Nonprofit organisation Covid-19 Business Rescue Assistance (Cobra) is integrating with business organisation Business Unity South Africa‘s (Busa’s) SAtion ecosystem. Cobra expects its work with SAtion to help hundreds of businesses to take advantage of the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
“We know that the small, medium-sized and microenterprise (SMME) sector should be the powerhouse of our economy, and we need to be doing all we can to ensure SMMEs benefit from the efficiencies and opportunities in the digital economy,” says Cobra COO Bob Grewar.
“Cobra’s partners bring big business skills to SMME needs and we’ve done this with tremendous success during the most challenging lockdown days. Now that things are starting to look up, we are determined to help every possible business to press go for growth,” he adds.
SAtion was established as a shared value and nonprofit ecosystem of businesses, government, labour and civil society representatives to lead South Africa through the 4IR. SAtion brings focus to the digitaliSAtion workstream in the President’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to ensure rapid implementation, outcomes and impact.
SAtion continues to engage with pivotal local and international stakeholders to accelerate the growth of the digital economy in South Africa, says SAtion programme lead Justine Grimmer.
“The collective know-how and extensive partner network within the Cobra ecosystem is second to none. Its collaboration of enterprises is united to use business as a force for good by assisting other companies to thrive in a challenging economy, to safeguard livelihoods, and ultimately improve the social wellbeing of all South Africans.
“Now, as part of SAtion, our quest to bust digital barriers and connect SMMEs and entrepreneurs to the best brains in the country is zooming ahead. The SAtion team has several exciting developments currently underway, and looks forward to communicating these as soon as they have been finalised,” she comments.
Cobra was established as a social enterprise and shared value ecosystem during March 2020 to ensure SMME businesses impacted by lockdown were able to receive the support and funding they needed to keep their doors open.
The Cobra ecosystem has handled 570 requests from enterprises seeking assistance and has saved thousands of jobs in the process.
These enterprises are not only resilient but are poised to enter a new era of growth as businesses expand through digitalisation, the organisation says.
Cobra’s assistance includes restructuring, refinancing, accessing unemployment insurance for staff, pivoting core offerings, moving onto digital platforms, business rescue, and corporate turnaround. Seventy per cent of businesses assisted were SMMEs with fewer than ten employees.
The organisation also provided crisis support to businesses caught up in the insurgency protests of July 2021.
EDITED BY: CHANEL DE BRUYN
CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR DEPUTY EDITOR ONLINE
Source: Engineering News