, implementation has not been as effective. Thus an amendment to the Small Business Act has been proposed as well as the establishment of an advocacy body to take over the role of the NSBC. While it is not clear which direction this will take, this development needs to be monitored closely. Furthermore it was found that developments in the BEE arena, particularly the Financial Sector Charter provide a framework to engage formal financial sector on issues related to SMME finance. Finally, the government s procurement programme was found to have been hampered by the lack of appropriate financing mechanisms. The contracting of institutions by government to accept government contracts as collateral for loans where the loan is underwritten by the government department offering the contract was also recommended. The latter part of the report deals with various sources of SMME finance in South Africa. Section 4 outlines key programmes initiated by government including the National Empowerment Fund, Industrial Development Corporation, Land Bank, Post Bank, Business Partners, Umsobomvu Youth Fund and Khula Enterprise Finance. Key issues identified in this section are around the need to improve the effectiveness of National Empowerment Fund as a venture capital provider in the SME market although the IDC does serve this market quite effectively. The Post Bank s role is highlighted in terms of its potential to provide the full scale of services to the lower end of the market (micro/ survivalist enterprises). Furthermore the Land Bank s Step-Up scheme was also highlighted as a source of micro-finance in rural areas, and lessons from the Land Bank s experience with this scheme should be harnessed by other institutions involved in micro-finance in rural areas. The uncertainty regarding the future role of Khula and a possible mandate change is identified as an opportunity, as it provided scope to influence the debate related to its future focus given the imminent removal of its micro-finance portfolio. It is also argued that the way in which sustainability is conceptualised and as applied by Khula in its RFIs needs to be reviewed as it tended to limit innovation and the development of solid MFIs. The possibility of initiating micro-finance fund that is not linked to SMME finance (and thus not through the DTI), potentially through the Department of Social Development is also identified as there is a gap in the market in terms of state sponsored programmes. It is also recommended that government consider more partnerships with the private sector for SMME finance outside of the banking sector where guarantee funds have had limited ii

7 impact. These could be partnerships with commercial micro-lenders and private venture capital funds. Chapter 5 deals with private sector s existing and potential role in the SMME finance market. Initially looking at Banks (section 5.1); on the micro-finance side various approaches that have been used internationally and locally for banks to get involved in this market were identified and evaluated. It was recommended that banks: Develop entrepreneurial and microfinance skills; Pursue Linkage strategies with village banks and cooperatives involved in providing informal financial services to the poor; and Further promote the provision of savings and transaction facilities for the lower end of the market. It was also recommended that best practice piloting, case studies and research on small bank establishment in the sector be developed to overcome negative perceptions regarding the role of small banks based on experience so far in South Africa. Furthermore it was found that banks can, beyond specifically servicing this market, provide a back-up line to non-bank financial intermediaries, by for example, providing services to business owners in their individual capacity, which are then used to access services in the non-bank financial institutions. However it was also found that changes may be required in the regulatory environment to give impetus to such developments. The need for better research and disclosure on the exact extent of banks involvement in the sector was also identified as well as the need to address the mutual misunderstanding of each other s requirements between bank staff and SMMEs. Finally, it was proposed that government conduct another regulatory review of legislation that impacts SMMEs, based on the findings and progress since the Ntsika review conducted in In terms of Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds (section 5.2) the main recommendation emanating from this section was the assessment of the feasibility of venture capital funds focusing on the lower end of the market below R5 million. This was found to be the gap in terms of private sector provision. The insurance industry s role (section 5.3) in the provision of services to the SMME sector was highlighted with respect to risks associated HIV/ AIDS and with respect to its support to the informal insurance industry. The Financial Sector Charter was identified as a framework through which the insurance industry could be engaged in these issues. With regard to commercial microlenders (section 5.4) the issue highlighted was their limited role in SMME finance. The need to further investigate this issue in term of product development and innovation was highlighted. Section 6 dealt with non-commercial or community based providers that focus enterprise finance or have the potential to do so. This included micro -finance institutions and village banks. The role of the state in both cases was highlighted in terms of subsidising operations during the slow, painstaking business of institution building; and in providing an enabling regulatory environment as well as in supporting capacity building. However it was concluded that different approaches to the concept of sustainability needed to be applied depending on which market (micro or survivalist) is being targeted by these institutions. Experience shows that institutions focusing on survivalists will tend to need longer periods of subsidisation. Section 7 consolidates the main findings and recommendations made in the report. iii

8 1. Introduction As part of its role as a catalytic and facilitative agency in making financial markets work for the poor, FinMark Trust commissioned this background paper on SMME finance. The paper reviews key documents on SMME finance during the period and thus provides an analysis of the development of the sector through this period and its current status. FinMark intended that this paper becomes a credible and accessible one-stop source document which various players in the sector can use as they seek to identify and exploit opportunities. The paper was compiled mainly as a desk top study and is subdivided into the following sections: Section 2: Characteristics of SMMEs and the potential market for SMME finance Section 3: Historical background to the SMME finance sector in South Africa Section 4: State initiated institutions involved in SMME financing Section 5: Private sector programmes for SMME finance Section 6: Non-commercial financiers of SMMEs Section 7: Summary of key findings and recommendations. 2. Characteristics of SMMEs and the Potential Market for SMME Finance This section considers: Various definitions of SMMEs The scope, Size and characteristics of the SMME sector in South Africa 2.1 SMMEs defined South African Definitions The abbreviation SMME which refers to small, medium and micro enterprises came into being with the release of the White Paper on the National Strategy for the Development and Promotion of Small Business in South Africa in The categorisation of SMMEs was used as a basis for defining the policy stance taken in the White Paper. However although SMMEs were categorised in terms of their characteristics, there was no attempt to target strategies accordingly. Table 1 below outlines the various categories used in the White Paper and financing requirements within each category. The 2001 Ntsika State of Small Business Development in South Africa Annual Review although not specifically using the division between the formal and informal sector, identifies survivalist and single-person micro enterprises as constituting the informal sector. Medium and large enterprises constitute the formal sector. Micro enterprises employing one to four people, very small and small enterprises are considered to be a mix of the formal and informal sector. 1

9 Table 1: Characteristics and financing requirements according to size of enterprise Size / class Characteristics Financing requirement 1 Survivalist little or no collateral working capital to purchase supplies and inputs, often for enterprises no paid employees and minimal asset value periods of less than a week alternative lending approaches, such as group lending to Microenterprises Very small enterprises Small enterprises turnover below R per annum less than 5 paid employees may have access to collateral, (e.g. a house) but are generally unwilling to risk their property few have the type of collateral required by formal financial institutions. employ fewer than 10 paid employees their equity requirements are generally too small for equity financiers thus the only equity in the business is generally the owner's own contribution. may have established relationships with their suppliers, but generally do not buy in adequate volumes to obtain credit often considered formal micro -enterprises by institutions sometimes have access to formal financial institutions but often constrained by collateral requirements imposed by formal financial institutions while they may have some life insurance policies or pension funds and are often home owners, they usually are overly leveraged Most business failures occur in this sector fewer than 50 paid employees more established than very small enterprises greater capital needs, especially for equipment and working capital. often have some form of collateral that would be acceptable to formal financial institutions, but it is usually not sufficient to meet their requirements collateral thus remains a constraint Medium generally have established relationships with their bankers enterprises more likely to seek a listing on the stock exchange. Source: Adapted from Department of Trade and Industry 1998, cited in Bathuthukazi Consultancy cc, 2000 overcome the collateral constraints small fixed asset loans for equipment, such as sewing machines, deep freezes, etc. working capital for supplies and material inputs longer period loans (than micro) - ranging from 3 months to 3 years (longer periods required in some industry sectors), amounts ranging from R2,000 to R30,000 could benefit from a combination of debt and equity, but their equity requirements are generally too small for equity financiers. debt financing needs are usually for fixed assets investment, capital outlay for enterprise establishment such as office equipment etc., working capital needs especially bridging finance or revolving credit facilities leasing finance average credit requirements of very small enterprises range from R10,000 to R200,000 rely more upon leasing finance and factoring long-term outlays for machinery and equipment overdraft facilities and suppliers credits for working capital equity injections - but as with very small enterprises, the equity amounts required are often too small for equity financiers to consider (below R5 million). loan finance requirements of small enterprises range from R to R5 million those with growth potential are also targeted by equity financiers a range of institutions serve their financing needs 1 Note: based on 1998 prices and economic conditions 2

10 While medium sized enterprises were included in the White Paper, this focused only on those that faced obstacles and constraints which could not be solved through normal market forces and private-sector action. The White paper gave a lot of focus to survivalist and micro-enterprises due to their potential as a vehicle for poverty alleviation particularly for the unemployed and unskilled. The 1997 UNDP Microfinance Assessment Report for South Africa indicated that: The smallest microenterprises tend to be run by people unable to find a paid job. Little capital is invested and the individuals running the microenterprises often have no skills training and limited growth opportunities.. Self-employment in the form of such enterprises remains critically important survival strategies for the poorest sectors of the economy, especially for women living in rural areas (Ashe et al, 1997: 2) As such survivalist enterprises have been described as pre-entrepreneurial and involved in activities such as hawking, vending, household industry; the argument being that shortage of financial resources, social barriers and lack of access to markets prevents this group from being entrepreneurial (Ntsika, 1999). It has also been argued that although some survivalists have grown into micro enterprises and formal SMEs the majority are likely to remain poor (Baumann, 2002) since they are constrained by a number of factors which constantly reinforce their position at the bottom of the pile (Horn, 1995: 35, cited in Rogerson (undated): 133). This most affects women. This implies differing strategies for addressing constraints faced by SMMEs at different levels. The lumping together of SMMEs and the resulting tension between micro-enterprise development for poverty alleviation as against small and medium business development for employment creation and economic development is often identified as a reason for the limited impact of policy on SMME development in South Africa. A report by David Porteous (2002) also further identifies the conflicting policy objectives in South Africa that result in promoting small businesses for job creation (which are likely to be mainly white owned) versus transformation efforts in the form of black economic empowerment to achieve socio-political stability. In a similar vein the 2002 GEM SA report (Foxcroft et al, 2002) argues that policy interventions need to distinguish between social upliftment/ poverty alleviation programmes and targeted small business support and that the former should be aimed at unregistered businesses and the latter at registered businesses. This links in with definitions that argue for a distinction between formal and informal and targeted support based on these definitions. (see below). Definitions focusing on Marginalisation of enterprises Other definitions differentiate and target SMMEs based on their marginalisation. For instance, the Small Business Strategy differentiated SMMEs in terms of the constraints they faced, placing particular emphasis in addressing constraints faced by SMMEs initiated, owned or controlled by those who were disenfranchised and/or otherwise discriminated against in the past. This included enterprises owned or controlled by black South Africans, women and all other disadvantaged and marginalised groups, including those in remote rural areas as well as the disabled, elderly people and the youth (South Africa, 1995). Similarly, Rogerson (undated) made a distinction between the established group of formal SMEs (largely owned by whites and sometimes Asians and operating in urban areas, particularly larger cities) and the group of emerging SMMEs largely under black or 3

11 coloured ownership and operate in urban townships, informal settlements and rural areas. The 2002 GEM South Africa report (Foxcroft et al, 2002) also distinguishes enterprises in disadvantaged communities in terms of their characteristics and business support requirements. However it also notes that there are significant differences in the constraints faced on formal and informal entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities and argues for more effective targeting of support and resources to these two groups of entrepreneurs is required (Foxcroft et al, 2002: 6). Legal Definitions: Formal vs. Informal The GEM 2002 South African Report (Foxcroft et al, 2002) makes distinctions between informal and formal enterprises and characterises these in terms of economic contribution, education, resources, and needs. Policy implications are also outlined in the report within these categories. Porteous (2002) also makes the distinction between formal and informal based on legal status (registration), tax registration, and the keeping and auditing of accounting records. According to Porteous (2002) SAtoZ has taken this further by introducing the Business Sophistication Measures (BSMs) similar to the LSMs for consumers. BSMs use indicators such as whether a business has a separate phone line, kitchen, canteen, board room and written mission statement. However, this methodology has not yet been fully extended to informal businesses, although this is currently planned (Porteous, 2002). Furthermore, according to Porteous (2002) the credit provision industry also proposes a distinction between: Formal SMEs which should be treated as distinct businesses, separate from their owners; and Informal SMMEs which are essentially from a legal and risk position no different from lending to the owner/s, and hence would involve providing loans to individuals who do not have a pay slip. A study conducted for the Micro Enterprise Alliance (MEA) by ECI (2000) distinguishes between organised and unorganised SMMEs in urban areas where organised enterprises have salaried employees and fixed premises. No reference is made to legal status however. Unorganised firms are said to consist mainly of artisans without fixed premises, few or no salaried employees (ECI, 2000). Statistical definitions: Labour Force Survey The Labour Force Survey (LFS) conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA, 2003) also distinguishes between the formal sector including businesses that are registered in any way and the informal sector which consists of those businesses that are not registered in any way, are generally small in nature, seldom run from business premises and are instead run from homes, street pavements or other informal arrangements. There are however discrepancies in the figures provided by Statistics SA in terms of their definition of informal sector employment. Stats SA provides formal sector employment figures from the quarterly survey of employment and earnings (SEE), which specifically collects information on employment in SA (excluding non-vat registered businesses as described below) while in the LFS households, rather than businesses are sampled. Households contain people working in small industries whether the owners of those businesses and pay VAT or not. The SEE collects only information from businesses that are VAT registered and have a turnover over R 300,000. The SEE therefore misses certain formal sector and informal sector businesses that are covered by the LFS. The SEE also has a short coming in that it does not distinguish employment in terms of size of industry. SEE also excludes employment in a host of industries including agriculture, restaurants and small scale 4

12 tourism establishments, financial institutions which are not banks, insurance companies, private educational and medical services (Lehohla, 2002). As a result while the SEE indicated that 6.6 million were employed in the formal sector (excluding commercial agriculture), a further 0.8 million people said to be working in the informal sector were covered by the LFS but not the SEE. Definitions linked to Sectors of the economy The National Small Business Act (South Africa, 1996) further differentiated the definition of SMMEs according to the sector that the business is operating within. This is outlined according to number of employees; turnover and assets (refer to Appendix 1). There was also recognition in the Act in terms of the government's SMME support strategy, that the problems of each of these four categories need a somewhat different policy stance (South Africa 1996). Although these differences were recognized at this stage policy did not specifically address this, leaving this for more specific implementation processes Comparison with international definitions International literature on small enterprise development definitions generally focus on distinguishing between micro and small enterprises (MSEs) on the one hand and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the other (Mead, 1998 (cited in Rogerson, (undated)). Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) vs. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) According to Labie (1995) small and microenterprises (MSEs): Are generally more labour than capital intensive; Have high relative production costs (because raw materials are purchased in small quantities); Lack technical experience in production, accounting, administration and stock control (due to low levels of qualification); Are mainly unregistered (or partially registered) and family-based. The USAID s definition of micro-enterprises as distinct from small enterprises characterizes them as: tiny, informally organized business activities other than crop production low -technology, labour-intensive activities. Mainly involving only one person, the owner-operator or microentrepreneur some with unpaid family workers and others including paid employees. low level of assets or income -- both of the business and of those working in it (USAID, 1995a and 1995b) USAID limits the term "microenterprise" to firms with ten or fewer employees, including the microentrepreneur and any family workers. Informal vs. formal sector On the other hand the International Labour Organisation (ILO) distinguishes between its programmes supporting the informal sector (including home based work) (Xaba et al, 2002) and the small business development programmes focusing on small and growing enterprises (Trulsson, 2001). The ILO also focuses on supporting enterprises that grow in a labour-intensive manner, thus focusing on size with respect to the number of employees. 5

13 For instance ILO s SSIYB, GYBI, SYB and IYB programmes cater for a wide range of enterprises that employ anything from the single owner up to approximately 20 people (where the majority employs five people or less). Growth Oriented enterprises are on the upper end of this (10-30 employees) but beyond this the ILO argues it would move into the territory of consultancy firms; the argument being that the upper end of ILO interventions with regard to small enterprises should be targeted towards a market niche where these firms are not yet active (Trulsson, 2001). Opportunity vs. Necessity Entrepreneurship The GEM uses the distinction between Opportunity and Necessity Entrepreneurship where Opportunity Entrepreneurs are those driven primarily by the desire to take advantage of a business opportunity, while necessity entrepreneurs are those driven primarily by lack of better choices for work (Driver et al, 2001, p11). This implies different policy approaches based on understanding the factors driving the entrepreneur to start his/her busines s. Stage in the Life Cycle Another definition that is commonly used internationally, particularly with respect to financing SMMEs is stage in the life cycle where the differences between demand for finance are distinguished based on the stage of the business from start-up through to growth or expansion finance (see table 8 below) Key findings and Analysis SMME classification matrix There are various and differing definitions of the term SMME within South Africa. South Africa differs from international categorisations that broadly define two categories one at the lower end of the market grouped as micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and the higher end of the market grouped as small and medium enterprises (SMEs. While South African definitions have been much more detailed, they are also varied and have not resulted in effective targeting of services to SMMEs. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2002 South Africa Executive Report (Foxcroft, et al 2002), indicated that there is a growing recognition of the need for careful segmentation of different types of entrepreneurs and targeting of specific policies and services according to different needs. The report argued that size categorizations such as SMME, are so wide that they are not helpful for targeted policy-making. They further argued that effective targeting requires appropriate segmentation of entrepreneurs and better understanding of the constraints facing entrepreneurs within each segment. An SMME focused Finscope Study? The most significant finding within this section is that SMMEs require specifically tailored financial products and services which go beyond simply targeting informal and formal or small and micro. While SMMEs within each category do face some common constraints, the lack of innovative product development or packaging may be partly due to a tendency to focus on one parameter of defining SMMEs, without considering the overlap with others. Anicap Venture Partners (2003) highlight this problem by arguing that the SME marketplace, its participants and performance, are too poorly monitored and understood to be effectively managed and developed. They further argue that this results in the market being too opaque for either the public or private sector to develop satisfactory assistance programmes and in benchmarking being almost impossible to do, 6

14 given the paucity of hard information about South African SMEs. They conclude that this area needs future attention. While it could be argued that there is a large amount of research that has been done on SMMEs since 1994, very little of this focuses on understanding SMMEs to the level of detail required to the effectively target SMMEs. To address this issue, the development of more refined SMME classification matrix (for lack of a better name) using combinations of the definitions outlined above (and perhaps others not covered here) is proposed. Each category defined using this matrix would then be linked to the potential demand for finance within that specific market segment which would give an indication of whether this is a substantial enough market to develop specific products for, and would assist financial institutions in decisions around product development. It also could be linked to existing products that address each market segment and identify where there are blockages or gaps in supply. However a key requirement for developing this matrix and ensuring it has the required detail is accurate enough information on the SMME market in the level of detail currently found in the Finscope Study. FinMark Trust developed FinScope as the most comprehensive national survey exclusively focused on financial service needs and usage across the entire population. Like the original FinScope, an SMME focused Finscope could provide a credible, regular profile of needs for and usage of financial services among SMMEs to support better policy making and innovation in service provision. The Business Sophistication Measure developed by SAtoZ could also form an important basis for this SMME Finscope much as the LSMs have formed the basis for the original Finscope study. Statistics South Africa data collection classifications It was found in categorising the differing definitions of SMMEs, that there is conflicting information regarding the classifications used by Statistics South Africa which include or exclude certain types of businesses depending on VAT registration, sector and other factors. Additionally information on employment in terms of size of business is not included. This issue hampers effective policy making, benchmarking and the measurement of impact of the sector on the economy. What would be required to enable this is a review of the definitions or classification of SMMEs used by Statistics South Africa with a view to ensuring they coincide with DTI s classifications. Segmenting products in the micro-enterprise / survivalist category The micro -enterprise /survivalist portion of the SMME market clearly presents a challenge both in terms of policy and targeting of financial products. If one is focused on employment creation then this would mean only supporting businesses that have the potential to grow. However given the importance of micro-enterprise and survivalist economic activities in supporting livelihoods, particularly in marginalised communities, there is clearly a need to target financial products and services to this group. However different models of institutional sustainability would need to be applied as financial sustainability will be more difficult to achieve when targeting the latter group Scope, Size and characteristics of the SMME sector in South Africa Most literature on SMMEs begins with the rider that figures on SMMEs are either difficult to find or are not measured. As a result many of the figures found are based on interpretation of various types of employment statistics provided by Statistics SA; which are not provided in the same categorisation commonly used by SMME practitioners. 7

15 2.2.1 Size of sector Various estimates for the size of the sector are outlined below: The Small Business Development Strategy in 1995 (South Africa, 1995) initially estimated that over 800,000 people were involved in the SMME economy. In addition it also estimated that about 3,5 million people were involved in some or other type of survivalist enterprise activities. Falkena et al 2001 estimated the number of SMMEs to be between 1 and 3 million in South Africa. Excluding survivalist and micro-businesses, this number decreases to a range between and enterprises. The following estimates (table 2) are provided by Coetzee and Grant (2001) and show the growth of the informal and micro-enterprise sector. The informal sector accounted for over 1.8 million in The figures further highlight the slightly higher grow th rates achieved in the informal/ micro -enterprise sector. Table 2: Total Growth in number of Businesses in South Africa % chg Formal private 349, , Public service 83,430 88, TOTAL FORMAL 433, , Informal 840, , Micro enterprise 922, , TOTAL INFORM. 1,762,720 1,823, GRAND TOTAL 2,195,870 2,269, Source: Coetzee and Grant, 2001 Falkena et al (2001) also highlights the different size estimations of the SMME sector used by different institutions (table 3 below). This again highlights the difficulty in correctly estimating the size of the sector. Table 3: Different Indicators for size of SME sector Source Survivalist Micro Very Small Medium Large Total Small Ntsika 1997 totals 184, , ,000 58,900 11,322 6, ,700 Business Partners 2.3 million 600,000 35,000 Not reported 2.9 million Management sciences group, 1999 Eskom Survey 1999 Statistics SA 2000 Source: Falkena et al, , , , million 900,000+ in home businesses : total 3 million if one includes small/ emergent/ established N/A 1, 628, 797 8

16 2.2.2 Contribution to Employment, Job creation and the Economy There are also differing estimates of the employment, job creation and economic contribution of the SMME sector, making it difficult sometimes to take a consolidated view of SMMEs economic impact. Various estimates of the contribution of SMMEs to employment and the economy are outlined below. Focusing on SMEs (excluding survivalist and micro -enterprises), Falkena et al (2001) estimated that they represent a contribution to GDP of about 50% based on the figures provided in the table 4. Falkena et al (2001) also found that the contribution of SMEs to GDP is dependent on the definition used. For example, if survivalist and micro firms are excluded, the SMEs value added was estimated at 39 to 42 per cent of GDP in This grows substantially however, if these are included to between 52 to 57 per cent. While these estimates were found to depend on the statistics available, the assumptions made and the definitions used, Falkena et al further argue that they do show that the material significance of SMEs in the South African economy and lead them to the conclusion that SMEs constitute the backbone of the economy and would thus have a huge impact on employment. Falkena et al (2001) estimated that the share of SMEs in national job creation is as much as 62 per cent. They also suggest that due to structural changes in the economy affecting bigger firms, the job creation capacity of SMEs is expected to be more significant and to more increasingly generate jobs that are skill intensive and well remunerated and as the economic significance of SMEs is likely to increase over time. Table 4: Contribution to total gross value added by types of enterprises (1997) Value added Type of Enterprise Survivalist Micro Very small Small Medium Large GVA in million R , , , , , , , , 015 % of GDP Source, Falkena et al 2001 However Ntsika s (2001) estimates for GDP are slightly lower; in the year 2000, SMMEs (excluding the survivalist and microenterprises with no employees) were said to contribute only 34.8% to GDP, up from 32.7% in Ntsika s estimates for employment are also lower than Falkena et al as SMMEs were said to account for over 50% of employment. Table 5 below outlines Ntsika s the estimated contribution of SMMEs to GDP per size class. Table 5: Estimated % sectoral contribution to GDP by size-class, 2000 Size Class % Total Employment Survivalist 2.2 Micro (0) 3.5 Micro (1-4) 6.5 Very Small 13 Small 15.7 Medium 13 Large 46.1 Source Ntsika,

17 According to Baumann (2001) nearly 40% of employment in the South African retail trade sector is in micro-enterprises 2, but their contribution to the national retail trade output is only 2.3% 3. Furthermore, 53% of South African personal services employment is said to be in microenterprises, but these contribute less than 10% of the national sector s output. Overall microenterprises are said to provide nearly 20% of South Africa s jobs but contributes only 5% to Gross domestic product. 4 Estimates from the March LFS on employment in the sector are provided in table 6 below. The total number of workers as at March 2003 was estimated at 11.6 million people, the majority of these being employed in the formal sector (63.6%). The share of employment in the informal sector (excluding subsistence or small-scale agriculture and domestic service) as estimated at 16%, while commercial agriculture at 7.5 % and subsistence or small scale agriculture at 3.6 %, while domestic workers constituted 8.7% of the employed and 0.6 % did not specify their sector. As indicated above the SEE figures (provided by Stats SA) do not currently differentiate employment according to size of business. Table 6: Formal Sector Employment According To the LFS and the SEE of March 2003 ( 000) Empl oyed according to SEE 6,497 Employed in formal sector in activities not covered in SEE 825 Total 7,322 Source: Statistics SA 2003 A recent survey of the contribution of non-vat registered small and micro enterprises (considered informal in the LFS) to the economy of the country based on the LFS (Lehohla, 2002) is summarised in table 6 below. Out of an estimated national population of 44.4 million, 2.3 million were estimated to be running an informal business. Table 7: Contribution of non-vat registered small and micro enterprises to the economy Index Size Proportion No of people estimated to be running at least 2.3m 5.1% of the population one non-vat registered business Of these, proportion running the business from a fixed location. 1.9m 83% of those running at least one non-vat registered business Provinces with highest concentration Gauteng: 0.616m KwaZulu- top 3 = 63% Natal: 0.58m Limpopo: 0.265m Eastern Cape 209 Proportion living in urban areas 1.3 m 57% of those running at least one non-vat registered business Proportion of females 1.4million 61% of those running at least one non-vat registered business Proportion with licenses 166, % of those running 2 Source Baumann, 2002, note Because official statistics measure this in terms of number of employees, these micro-enterprise figures include formal sector firms that are by nature small 3 Source Baumann, 2002 Statistics in this paragraph computed from data from South Africa Survey 2001/ 2002, South African Institute of Race Relations, Johannesburg Source Baumann 2002, Figures from own calculations based on data from the South African reserve Bank and Statistics South Africa 10

18 at least one non-vat registered business Service levels Piped water: 24.6%, Electricity: 63.3%, Telephone 30.6% Sector Concentration Wholesale and retail trade industry: 69.4% Employment Total No. of Employees: 0.7m 67% of those running at least one non-vat registered business are paid Number requiring finance to start their businesses Proportion those requiring finance that received a grant Proportion that borrowed money to start 1.4 million 61% of those running at least one non-vat registered business 16,000 1% of those running at least one non-vat registered business 15.5% of those running at least one non-vat registered business Sources of finance Friends and relatives: 83%, Loans from others: 5.5%, Banks 5%, Money lenders 4.6%, Credit societies +/-1% Business associations +/-1%, Business partners: +/-1%, NGOs: +/-1% Gross revenues per month R 2,707 million Average monthly profit R 1,807 million In terms of job creation potential the 2001GEM report (Driver et al) found that only a small proportion of entrepreneurs are likely to account for most of the job creation by new firms. In the 2002 report it was estimated that: start-ups created 140,000 jobs since the inception of GEM 2001; New firms close to a million jobs in South Africa between Jan 1999-July 2002; and Established firms (older than 3.5 years old) have created 2.4 million jobs in same period. Based on the February 2002 LFS (Statistics South Africa 2003) it was estimated that entrepreneurial firms account for a third of total employment (excluding the owner/s of entrepreneurial firms) and thus play a vital role in job creation in South Africa. It was found that informal entrepreneurs on average employ 0.8 people whereas formal entrepreneurs employ on average 7.2 people. Formal businesses account for 56% of all employment in privately owned businesses in disadvantaged communities. While the employment generated by SMMEs may be significant Rogerson (1997) noted that the quality of the jobs that are generated through the SMME economy may be of concern with respect to poor wage and work conditions Characteristics of the Informal Sector Lehohla (2002) (refer to table 6 above) found that most informal businesses were found in the wholesale/ retail sector (69.4%), are in urban areas (57%) and are run by females (61%). Important indicators of the serviceability of this market by financial institutions is highlighted be their access to services such as electricity (63.3%) and telephones (30.6%). The majority (61%) required finance to start their businesses, while the majority borrowed funds were from friends and relatives (83%). This goes against findings from Falkena et al (2001) that there challenges with SMEs owned by PDIs, particularly in the Start up phase in that have been found to have little or no savings; little or no access to family finance/ 11

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