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Supporting entrepreneurship in South Africa: UNIZO and Trias

Datum: 23 oktober 2013


Within two weeks Princess Astrid will lead an economic mission to South Africa. At the same time UNIZO wilt visit Mandela's country to shape their partnership with the these largest South African business associations. Karel Van Eetvelt (managing director UNIZO): "Within this partnership we especially want to support South African small and medium enterprises. Because they are, just like in Flanders, the basis of a healthy and sustainable economy."

The South African economy has a big problem. It has too many workers and too few jobs. The active population is growing faster than employment can be created, which has resulted in a high unemployment rate. According to the United Nations about 26 % of the workforce is unemployed and 26,2 % of South Africans live on less than 1,25 $ a day.

Government and big companies cannot solve this problem on their own. If South Africa wants to find a durable solution, SME's have to be involved. South African SME's currently contribute 36% to gross domestic product and represent 56 % of private sector employment. However, South Africa has one of the highest business failure rates in the world, and so assistance is needed for most new companies to overcome the growth trap.

Trias and UNIZO want to help address this problem. They are doing so by supporting and strengthening the these largest South African Chambers of Commerce. Assistance is provided to improve the efficiency of these organizations, to diversify their services and to strengthen their advocacy initiatives. This is a sustainable solution to create a more favorable business climate that benefits entrepreneurs running small and medium enterprises. Karel Van Eetvelt: "By organizing themselves entrepreneurs are much stronger to surmount obstacles. Moreover, during our partnership we will pay special attention to create opportunities for youngsters and women."

On October 23rd, Trias, UNIZO and the three South African Chambers of Commerce will sign a framework agreement that consolidates their ambitions. The event will take place in Johannesburg, in the presence of Princess Astrid and Belgian economic delegation .

Trias Belgium:
Goele Geeraert, communication officer,, +32 (0)485182651

Trias South-Africa:
Stephen Miller, Country Director Trias South Africa, , +27 (0)797721793

Belgian Economic Mission Angola and South Africa: UNIZO and Trias Persbericht en document enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.