Building small businesses that contribute to the economy and create jobs is one of South Africa’s biggest development opportunities. Small enterprises employ between 50 and 60% of South Africa’s work force and contribute around 34% of GDP. However, the small business sector has been relatively stagnant over the last decade, and only 14% of the country’s small businesses are formalized, capping their job creation and economic contribution potential.
“The Unseen Sector” is a joint report between the World Bank and International Finance Corporation providing an in-depth assessment of the micro, small and medium enterprise landscape in South Africa and opportunities to support the sector’s growth. The report measures the small business sector size and illustrates key barriers small businesses face in terms of access to finance, access to skills and access to markets in South Africa.