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New standards for incubation and business advising services are set to improve the quality of support to small businesses

Awareness of the 2020 adoption of standards for small business advising and consulting services, as well as new incubator and accelerator specifications, remains limited as the normal process of introducing new standards was severely hampered by the Covid-19 Pandemic. This is however changing as agencies such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the South African Bureau for Standards (SABS) have taken to using webinars and online engagements to focus on these new standards.

“The effect of the new standards is largely dependent on the adoption of these standards by the industry, but it has been slow going thus far,” says Malembe Mtsweni, Manager: Conformity Assessment & Training at SEDA. Mtsweni is one of the panelists on the upcoming episode of the SEDA, IBASA & EPI Business Support Practitioner Webinar Series.

“We at SEDA are working with the SABS and other stakeholders like the Department of Small Business Development in promoting the use of the standards across the small business support industry, from incubators to provision of individual services,” he says.

The problem, says Mtsweni, is that people mean different things when they refer to services intended for supporting small business clients. For instance, clients of incubators can not predict what they will get when signing up for an incubator as there are so many different understandings of what services are provided.”

The benefit of applying the standards to the small business support industry goes beyond the predictability of service quality for small businesses, says another panelist on the upcoming webinar, Dr Andre du Preez, who is founder of Cyquapro and past Managing Director of the Institute of Business Advisors (IBASA).

“Quality output is what sets those who are complying to industry standards apart from other service providers,” says Du Preez.

“Practitioners who comply with the standards will have a competitive advantage above others who do not,” he says.


“Understanding the new business support & incubation standards”
with Malembe Mtsweni and Andre du Preez

Thursday 16 September 2021 at 11h30


In 2020 the SABS adopted a new standard applied to the small business support industry for “management consulting service providers” (ISO 20700) and simultaneously new standards were adopted for “incubator and accelerator specifications” (SATS 2234).

Attendees of the webinar will be able to apply to receive for free one of each of the standards per organisation from a limited number of copies to be mailed to the first respondents.

They will also learn about the steps practitioners and small business support organisations such as incubators have to take to meet the requirements of the standards.

  • Attend to be able to apply to receive a free copy of each of the standards.
  • Christoff Oosthuysen is the webinar host, Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI) and General Partner at Seed South Capital.


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