The SEDF project is a partnership between the provincial Departments of Economic Development in the Free State and KwaZulu Natal and the International Labour Organization, made possible through funding provided by the Flanders Government.

The core aim of the SEDF is to promote the development of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that can grow local economies and create decent work opportunities, particularly among youth and women. Through its programmes, the SEDF also encourages businesses to make the transition from informal business practices to formal business compliance.

The SEDF partners with industry, NGOs and the public sector to leverage innovative support approaches that achieve common developmental goals and objectives . We also believe these partnerships result in better technical cooperation around skills development and technology transfer, which will help to enhance the sustainability of the initiatives, as well as the businesses supported.

What is the SMME database?

The SMME database is a voluntary registration page for SMMEs that want to get recognition for implementing good business practices and a place where they can find out how to get support where they have business challenges. The Register allows SMMEs to see their progression from informal to more formalized business structures and how they can build stronger businesses by adopting more formal business practices. For example, getting recognition for good business practices will also give the business a greater chance of accessing finance. For example, very often, SMMEs find it more difficult to access finance because they are penalized for seasonal or fluctuating cash flows, which may negatively impact on their credit repayments. Ultimately, the aim is to establish an SMME Rating Agency that can provide SMMEs with a business risk score over and above the usual credit rating issued by credit rating agencies. Thus, the sooner you start building your profile, the more points you can accumulate in the future!

The SMME database will enable businesses to:
  • Build an SMME profile
  • Track good business practices and compliance with regulations
  • Earn credit for good business practices and compliance
  • Identify weaknesses, challenges and areas with significant red-tape
  • Request for online support and/or in person business advisory services (- anything from understanding how to be tax compliant to understanding the business registration process)
  • Access support from a business advisor in a specified geographic area, receive information on websites and resources (including free online e-learning modules)
  • Receive notifications for activities and events that are relevant to a business owner's development, particularly in the identified industry of the business

You can also help government to serve you better by helping them to understand the SMME landscape in their provinces. This helps government and SMME development agencies better allocate resources to help entrepreneurs more effectively and efficiently. In addition, SMMEs will be able to identify areas where Government can increase their efforts to reduce red tape. We invite you to register using the button to the right. If you need assistance with registering your business, please contact us on