Enterprise and supplier development key to SMMEs survival


Leading business incubator Raizcorp has called on big corporates to use their enterprise and supplier development (ESD) budgets to rejuvenate the South African small business sector gripped by COVID-19.

Raizcorp’s head of sales, Dylan Baxter, said giving small businesses the opportunity to become part of larger companies’ supply chains will help the sector to recover from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

He added that doing so will also help big businesses meet their B-BBEE targets during an economic downturn.

“Every sector of the economy has been impacted by the pandemic. But, right now, there’s a real opportunity for businesses to take a long-term view, both in helping the economy get back on its feet and in achieving their own ESD objectives and supply chain initiatives,” said Baxter.

“A good starting point for big corporations is to look at which goods and services can be outsourced immediately to SMMEs with little risk to the business, for example, cleaning, courier, maintenance, security and even software development.”

Chemicals and energy giant Sasol has recently opened SMMEs in the manufacturing, engineering services and recyclables sectors to join the Sasol Business Accelerator (SBA) programme.

The company is looking for enterprises based in Sasolburg and surrounding areas, notably Metsimaholo, Ngwate and Emfuleni municipalities.

“The key intention of the programme is to help grow these businesses into significant entities that can provide quality services to compete for opportunities within Sasol’s supply chain as well as that of other companies,” said Sasol Enterprise and Supplier Manager Ofentse Tiro.

A recent survey by Statistics South Africa showed that 90% of responding businesses’ reported a decline in turnover by the end of April.

The following industries experienced a rise in the percentage of firms reporting lower turnover: electricity, gas and water supply; mining; community, social and personal services; trade; transport, storage and communication; and manufacturing.

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