Befriend the Trend:
trend among corporates to invest significant time and resources developing the small businesses that supply into their corporate supply chains.
This was identified by procurement experts from Massmart, Standard Bank and Anglo Platinum, which joined a Finweek/ Aurik BizAccelerators engagement session on 18 March in Sandton.
The session, moderated by small business development expert Pavlo Phitidis from business acceleration firm Aurik, saw 20 entrepreneurs – 10 selected as part of the BizAccelerators initiative in 2012 – engage with high-level decision makers who are aggressively trying to get small businesses contributing to their supply chain.
One of the common themes identified by all the panellists is that corporates in South Africa are spending a lot more time, energy and money nurturing suppliers rather than simply being mer- cenary and looking to squeeze blood from cash-strapped entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs need to develop empathy for big business and big business needs empathy for entrepreneurs,” says Phitidis.
“We love round-table meetings like this because you become the eyes and ears for Massmart when it comes to new suppliers,” said Noel van der Berg from Massbuild.
Cliff Kay, also representing Massbuild, identified the paint sector as one that was crying out for new black suppliers to come in from a manufacturing and supply perspective. “It is a real pain for us at the moment,” he told delegates.
One of the burning issues in the session concerned the black economic empowerment (BEE) scorecards that corporates were relying on to make procurement decisions. Clive Govender from Anglo American Platinum said there were actually two key issues to be considered when