THE deadline for entries for the Africa Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMME)’s Awards has been extended to July 31, following enormous interest from other African nations.
Jako Volschenk, coordinator of the project, said SMMEs from as far as Tunisia, Ethiopia and Mali were asking if they could still enter.
“Owing to the distances involved, these SMMEs are afraid that their entries will not reach us on time,” he said.
He said half of the entries received came from the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region, adding: “As expected, most entries are from South Africa. The biggest surprise, though, is the overwhelming response from East Africa, which has produced more than a quarter of the entries thus far.”
Volschenk said he hoped for at least 100 entries.
He said the entries from the northern, western and central African regions had not nearly reached the levels he expected.
“The interest from North Africa in particular is disappointing, but we are trying to rectify the situation through interventions by various partner-organisations and direct marketing,” he said.
“The extended deadline should give most small businesses that still want to enter ample time to prepare their entries.”