Small Business Connect, a free newspaper and website launched by the Department of Trade and Industry on Tuesday, aims to provide South African entrepreneurs with the information they need to succeed in their ventures.
The first edition of the 20-page publication covers issues such as how to register a business as well as advice for those wanting to start their own business, and includes a business support service directory as well as information on policy issues.
The newspaper, published monthly, will be distributed free of charge nationwide. Small Business Connect can also be accessed online via www.smallbusinessconnect.co.za, www.facebook.com/SASBconnect or www.twitter.com/SASBconnect.
"We have got a big knowledge gap," Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the launch of the publication on Tuesday.
"The newspaper fits in with the overall thrust of this administration in supporting small businesses. It is an information exercise about what you need to do to start a small business, where one can go for mentorship opportunities."
Davies pointed out that issues specific to the small business industry are not always covered in the commercial media.
Statistics indicate that, for every seven small businesses established each year, only two will be operational a year down the line.
"This tells us that small business requires commitment, effort and involvement," Davies said.
The newspaper's print run is of 30 000 copies a month, which will be distributed via 200 points around the country, including at provincial government departments.
It is published for the Department of Trade and Industry by SA Business Owner and Co cc, under a 24-month partnership.