Italy presents an opportunity for SA small businesses

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Titi Nxumalo

The South African Consul General to Milan, Italy, Titi Nxumalo says Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises stand a better chance of penetrating the Italian market given the right platform to present their products. Titi was speaking at the Cosmoprof Worldwide exhibition currently taking place in Bologna, Italy.According to Nxumalo, the Italian small and family-oriented business model may benefit South African entrepreneurs. Their focus and strategy is to expand their products in Italy and the rest of Europe. She said small businesses generally do well as compared to multi-nationals in Italy.

“I would not say whether there is a demand or not for South African health and beauty products here in Italy, but we rather bring our products and test the market when the right platforms are presented to us. Also, agro-processing products like rooibos and wines that we are continuously supporting and promoting as a mission have been in demand in Italy due to the rooibos health benefits and the reputation South African wines have all over the world,” said Nxumalo.

Nxumalo is optimistic that the same can be done to the cosmetics industry given that President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed government to focus on increasing exports of manufactured local goods.

“There is a lot that we can showcase as South Africa in Europe. We just need to support and encourage entrepreneurs back home to also invest their resources in foreign markets.  Now it is the right time to show the world that there is so much more they can derive from South Africa and the rest of the continent,” added Nxumalo.

Cosmoprof Worldwide is a trade fair for the beauty industry. It is intended for beauticians, hairdressers, owners of nail salons, beauty salons, shops for natural products and perfume.

Participation of South African companies at the Cosmoprof Worldwide exhibition had been made possible by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme, which aimed to increase exports of South African manufactured products to Italy and beyond.