South Africa: Young Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Look Abroad

Young South African entrepreneurs eager to export their products and services have been encouraged to take up the various avenues of business support available to them from government agencies as well as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC).

Government’s various platforms of support were presented during a webinar presented by the DTIC and its various partners including the National Empowerment Fund, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Small Enterprise Development Agency and Brand South Africa.

Presenting the DTIC’s support models for businesses that are exploring the option of exporting their goods and accessing other markets, the department’s Nxalati Mashele said the department has an incentive scheme which is aimed at promoting South African companies on the African continent and abroad.

Mashele said in the Export Development Unit, the department aims to develop emerging exporters “in order to [help them] tap into the international markets”.

“We conduct export awareness workshops where we will invite all companies that are registered. Our target right now is promoting youth owned enterprises. In that workshop, we will briefly give them information about our incentives as well as training.

“Let’s say for instance we have a company that is newly established and they don’t know anything about exporting… we take them through a training course where they will be trained on everything pertaining to export processes,” she said.

Mashele added that following this training, the entrepreneur and their business will now be defined as emerging exporters.

“That’s when they can tap into our incentives where we will support them to go and market their product outside the boarders of South Africa,” Mashele said.

According to Mashele, the department goes further to “find markets for South African goods and services” through the departmental Export Promotion unit.

“When they find the market… they’ll identify international exhibitions where we are going to showcase and participate as a department and we will then invite all those companies that went through the training.

“They will be able to go to that country. They will have business meetings with their business counterparts on the other side. Export Promotion… will ensure that they have set up meetings beforehand so that when these companies arrive at the other side they will already be going into a confirmed meeting [and] the main objective is to sell their products,” she said.

She highlighted that the department also assists businesses to attend exhibitions and trade missions abroad.

“As the department, what we will do is fund them. We will buy their air tickets, we will fund their accommodation and we will also pay for their freight forwarding. All they need to do is pack their suitcase and passport and get ready to go and promote their products.

“This is what we are doing to stimulate the economy because we know that COVID-19 has taught us new ways of doing things and this is how we are facilitating exports,” Mashele said.

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