AYO, Loot and Volt.Africa join forces to create online marketplace for SMMEs |
Innovative partnership to assist SMMEs
THREE of South Africa’s digital forces yesterday announced an innovative partnership that is set to create an online marketplace to help small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) access the rapidly growing digital retail sector in Africa.
The triumvirate consists of ICT investment company AYO Technology Solutions through a subsidiary, together with South African online retail platform Loot.co.za and integrated digital services agency Volt. Africa.
In a joint statement, the companies said there was a desperate need to build the entrepreneurial baseline in South Africa to redress the shrinking economy.
“Going digital is one key solution that should be easy to implement, but it isn’t always so, as the entry cost for individuals and small businesses to create a presence, trade online and be successful, is a barrier to entry.
“Addressing this barrier to entry, and the lack of skilled resources SMMEs often have, AYO, Loot and Volt will now combine their significant skills, create efficiencies and opportunities, which will allow these businesses to have a one-stop-shop to penetrate the online retail market in the consumer sector.”
Loot chief executive Greg Le Roux said South Africa’s long-term economic growth would more than likely come from the entrepreneurial and SMME sector.
“With access to the right platforms, markets and tools, today’s small business could well be tomorrow’s superstore and we aim to be their economic architect of choice.”
While online marketplaces in South Africa currently represent only 2 to 3 percent, globally, figures showed that upwards of 17 percent of retail transactions were conducted online. Consequently, as connectivity continues to be rolled out across South Africa and the continent as a whole, it is expected there will be a correlation in the number of consumers and businesses in the region transitioning to buying and selling online.
Amazon and Alibaba currently generate 70 percent of their revenue from online marketplaces and not from B2C.
AYO chief executive Howard Plaatjes
said it made commercial sense for AYO and its associates to develop and implement an online marketplace aimed at growing SMMEs.
“It contributes not only to the companies’ own upward trajectory, but also enables sustainable contributions to the fiscus. It’s a win-win for all. We look forward to realising its potential.”
The new online marketplace will have a home on the Loot retail platform, from which qualifying businesses can showcase their products and services to a very broad and diverse consumer base.
The first phase of the marketplace will roll-out in conjunction with the Black Business Chamber (BBC).
HOWARD Plaatjes, chief executive of AYO; Greg le Roux, chief executive of e-commerce site Loot; Samantha Naidu, chief executive at Volt. Africa; and Kaya Cishe, BBC secretary-general.