Brighter futures for Africa's small suppliers (part 1)

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KeaobakaMahuma.jpgBarclays Africa is finding that many multinational clients are thinking with a long-term perspective; they are looking to develop local suppliers to ensure sustainability and cheaper procurement in the future, says KeaObaka Mahuma, Head of Enterprise and Supplier Development at Barclays Africa, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

 

Enterprise development is about entrepreneurs. It is about the social impact successful entrepreneurs have on their families, communities and countries. Many people do not realise the importance of taking on an enterprise and developing it into a sustainable and profitable business or the ripple effect of this on the business, other people and job creation. It is quite astonishing, notes Mahuma

 

There has never been a better time to be a small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME). Gone are the days when big companies just wanted to make money at all costs. Corporates are now reflecting on what they are leaving behind; there is an increased appreciation of the value of good citizenship. Corporates are now partnering with SMMEs to diversify their supply-chain and are entering into new markets without necessarily investing in big infrastructure.


It is with this approach in mind that Barclays Africa launched its Enterprise Development division in South Africa in 2011. The division not only provides funding, but also includes banking services, non-financial support, training and advice. Almost four years later and the division’s mandate has become Pan-African. It currently operates in 13 African countries.


Initially many corporates started looking at enterprise development as a compliance requirement, because of broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) legislation. However, Barclays Africa soon realised that it was a strategic business imperative. Not only does it help create sustainable SMMEs, it also helps corporates meet legislative requirements for partnerships and suppliers.


Over the past four years Barclays Africa has trained 70 000 SMMEs and provided R1-billion in funding.
 

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