Ninety percent of global Small and Micro Enterprise (SMEs) business and more than fifty percent of all employment happens in the informal economy.

Often dismissed by the establishment due to its fluid and amorphous nature, it is clear that as South Africa and the continent battles high unemployment, especially youth unemployment, there is a huge opportunity for state and private sector support and investment into this sector.

Harnessing the energy that drives this thriving sector is a far more appropriate response than whipping it with punitive law enforcement. One of the best ways to begin would be to support the design of appropriate social security systems to enable enterprise owners and workers in the informal economy to build up financial security for the futures of themselves, their businesses and their families. Building social security builds Decent Work and better societies worldwide.

Read the article by Isobel Frye