Perceived barriers to long-term survival of start-up small, medium and micro enterprises in the ICT industry: a case of Vhembe District Municipality.
Dlamini, Sikhumbuzo Lennin.
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Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) contribute immensely to the economic development and addressing socio-economic challenges facing South Africa (SA). This study identifies barriers affecting the long-term survival of ICT SMMEs in the Vhembe District Municipality. The research seeks to understand the nature of the problems that ICT SMMEs encounter in their bid to survive. Paramount among the objectives of this study was the need to establish whether the resources are available for supporting the ICT SMMEs in Vhembe District Municipality were sufficient. To achieve its aims, the study adopted qualitative methods to source primary data from respondents. The study adopted the thematic data analysis method of analysing qualitative data and made use of the NVIVO software package to do this. It is evident from the findings that the factors that affect SMMEs' long-term survival are not peculiar to ICT SMMEs Vhembe District Municipality. The issue of funding was notable and accredited to the discontinuation of financial support from the municipality. Included in the resource challenge was the lack of infrastructure, such as office space. It was apparent from the findings that ICT SMMEs owners had strong network links that they could rely on; however, due to a lack of trust they were uncomfortable with sharing information with other stakeholders. Though IT SMMEs had been accepted by the communities they worked in, the presence of crime affected them immensely.