1. AFRIKAANSE HANDELSINSTITUUT (AHi)The AHi, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1942 by a few visionaries in big business who realized the need for an organization, outside the sphere of politics, to support business development and economic growth.The organization changed its name to the SBI (Small Business Institute) in 2017. Its primary objective is to promote the economic and business interests of its members by influencing the regulatory environment in which its members conduct their business. They provide fact-based evidence through research, thus being the Big Voice of Small Businesses.The SACBW has a beneficial history with the AHi since it was first affiliated in 1989. Our founder, Mrs. Rika Venter, received an Honorary Membership of the AHi in 1996 for her role as an excellent business leader. She also received a special award in 2013 from AHi for her vision and contribution to the founding and growth of the Council. The Late Dr. Annique Theron, also a former President of the SACBW, was awarded the prestigious Dr. M.S. Louw Award posthumous by the AHI in 2015 as a business leader who has made an exceptional contribution to the South African business environment and economy.
      1. The SACBW formalised the collaboration in 2014 with the signing of an agreement. The Job Club, in collaboration with the SACBW,  submitted a proposal to the AHi and subsequently received funding for the development of entrepreneurs. About one hundred primary school learners went on a camp for a weekend. This resulted in some of the learners entering a competition to market their products, made from recycled materials, at the Irene Market. Here are a few photos: Hester du Bruyn and Elise Coetser with The Bli(n)kidees team that won and learners with Lynette Beer at the camp.

  1. SMALL BUSINESS INSTITUTE (SBI) The Big Voice for Small Business

    Winda Austin-Loeve, also a former President of the SACBW, is the current President of SBI, a position she has held for a number of years. She is still playing an active role to promote the role of women in the business arena.The vision of the SBI is to positively influence the business environment for SMEs in South Africa. Small and medium-size enterprises create jobs and power economies. They promote a free-market approach to growing SMEs, creating jobs, and providing ethical leadership.  They envision a country where small- and medium-sized businesses are supported by a thoughtful, evidence-based policy that delimits obstacles to their success and sustainability.  The SBI also works with the private sector to eliminate structural obstacles to competition, access to markets, and effective entry into supply chains.SBI advocates for policymakers and big businesses to ‘think small first.’ They lobby for the government to consider and support the sustainability of SMEs in legislation, regulation and procurement policies. Their campaigns include big businesses where SME-supportive supply chain management and payment terms contribute to a thriving sector.

What is the value of this membership for the SACBW members?

The SACBW is an affiliate member of SBI and our President is part of the Business Chamber Discussion Group as well as the National Council of Regions. These platforms aim to be:

          • The voice and represent women in business in South Africa.
          • Rise issues pertaining to women in business who need support.
          • Give input into regulatory and procurement policies.
          • Receive verified information and opportunities from SBI that can be distributed to our members.

The new structure of the SACBW on national, regional & local level also gives our branches the opportunity to collaborate with other business chambers in their area. We all have a common goal – to grow business in South Africa!


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