The State of South African Small Business 2024

A snapshot of the opportunities and challenges facing small businesses, as well as trends in technology adoption and preparing for the future.

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Small businesses are growing and remain optimistic

Despite challenging conditions, small businesses remain positive. Technology is helping them access new markets, boost profits and streamline operations. 27% said technology has been the most significant factor in helping their business survive, and 41% go to their accountants for business advice.

Sheryl Ozinsky, Oranjezicht City Farm Market

Key insights from the report

Growth is driving optimism

73% say their business has grown in the last year and 87% are optimistic about their personal business outlook

Many are using digital tools

68% are using cloud-based technology in their business, and 75% consider their staff to be “tech-savvy”

Accountants key to success

83% of small businesses say their accountant has been crucial in helping their business stay afloat

Small businesses are seeing the benefits of technology

Embracing the cloud

62% use cloud accounting software to manage their finances, up 23% on last year. 19% use spreadsheets or paper

Boosting productivity

70% say cloud tech makes it easy to collaborate with their team and 62% say it’s improved business operations

Improving the bottom line

Over the last 12 months, 37% said adopting new technology has helped increase business profits

Accounting is not where my strength lies but I’m acutely aware that it’s an important part of business that helps turn my passion into profit. We have great accounting partners who understand the challenges of working with creatives

Adrian Heneke, Founder of BillyNOW

Photo of Adrian Heneke

72% of accounting firms have grown over the past year, partly due to more use of cloud software and acquiring clients. Innovation and investment in new tech is redefining their role, and 58% of small businesses believe their accountant will act as a consultant in future.

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