Best practice management principles for business chambers to facilitate economic development: evidence from South Africa
Meyer, Daniel Francois
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Local economic development (LED) is seen as one of the prominent and emerging tools in the facilitation of development of on a local and regional level. On the local level, the partners in LED are government, business and communities. Business chambers are the core representative of local businesses and have to play an important role in the coordination of local economies. The primary objective of this study was to identify best practice management principles for business chambers to facilitate economic development. Three local business chambers from the Vaal Triangle region in South Africa were interviewed to gain an in-depth view on the roles and function of a business chamber. The results emanated in one main overall function namely the facilitation of the development of a local region and four secondary roles flowing from the main function. These roles include coordination and leadership, promotion and marketing, provision of information and business training and support. The result of the research is that economic development in a specific region is dependent on facilitation and coordination by local business chambers. In order to achieve this business chambers must be well managed and have the best interest of the local community as its primary goal.