Johannesburg - The Black Management Forum has started an SMME membership chapter to develop small businesses in the country, the organisation said on Wednesday.
The small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) chapter was started with the support of the trade and industry department, Absa bank, and Sage Pastel BEE123 on Tuesday.
The initiative would provide various benefits to small businesses who enrolled with the programme at a nominal annual fee.
In the past, the BMF consisted of individuals, such as students and young professionals, and corporate entities.
BMF managing director Nicholas Maweni said there was a strong need for the organisation to introduce a SMME chapter.
"With unemployment currently fairly high in the country, the BMF recognises the SMME sector as the engine for growth in the economy and values the prominent contribution this sector makes in creating more employment opportunities," Maweni said.
SMMEs who joined the BMF would benefit from help, such as procurement funding, enterprise development centres, and an electronic market place linking buyers and suppliers.
"The aim is to bring a solution to the market that will allow corporate buyers to find SMMEs and for SMMEs to be visible to these buyers. This is the ideal platform for BMF's SMME membership," head of enterprise development at Absa, Sisa Ntshona, said.
Saul Symanowitz, who heads Sage Pastel BEE123, said his organisation would contribute to the BMF by donating 500 tool kits to participating small businesses.
This business support system consisted of accounting, legal, BEE certification, human resources, and training software.