Business Bridge aims to widen access to business education for entrepreneurs across the world. It has a scalable model for delivering high quality, low cost business education to tens of thousands of people worldwide for whom access is otherwise denied by virtue of cost or lack of local provision.
The need for our courses has never been greater; around 75% of SMEs in South Africa fail within the first 3 years of their existence, the highest number of any country in the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) network. This is a disturbing figure when you consider that they contribute more than 50% of jobs and over 36% of GDP in South Africa. Unemployment currently stands at 25%; the only way to make serious inroads into this number is to promote SME growth.
However, there remain significant barriers to SME growth in South Africa; access to financial capital, access to managerial capital, lack of relevant networks and access to technology being four of the most commonly recognised. Access to financial capital has long been considered the main barrier to SME growth, but we strongly believe that this is not the case. We believe that by increasing the managerial capital in SMEs, they will be far better placed not only to consolidate existing resources but to approach financial institutions should they desire a loan. Research has shown that only 2% of new SMEs are able to access bank loans, and 75% of applications for bank credit are rejected. As a result, new businesses are unable to invest in the technology which would help them to maximise available opportunities. Increasing managerial capital is the key to solving this problem.
To show the impact of our latest courses, Business Bridge Graduate Themba Baleni (Kasified Productions) has produced this short film. To view please click on the following link: www.youtube.com/watch