Study launches to uncover impact of Covid on SMMEs

Finfind, South Africa’s leading online access to finance solution for SMMEs, has partnered with Government, big business, and other key national stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the vital SMME sector.

The study is expected to be released in September 2020

The report 

The report titled ‘SA SMME Covid Impact Report’ will provide insight into the effects of lockdown utilising data from a large sample of various SMME business owners surveyed. 

Conducted against the backdrop of other studies and surveys done since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the study is supported by a number of key national partners. These partners include; the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD); Services SETA; Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA); The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA); The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE); SAICA Enterprise Development (SAICA ED); The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA); The South African Venture Capitalist and Private Equity Association (SAVCA); The Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA); and E2.

In order to ensure that the survey conducts thorough research and results in a valuable source of information, FinFind worked with Dr. Jabulile Msimango-Galawe, a senior researcher from WITS Business School, reviewed the COVID-19 surveys undertaken in South Africa since the start of lockdown.

Through the initial research undertaken, FinFind found that majority of the surveys conducted recently have been consumer-focused with less than 40% containing questions that directly relate to businesses’ impact or business-related.

Further research carried out prior to the survey being created indicated that the sample sizes of the business surveys have ranged from 96 to 2300 respondents, with an average of 13 questions.

Furthermore, it indicated that more than 80% of the business surveys were conducted before the end of April, during lockdown level 5, and provided predictions from business owners on the possible effects of the pandemic in the months to follow.

Aims of the report 

The SA SMME COVID Impact Report will provide an analysis of the impact that the lockdown has had on micro, small and medium businesses over the past five month-end periods. 

It will highlight important information about the effect that the lockdown has had on their businesses, in terms of the ability to generate revenue, meet monthly expenses, and retain jobs.

This report will also focus on understanding the tactics used by entrepreneurs to manage these problems.

A key objective of the report is to also provide a picture of what the longer-term landscape may look like for entrepreneurs and business owners whose livelihoods, in many cases, have been dealt devastating blows during lockdown. 

Darlene Menzies, CEO of Finfind explains that the report hopes to shed light on the struggles facing SMMEs currently and to generate effective solutions to the issues being faced.  

“While no person or business has remained untouched by the effects of COVID-19, the SMME sector has undoubtedly been one of the hardest hit. The data we gather will enable SMME stakeholders to better understand the challenges that SMMEs are facing – internally, externally, and at a social level, as well as quantify the extent of the impact of the COVID pandemic. The aim is to enable them to develop and support appropriate solutions tailor-made for small businesses, that can assist the recovery of this crucial business sector going forward.”

Small and medium business owners are encouraged to take part in the survey and one lucky respondent could win R10 000 in cash and five others may win an R1000 gift voucher for participating.

 The survey results are expected to be published in September 2020. 

Read more: Landing an investor in times of uncertainty [Opinion]
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Featured image: Darlene Menzies, CEO Finfind (Supplied)



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