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This book is aimed at the small business sector in South Africa and focuses on its unique problems. In this country, “small business” refers to small, very small and micro-enterprises with 50 or fewer employees, while in Europe and the United States the term applies to firms with a staff of 100 to 500. For this reason, most textbooks on the subject from these countries do not address small businesses in the South African context. In addition, this book recognises that most micro-enterprises in the previously disadvantaged communities of South Africa are family owned and operate within the informal sector.

Despite the fact that the small business sector comprises the bulk of enterprises in South Africa (and, in fact, in all economies of the world) and makes a considerable contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), small enterprises are not given significant coverage in the financial section of the daily newspapers. Some carry an article from time to time, but this is not nearly sufficient to create more awareness of the importance of this sector, which is a core intention of this book.

Small business management describes the features of the small business venture that differentiate it from large business enterprises, and assists the small business owner in facing a number of challenges, for instance

  • multitasking
  • limited resources
  • sustainability
  • time management.

The book has been divided into several parts, which offer the small business owner valuable guidance on the following:

  • An understanding of small businesses in South Africa and the challenges faced by the small business owner, as well as how to manage a micro business and a family business
  • The major functions in a business with a particular focus on marketing, finance, human resources, information and operations
  • Growth, failure, risks and harvesting
  • How and where to go for assistance

There is also a section on uniquely South African case studies.

The editor, Gideon Nieman, is professor and Head of the Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria. He teaches entrepreneurship and small business management at graduate and undergraduate level, and is co-owner of a small business. He is the author, editor and co-editor of a number of academic books.

The contributors are academics from a number of tertiary institutions in South Africa.

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