The agency was appointed a permanent member of the ISBC and its CEO, Hlonela Lupuwana, was named ISBC Vice-President for Africa. Lupuwana is the first incumbent of this newly created position.
It was the first time the congress was held on African soil since inception 37 years ago. ISBC brings together policymakers, small business support agencies, entrepreneurs, business organisations, academia, financial institutions, international development agencies and various other stakeholders to discuss issues pertinent to the promotion of entrepreneurship and small business worldwide.
Since the first congress, held in Hawaii in 1974, the ISBC has hosted 36 annual congresses in different parts of the world, enabling entrepreneurship and small business promoters to gain exposure to different contexts, thereby enriching their own practice in their home countries.
Accepting Seda’s appointment to the ISBC steering committee and her own appointment, Lupuwana said they were in recognition of Seda’s contribution to small enterprise development in South Africa and the continent.
She said that Seda would use its new role to promote the interests of African small enterprises in the global economy.
“We will work with our partners in the rest of the world to promote fair and equitable trade for small enterprises all over the world, and especially in Africa. Small enterprises need a fair opportunity to trade, and we will advocate for this through the ISBC,” she said.
Themed "fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide", Lupuwana said the theme was perfectly aligned to current global economic shifts – offering Africa opportunities for economic transformation and resilient patterns of economic growth – as long as the region can enter higher value-added areas of trade.