Worldwide, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are seen because the backbone of a thriving financial system. They make up a considerable portion of the full variety of firms and are estimated to contribute over 87% of all jobs globally.
A latest World Economic Forum report confirmed that main disruptions have an effect on the worth chain of SMEs considerably greater than they have an effect on bigger enterprises. Disruptions, resembling COVID-19 and geo-political tensions, typically result in failure amongst these companies.
In South Africa, an instance of a big threat to SMEs is the acute scarcity of energy. Energy outages imply that they will’t function. No manufacturing or commerce is feasible, and stock is broken. The enterprises can’t plan and execute their operations successfully, or meet the calls for of their prospects. They will lose income and prospects.
South Africa’s acute power shortages are prone to go on for a while. However we consider that the idea of the sharing economy holds promise to minimise disruptions.
The idea relies on sharing and collaborating by digital platforms inside a group with comparable traits. In our view, primarily based on the work from our doctoral analysis specialising within the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises, we argue that small and medium enterprises may use platforms like this to minimise the antagonistic results of the continued energy cuts.
For instance, they may share vitality technology infrastructure resembling cell battery storage items, moveable turbines and photo voltaic panels.
As well as, by sharing sources and gear, SMEs may scale back operational prices and enhance their resilience within the face of energy cuts. The sharing financial system may additionally assist them join with different companies of their group, creating new alternatives for collaboration and partnerships.
The place it’s labored
There are examples of this strategy working elsewhere.
SonnenCommunity is a sharing financial system platform that permits owners with a battery-based vitality storage system to share their extra vitality with group members. It’s utilized in a number of nations, together with Germany, Australia, the US, Italy and the UK.
Members of this group are related by a digital platform that allows vitality commerce and communication between members.
One other instance is Gridmate. This can be a peer-to-peer energy-sharing platform permitting individuals to donate vitality to these in want.
Within the South African context vitality technology infrastructure could possibly be shared amongst group members with totally different scheduled energy cuts. This might embrace moveable turbines and cell battery storage items.
Nonetheless, for the system to work, communities establishing this association should be in shut proximity to at least one one other. It’s because the scheduled energy cuts – often called load shedding – are usually arrange in a manner that one zone can have energy, whereas one other has its energy lower.
For this concept to work, the zones or load shedding blocks with complementary energy outage schedules ought to be in shut proximity to one another.
The entire course of is powered by digital platforms that facilitate sharing. For instance, a digital platform could possibly be arrange by native enterprise boards the place there could possibly be shared buying, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and promotion of collective consumption.
Potential of the sharing financial system in SMEs
Energy outages are having a ripple effect on the economy. They’re inflicting delays within the supply of products and companies, affecting shopper confidence, and in the end resulting in a decline in economic growth.
For some small and medium enterprises, load shedding is a life-and-death problem. The sharing financial system would permit them to proceed making a dwelling.
That is notably true for companies working in deprived communities. These typically face further challenges in accessing vitality as a result of location, restricted infrastructure, monetary constraints and different elements. A extra inexpensive and equitable vitality system would permit companies to share sources and infrastructure.
Ofentse Olunloyo, Doctoral Candidate specialising within the Digital Transformation of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (by the Sharing Economic system) and Tankiso Moloi, Full Professor and Director: Tutorial on the Johannesburg Enterprise College of College of Johannesburg
This text is republished from The Conversation. Learn the original article.
Leave a Reply