AYO, Loot and Volt.Africa join forces to cre­ate on­line mar­ket­place for SMMEs |

In­no­va­tive part­ner­ship to as­sist SMMEs

Pretoria News - - BUSINESS REPORT - SIZWE DLAMINI sizwe.dlamini@inl.co.za

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).

| AR­MAND HOUGH African News Agency (ANA)

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.

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