While larger enterprises and multi-nationals cut jobs in South Africa because of tougher economic conditions, SMEs in Africa can help resolve some of the continent’s most critical challenges by providing much-needed jobs, products and services, according to the Johannesburg Business School.
“SMEs are the cornerstone of most economies as it accounts for about half of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 60%–70% of employment,” the business school said.
World Bank data also found that SMEs contribute up to 60% of all employment and as much as 40% of the GDP in emerging economies.
“In Africa, SMEs make up around two thirds of the continent’s formally employed workforce. While in South Africa, SMEs provide employment to roughly 47% of the workforce, with their total economic output accounting for around 20% of GDP,” said Johannesburg Business School.
To counter this threat, small businesses need to work together and support each other in order to create an environment where SMEs can thrive, create more jobs, and grow the economy.
The grim truth
What many don’t realise is that by supporting the bigger multinational corporations, they unintentionally disable small business growth.
This doesn’t support the growth of the continent’s local economy and does not contribute as much to the country’s GDP, leaving South African entrepreneurs and small businesses under the threat of globalisation.
Further to this, when these multi-national corporations then downsize to increase profits, the country is left with mass unemployment.
Not supporting SMEs only adds to the waning economic confidence levels which have been ascribed to the youth unemployment rate (which is above 60%), imminent large-scale job cuts in some key sectors and slow gross domestic product (GDP) growth, according to Mark Walker, associate VP for Sub-Saharan Africa at the IDC.
Things could start looking up…
It is with this in mind, coupled with a passion to build South Africa and be a part of growing the greater continent, that Founder and Managing Director at Joodle Technologies Dean Abrahams started his SME.
Cloud and technology solutions expert, Joodle Technologies, exists for this exact reason – to support SMEs and entrepreneurs by providing technology solutions and unlocking the basics of entrepreneurship and the power it holds.
As a proudly South African BEE Level 2 company, Joodle firmly believes in creating employment and business growth opportunities within Africa.
They offer a wide range of products and features that are created to help businesses focus on their core services and perform better.
“We strive to understand our customer’s business needs, enabling and supporting them while they focus on their core business offerings,” said Abrahams.
“I have found that SMEs today are not able to afford the cloud technology offered in the market as it is aimed (and priced) for larger corporations and requires specialized skill (of which there is a major shortage) to maintain and support these systems.
“At Joodle we unlock cloud technology for the SME and entrepreneur, allowing them leverage to compete in their respective industries.” said Abrahams.
How Joodle achieves their purpose
To achieve this, Joodle aligns their business with suppliers, staff and customers who share the same values and beliefs.
Joodle also keeps their products, systems and operational activities simple and easy to use, allowing for more self-service on the customers’ side.
The company is focused on delivering products to customers timeously and ensuring premium security techniques and encryption of customer information are implemented.
The control panels on which products are delivered are also simple, fast and secure, and presents its value to customers immediately.
Joodle’s products and services
Abrahams stated that Joodle provides products and services to enable entrepreneurs and SMEs to achieve their objectives through a long-term partnership.
“Our products, systems and consulting provide unique simplicity, so any customer can easily understand what is offered. We pride ourselves on service and support and offer end-to-end IT Solutions.
At Joodle we also manage all technical aspects of your business, including Internet, Cloud Infrastructure Services and IT Support, so that you receive only a single bill,” said Abrahams.
In doing so, Joodle can accept responsibility and accountability for your infrastructure and alleviate the stress of handling the day-to-day headaches of starting a new business and managing its technical aspects.
In closing, Abrahams implored SMEs to seek out other South African and African SMEs, “Do your research and align with SMEs who share your vision and mission, build up and encourage other South African companies and partner where possible. We need SMEs to band together to lead our country and continent to reach its full potential.”
This article was published in partnership with Joodle Technologies.