Original Research

The development and management of SMMEs by NEPAD

R. Mears, D. J. Theron
Acta Commercii | Vol 6, No 1 | a84 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v6i1.84 | © 2006 R. Mears, D. J. Theron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2006 | Published: 06 December 2006

About the author(s)

R. Mears, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
D. J. Theron, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Purpose/objectives: The aim of this article is to demonstrate how NEPAD assists with the support and development of SMMEs in Africa. SMMEs can prove to be a major source of economic growth for African countries, but require much policy guidance as well as supporting resources.

Problem investigated: The concern about the NEPAD strategy is not its vision, but the uncertainty of its implementation and the lack of involvement or capacity of most of the role-players. The problem of capacity building in SMMEs is addressed in this article.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Drawing on research on NEPAD, SMMEs and related fields, the paper is mainly a literature review. It critically analyses the important role of NEPAD in the development of SMMEs in Africa. By drawing together the evidence on SMMEs, it generates a functional model for the strategic implementation of a plan to effect change through linkages or partnerships.

Findings/Implications: Most SMMEs in Africa are found in informal rural areas, which tend to be smaller, have lower growth rates and have a limited local market and skills base. Any initiative for implementing SMME strategies in Africa needs to be a bottom-up approach form a "grass roots" level. This paper presents a functional "grass roots" approach to capacity building through change agents.

Originality/Value: This article challenges the NEPAD strategy, which is a top-down approach. A microeconomic "grass roots" bottom-up approach to small and micro-enterprises is needed as well as financing to implement the model. Conclusion: It is concluded that the prospects for effective implementation are dependent upon the appropriateness, feasibility and desirability of strategies. In this regard, a "grass roots" approach for capacity building in terms of training, support services and knowledge management is suggested.


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