Absa promotes enterprise development in expo

Absa Group, in collaboration with Supply Chain Network and Smart Procurement World, are hosting the inaugural Enterprise Development Expo 2012 in South Africa that aims at creating a significant platform for procurement, sourcing and supply management for small and medium sized enterprises.

The Enterprise Development Expo which has a conference and workshops running alongside is from 13 November to 15 November 2012 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

The event sees the public and private sector showcasing over 400 of their leading black owned suppliers. The conference also comes at an opportune time as government calls for the amendment of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act and the Codes of Good Practice which also need to be revised to encourage symbiosis between large and small companies.

“One of the key ways in which growth and development is also achieved is by providing SMEs with access to new markets,” says Absa Head for Enterprise Development Sisa Ntshona.

Ntshona, who spoke at the opening, on business linkages as a strategy for developing SMEs at the conference, said the Expo will afford highly rated black owned SMEs with an excellent opportunity to be discovered by other big business attending the event. In addition to this, big business will also have the opportunity to position themselves as a leader in sustainable enterprise development.

“Exhibiting SMEs will enjoy facilitated meetings with procurement managers and buyers. They will also have the opportunity to show-case their products and services to other large corporate,” he says.

The Expo is being hosted during the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW. Ntshona says developing the culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa will result in growth of new businesses and many jobs would be created. This will help to move away from the notion that only existing companies will continue creating jobs for people.

“The recently launched Absa SME Index shows that while only about 270 000 out of the more than 1,9 million businesses employ five or more employees other than the owner, only 10% of those businesses employ more than 50 employees and that is less than 4% of all employees.

“While it may be easy to say we need more businesses to employ more people, unfortunately there has been a consolidation of businesses (mergers, and partnerships) while others have been forced with no alternative but to close down  due to high costs and economic pressures.”

Ntshona says it is through entrepreneurship that this country will create the much needed 5 million jobs by 2020. In every growing economy around the world, he says, SMEs are the engine room of job creation.

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