Thursday, 30 August, 2012
The Impact Trust is delighted to announce the start of key research into the design of an optimal regulatory and policy frameworks for social businesses and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa. Funded by the British High Commission and conducted in consultation with National Treasury and the South African Revenue Services (SARS), it will culminate in a White Paper for presentation to Parliament. The White Paper will detail an alternative corporate form and/or policy regulatory framework to encourage both the creation of and the investment into SMEs and social businesses.
The ultimate objective of the White Paper will be to stimulate economic growth and development by facilitating the establishment and financing of SMEs and high impact social businesses in South Africa.
The British High Commission’s grant funding aligns with the United Kingdom’s pioneering position in furthering the application and flow of social finance, including its development of the first worldwide wholesale social finance agency, Big Society Capital, its creation of the first “social impact bond” and its use of innovative policy and legal structures, such as the Community Interest Company (CIC) and the Social Enterprise LLP.
The British High Commission’s Prosperity Fund finances projects linked to South Africa’s growth agenda, improving its business environment, fostering a progressive, developmental South African voice in the G20, BRICS and WTO, encouraging South Africa to champion African free trade and embedding South Africa’s low carbon transition on a sustainable development path.
The Impact Trust’s Managing Trustee, Tamzin Ractliffe said:
“For the South African business environment to provide a climate in which SMEs and high impact entities can successfully operate and attract the right kind of investment capital, the specific factors that constrain SME growth need to be addressed. Based on broad research and stakeholder engagement over the past three years and a detailed analysis of SME investment in South Africa in 2011, we believe that an enabling policy framework and/or legal and regulatory structure to specifically identify and reward high-impact investment opportunities that offer both financial and social return would open up access to a much broader range of investment sources”.