University of Pretoria launches free National Support Portal for SMMEs
The Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria has launched a National SMME Support Portal (NSSP).
The portal was established to support and enhance small business continuity in South Africa during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The portal offers free professional services and resources via an online portal, with all the automated functionality needed to fulfil its objectives.
More than 320 professionals are already offering their valuable and specialised services for free on a weekly basis.
Professor Alex Antonites, a member of the Centre for Entrepreneurship’s steering committee, said they felt it was important to contribute towards the efforts to rescue the country’s economy.
“We believe small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), a sector already in distress, will show very high failure rates in the short and medium term due to the impact of COVID-19,” Prof Antonites said. “Our economy can’t afford further failure, as a significant section of our GDP is driven by the SMME sector – not to mention its role in job creation.”
The services include: a chatroom to help ease the burden of social distancing through online proximity; professional counselling services that will be provided by UP alumni and will cover from psychological distress to HR specialists; strategy consultants; digital marketing; technical assistance, a test to determine strategic and operational risk areas; professional assistance in business model innovation during and after COVID-19; and a resource room that will be filled with links to relevant free business ebooks and literature, business templates, free software and applications useful to enhance business productivity.
“The portal could also serve as a preliminary selection tool for funders.”
Webinars and training will also be made available.
The portal can be accessed by any registered SMME in South Africa.
We decided via our centre to formally contribute in order to prevent further failure.Professor Alex Antonites, head - Department of Business Management
It's a free portal for any entrepeneur where support services are offered for free - we've populated a number of professionals ranging from psychologists to accountants, tax practitioners, digital marketers.. and we're really overwhelemed by the number of profesisonals and their goodwill.Professor Alex Antonites, head - Department of Business Management
Any SME in South Africa can go into our portal and find support..Professor Alex Antonites, head - Department of Business Management
What I've seen over the weekend; so many SMEs applied..they realise there's a new economy coming - a new competitive landscape - and they need guidance.Professor Alex Antonites, head - Department of Business Management
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