The annual Small Business Indaba is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small businesses operating across any of South Africa’s manufacturing industries. The Small Business Indaba 2018 will take place alongside the national Manufacturing Indaba at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

Partners from across the region are coming together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals and entrepreneurs, complete with nationally-recognised manufacturing experts, government policymakers and innovators to present SMMEs with unforgettable networking experiences, business support, cutting edge insights and partnerships to help take their operations to the next level.

Aligned to the Manufacturing Indaba – Africa’s premier manufacturing event – the Small Business Indaba is the only one day event of its kind that provides small & mid-sized businesses with unparalleled opportunities to grow their businesses. Leveraging on the success and partnership of the national Manufacturing Indaba, the Small Business Indaba will connect SMMEs to the big players in South Africa’s manufacturing industries and provide them with the platform to find new business and growth opportunities.

The Small Business Indaba offers world class education made specifically for small business owners and key decision makers. The content will be coupled with informative keynotes, interactive panels, one-on-one brainstorming and hands-on networking – everything that the young manufacturing entrepreneur needs to address their changing business landscapes. 

Global data shows that small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) play a critical role in boosting job creation, economic competitiveness in the global market and economic development. The South African government has identified the SMME sector as a key growth sector in the country’s manufacturing industries and a key sector in the fight against youth unemployment.

South Africa has developed an established, diversified manufacturing base that has shown its resilience and potential to compete in the global economy. The manufacturing sector presents an opportunity to significantly accelerate the country’s growth and development by focusing on small manufacturing operations.

More than a third of young South Africans in the labour force are unemployed. In every province, the unemployment rate among youth is more than double that of people over 35 years of age. If South Africa can effectively address youth unemployment by focusing on small to medium manufacturing operations, it will lift millions of South Africans out of poverty and place the economy on a trajectory of sustainable, inclusive growth.


The main objective of the Small Business Indaba is to provide small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) with the tools, networking opportunities and unparalleled platform to establish their businesses for success and grow their manufacturing operations to the next level of innovation and job creation.

The Small Business Indaba is committed to making SMME manufacturing businesses grow through the following aims:

  • To provide SMMEs with access to and networking opportunities with the nation’s leading manufacturing experts and government role players that create the economic environment for South Africa’s SMMEs

  • Assisting South Africa’s manufacturing sector to becoming the continent’s most small business-friendly in Africa

  • Opportunities for growth in the small business manufacturing environment and how can big manufacturers benefit from small business?

  • Facilitating SMMEs to find business certainty and security by adopting polices that help them to access productive labour, financing and the best technology for their success.

  • Creating a platform for small and medium manufacturing businesses to make their voices heard so that their inputs can be noted and used to change policies in line with supporting their growth and development.

  • Providing SMMEs with access and information on government manufacturing programmes that are relevant to them.

  • To create long-term growth and business opportunities for SMMEs through government and big business procurement.


Those invited to attend include any persons who are involved or interested in the ownership, procurement, trading, operations, financing or innovation of Small to Medium and Micro-enterprises across any manufacturing industries in Africa.