According to Gugu-Lisa Zwane-Johnson, executive head of marketing at Old Mutual Corporate and the editor of Nine Yards, "in South Africa, SMMEs account for over 98% of companies and a new generation of young people is looking to start their own businesses — whether because of emerging opportunities or out of sheer necessity."

"This means supporting entrepreneurs is absolutely critical for the rebuilding of our economy," adds Zwane-Johnson. 

Nine Yards — which gives a nod to the adage that running a business is a marathon and not a sprint — comes to life at a critical time when South African SMMEs and the economy at large need support now more than ever, says Zwane-Johnson.

"South African SMMEs faced significant challenges long before COVID-19 and have long tended to operate in survival mode and on the periphery," says Prabashini Moodley, managing director of Old Mutual Corporate.

"Finding effective ways to get our vast numbers of informal businesses to make a move into the formal economy is now urgent. As long as informal SMMEs remain on the sidelines, South Africa will struggle to drive sustainable growth," concludes Moodley. 

As part of Old Mutual's commitment to providing this much-needed support, the magazine is available to read for free, giving entrepreneurs easy access to real solutions and practical advice geared to South African start-ups.

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