On Friday 21 September, The Franchise Association of SA and ProudlySA hosted a joint Supplier Development workshop positioning 23 empowered SMEs, whose products and services are at least 50% local, to SA’s top franchise brands.

We’ve been engaging with both organisations for a while now on bridging gaps and the need for a structured approach to supplier development and the capitalisation of SMEs.

For any business in South Africa looking to contribute to the economic growth of our country, this is powerful stuff. The caliber of vetted businesses is high, from industrialists like Kevali Chemicals manufacturing industrial chemicals to architectural business like St Nubian Architects.

This is important because it’s looking at promoting local content, creating jobs and tax revenue.

There was a 480% increase in imports over 2002 to 2006 and manufacturing as a contributor to GDP has fallen from 20% to 12% from 1994 to 2015. These are major indicators to the current economic challenges.

If you’re an SME (irrespective of BBBEE) looking for a strong partner who can provide you access to corporates – I’d suggest registering with ProudlySA and working with their dynamic team.

Our message at the event was clear, in order for SMEs to participate in supply chains and for them to execute on the potentially sizeable contracts from corporate or large private businesses, it’s important for procurement departments to understand the SME financial ecosystem and relevant financier mandates.

According to FinFind, there are over 450 SME-specific financial products, yet we have a massive funding gap.

A stakeholder approach is needed to better bring procurement, finance and SMEs into the growth agenda.

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