Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Give small businesses tax breaks, says Alibaba’s Jack Ma

This advice comes at a time when governments are increasingly being criticised for stifling small businesses through regulation and a lack of clear policies.

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has used his first visit and public speaking engagement in South Africa to encourage governments in Africa to support small businesses in order to address the crippling challenge of unemployment.

“We can create jobs by encouraging small businesses and young people in the African continent,” said Ma on Wednesday at Wits University in Johannesburg.

In their support of small businesses or start-up companies, governments could create policies to grow businesses, including offering them tax breaks or “good tax conditions”, said Ma.

“Give good tax conditions to start-ups,” he said. “Big companies don’t need these. Let’s get policies for start-ups and young companies.”

Ma is in South Africa to launch a new programme for African entrepreneurs with $10 million (R134 million at the time of writing) in funding.

The programme, called the ‘Netpreneur Prize’, aims to support 100 young African entrepreneurs by giving them grants totalling $10 million by 2030.

The Jack Ma Foundation also plans to launch five training hubs in Africa where emerging entrepreneurs can learn about business, e-commerce, distribution and logistics. The foundation hasn’t announced the countries targeted for the training hubs.

Ma’s address was largely centred on governments creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurs on the African continent.

“Governments should encourage entrepreneurs. It’s the entrepreneur that will drive dreams in Africa. Small businesses create jobs. Dreams drive the economy.”

Ma’s speech came at a time when there are growing views that government policies and regulations are stunting the development and growth of small businesses.

Although the government in South Africa continues to acknowledge the potential of small businesses to boost the economy and making a dent in unemployment figures – standing at 27.2% in the second quarter — most businesses still complain about lack of financial and skills support from the government. Entrepreneurs also complain about the lack of clear entrepreneurship policies and an environment fraught with regulation.

Ma also encouraged governments to start having conversations with small businesses in order to understand their concerns as well as the challenges and opportunities they face.



To comment, you must be registered and logged in.


Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

The ANC will never let whites get away with tax breaks on small businesses

That’s why the small business arena in SA is broken

That’s why unemployment is bigger than ever

Hopefully these comment will not be wasted on our ruling party but then again they do give the impression they know everything there is to know about business.

The ALL political parties are only concerned with gathering votes.

Seems like the national development plan (NDP) has been shelved/forgotten. THE DA does not mention this NDP because its an supposedly ANC produced document. According to the National Development plan, the SME community is expected to provide 90% of new employment opportunities by 2030.

Bwahaha! The mind boggles at the ineptitude of the cadres.

look into the background of many of our politicians and there is a gogo or mother who was an informal trader that kept the home fire burning. get the politicians to talk to the informal traders and see what they need and draft laws accordingly

Our small business traders are township dwellers , who have no accessible market space to start trading or small scale manufacturing , because townships in SA were all planned in the apartheid era . The township planning provides for houses and maybe schools and public space , but zero spatial provision for open market space or shops or any productive activities . Where in SA can a poor entrepeneur start trading ? On a pavement in a big city maybe , but nowhere will he find a market place like in many other african countries , where affordable space is available close to where most people in a town live. We must change our thinking in SA , we have a historical disadvantage created by our town planning ideology of the apartheid era , and urgent steps must be taken to provide assistance to the small business entrepeneur , especially those in the townships .
Grass root development opportunities are required , on a big scale , and it can be done by creating affordable and accessible market space to young entrepeneurs . The move from a shack to a first world factory or shop is too big , and the young entrepeneur is forced to become an employee. Creative planning and thinking is required to bridge the gap in our society , in order to make it possible for those with talent to find assistance and opportunity to move up the ladder and succeed at the highest level …but we must start at the bottom , and not from the top down .

Don’t agree, “Where in SA can a poor entrepreneur start trading?” the answer is any ware, that’s is what an “entrepreneur” do, so easily to start the “blame game” excuse, why find affordable space, with the extra burden of rent, utilities ext. I’m an entrepreneur, I hustle and make opportunities, I don’t have a shop with ridiculous overheads.

I sell on line, and to local business, I use a free website from WIX with social media. I create some my products from recyclables, Glass bottles, soda cans, and newspapers, with great profit margins, as my products are unique and handmade. I work full time and side hustle to pay for my child’s university, don’t get anything for free.

Those with talent do find ways and opportunities, and if there is not a opportunity we create one. The I “demand” and “free” culture is the problem, it’s so easy to “blame”,”demand” and feel sorry, opportunities are every-ware, people are just to lazy, to educate and think for themselves, always waiting for someone else.

When Trump says (and did) this, he was attacked. It is a FACT that lower taxes spurs prosperity in the economy. BUT that would mean the government needs to cut AND THEY DON’T LIKE THAT !! Novices, that’s what these South African politicians are! They are on the job trainee’s and it’s costing this country its’ economy.

So true. This is one of the finest businessman in the world giving advice. We should take it. He created a business in China of all places…and a real business. Deserves all his wealth . Unlike a BEE opportunist now playing president and worrying about what colour marble tiles Stefan Antoni Architects will put in his R200m Top road Bantry Bay Home while the country burns, doesn’t grow with bust SOEs, EWV, land grabs etc. What business did CR create..only his own balance sheet.

Different values I guess.

In SA a start up has to register for income tax, PAYE, unit, compensation fund, get a letter of good standing, Vat. All the time you are running a business alone! Where on earth do you get time to deal with all these regulatory requirements? The only thing the ANc is getting right is tax collection and in the process they are stifling everything else.

Look how quickly they restored the functioning of SARS but municipalities and SoE have been falling apart for 24yrs with no end in sight…why taxes fund cadre’s lifestyle

Load All 13 Comments
End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: