Almost half, or 49%, of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business owners who responded to the Fourth Quarter 2023 SME Confidence Index by specialist SME financier Business Partners said they were concerned that the imminent risk of economic turbulence and protest action during the election season would impact their operations. While the SME owners said the social climate ahead of the May elections was cause for concern, about 33% of the respondents said the elections would bring about much-needed change, said Business Partners impact investing executive GM David Morobe.