This report, published by the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council in April 2021, presents a broad statistical overview of Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the Eastern Cape. It uses Statistics South Africa’s data from both, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS, 2020), and the Quarterly Financial Statistics Survey (QFS, 2020) to develop a profile of SMMEs in the province. The report follows a similar methodology as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bureau of Economic Research and Small Enterprise Development Agency to derive a proxy for the number of SMMEs. The aim of the report is to provide data to prospective researchers and policy analysts on a wide spectrum of indicators on SMMEs. The data is presented in the form of graphs and tables, organised according to ten selected key SMME policy questions which the study focuses on.

The literature acknowledges the important role that SMMES play in sustaining economic growth and development in developing countrie. The South African Government has prioritised entrepreneurship and the advancement of SMMEs as a catalyst to achieving economic growth, innovation, job creation, and development. In recognition of the importance of the SMME sector, the government established a Ministry of Small Business Development in 2014. The aim of the Ministry was to facilitate the promotion and development of small businesses. The National Development Plan envisioned that by 2030, SMMEs will contribute 60-80% to GDP increase, and generate 90% of the 11-million new jobs in our country. Hence, it is crucial to monitor the performance of SMMEs. This study seeks to report on the number of jobs created by SMMEs in the province.

The objective of the report is to provide data that could be used to respond to the following ten key SMMEs policy questions, namely:

1. How many SMMEs operate in South Africa and in the province?
2. How many SMMEs operate in the formal sector vs informal sector?
3. Where do these SMMEs operate? i.e., in terms of Urban areas, Non-Urban areas, Metros, NonMetros; and provincial distribution.
4. Who owns these SMMES? i.e., in terms of Gender, and Population Group, and Age (Youth-owned SMMEs vs Adult-owned SMMEs).
5. What is the marital status of SMME owners? The status of SMME owner can affect the performance of SMMEs.
6. How educated are SMMEs owners; and how many are functionally literate or illiterate?
7. What occupation category SMME owners fall under; and what level of skills they have?
8. In which economic sectors do they function?
9. How many SMMEs in the province are registered for VAT?
10. How many SMMEs in the province are registered for income tax?

Note: The companion SEDA SMME Q3 2020 report, mentioned above, can be accessed here