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Melanie Gopaul ORCID logo, Leanne Manley ORCID logo


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in the economies of countries throughout the world. They contribute to the creation of jobs, economic upliftment as well as the gross domestic product (GDP). It is of great concern however to note that the majority of SMEs fail within their first few years of operation which could be due to many factors such as management skills, finance, access to markets and appropriate technology. With the National Development Plan’s objective to create 11 million jobs by 2030, it is crucial that the government provides assistance needed by SMEs to achieve this goal. Although government assistance may be evident, SMEs and their perceptions regarding this assistance is unclear. The purpose of this paper was therefore to investigate the perception of SME owners of the various government assistance and initiatives that are offered to them. The authors feel that the findings will be universally applicable to SMEs in most countries. The study followed a quantitative research approach, whereby a self-administered online questionnaire was used to collect primary data. The results indicate that SMEs feel that local government and municipalities are not doing enough to support and assist them.

Keywords: SME, Development, Government Initiative, Finance, Skills, Regulation, Marketing, South Africa

How to cite this paper: Gopaul, M., & Manley, L. L. (2015). SME perception of government assistance within South Africa. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(4-2), 306-314.