Be­friend the Trend:

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT - THERE IS A GROW­ING

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

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