Enterprise monitor

In the absence of a recurring Enterprise Census, an Enterprise Monitor that will operate a Panel Survey at least every three years would be a major asset to understand enterprise growth and constraints on enterprises, thus informing policies and strategies.

Examples of Enterprise Monitor Survey results:

A 99.9% failure of Government’s Cooperative initiative

Of the 2 716 cooperatives that were in 2014 on the CIPC register in the District areas of Thabo Mofutsanyana and Lejweleputswa in the Free State Province, only 543 had telephone numbers in that register. These were all called, but only 220 of these numbers were answered with only 81 persons indicating that they were still involved with the cooperative. However, only in two cases the registration as a cooperative had resulted in improved margins.

Cooperative failures

The cooperative drive however continues…

The Government selected Gazelles that are considered as the answer for accelerated growth and employment creation

The Department of Small Business Development launched the Gazelles-program to identify and support SMEs with quick growth potential across 10 priority industry sectors aligned with the National Development Plan. The first group of 40 Gazelles were selected in 2016. The firms that were selected as champions of growth and job creation include:

  • A cement brick manufacturer
  • An air-conditioning installer
  • A panel-beating concern
  • A nursery with a coffee shop

In 2017 and 2018 two further batches of 40 Gazelles will be announced.

If EOSA can mobilise the resources, the Gazelles-initiative will be assessed in terms of turnover growth as well as job-creation.

Examples of findings in an earlier Enterprise Monitor Survey

An enterprise survey conducted by Johannes Wessels in 2013/14 involving almost 700 formal firms in the Free State, had highlighted some important aspects:

1. There is no trend indicating that firms grow larger over time

Average employment per firm per sector according to enterprise age
  0-5 yrs 6-10 yrs 11-15 yrs 16-25 yrs 26-50 yrs 51+ yrs Sector
(all time spans)
Agricultural Products & Services 6,8 12,5 8,8 35,0 3,9 32,7 17,9
Construction 11,0 15,4 10,5 41,3 26,9 9,5 19,0
Factory 11,2 71,0 23,8 8,1 61,3 26,4
Financial Services 2,5 4,5 5,0 5,4 2,5 8,0 4,8
Personal Services 4,3 4,8 8,1 8,8 15,0 5,0 6,5
Processors 13,0 12,6 12,6 13,0 17,5 67,4 21,9
Telecom Services 8,0 5,0 1,7 1,0 4,5
Tourism & Hospitality 5,0 11,6 7,7 22,5 36,4 39,0 13,8
Traders 3,4 3,3 4,9 7.9 12,3 10,6 8,0
Vehicle Sector 4,5 3,1 9,5 6,3 11,2 6,0 6,4

The only enterprise sector that suggests gradual growth, is the Trade Services sector.

2. Female owners and managers of firms had a higher confidence in their own capabilities in several key skills areas than male owners and managers

Competency area Male managers &
business owners
Female managers
& business owners
Leadership skills 5.5% 1%
Marketing skills 8.9% 5%
Product knowledge 4% 2.5%
Financial management 3.8% 3.5%

3. Women form a third of business owners or managers and have a higher share of these positions in Head Offices and Franchises

Gender of owner/business per type of business entity
Female headed Male headed Female headed
as %
Head office of an enterprise group 10 14 41,7
Franchise 14 20 41,2
Branch of a group 58 114 33,7
Stand-alone business 144 294 32,9
Subsidiary of other company 3 10 23,1
Whole sample 229 452 33,6
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