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Unlok Consulting – A catalyst for a “success revolution” in the SME sector

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

(Extract from a Small Business Friday interview — The Small Business Site)

When Leander Opperman, Founder of Unlok Consulting, was asked why South Africa should support Small Business now and beyond, he shared the following : “Our President, Mr. Ramaphosa, has stated unequivocally that the only way the government’s 2030 National Development Plan goals (published in 2012) will be achieved is through SMEs, which are the lifeblood of our country’s economy.”

Leander shares from the Department of Statistics – South Africa how, since COVID’s devastating impact on the global economy, 36% of all businesses in SA have laid off staff.

He goes on to share that in many instances, laid-off workers resort to employing their skills and experience, and start their businesses (SMEs) to support their families.

The following data was obtained from the Statistics SA website:

  • Small businesses generate just over one-fifth of total turnover in the South African formal business sector, expanding from 13% in 2013 to 22% in 2019. (See Figure 1 below)

  • The contribution of large business waned over the same period, from 75% to 68%.

  • The formal business sector as a whole increased at an average annual growth rate of 7,0% over the period 2013 to 2019.

  • Small businesses recorded an increase of 12,3% per year over the same period.

  • Medium business increased turnover by 8,4% per year, and large business by 5,4%.

  • (See Figure 2 below, for the industries in which SMEs are making contributions-businesses services are the largest sector)

Leander says that South Africa needs to invest in and support SMEs to ensure that these small businesses grow sustainably and have an opportunity to become enduring companies, with the ability to drive the recovery of South Africa’s economy.

To read the full interview by the NSBC of our founder, go to

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