Cyril Ramaphosa’s outfit Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) unveiled a new enterprise and supplier development portal yesterday which promises to propel broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE).
Titled the Shanduka Blackpages, the initiative represents the maturing of a three years old vehicle designed to link emerging black enterprises with mainstream economic players. Shanduka Blackpages began three years ago as an annual printed directory of black owned businesses.
SBU characterizes the initiative as an innovative online platform linking procurement managers to 100% black owned companies. “It is a fast, cost effective and reliable solution for companies that want to bring black businesses into their supply chains. It also provides opportunities for small businesses to develop themselves through online
Ramaphosa said: “This portal speaks to many of the needs of emerging black businesses. It provides access to markets, training and development opportunities, and discounted services. It is also the perfect solution for established companies seeking to broaden their supplier base and contribute to meaningful economic transformation.”
SBU said Shanduka Blackpages members will have access to the following offerings:
• Procurement: An online procurement portal in partnership with Supply Chain Network and in association with Absa Bank provides powerful technology to connect small and big businesses. Buyers benefit from supplier search tools and filters, automated document management, access to verified company profiles, and reduced tender advertising costs. Suppliers get access to markets, an easy-to-maintain online company profile, a BBBEE self-assessment tool, and access to a national tender bulletin.
• Training: Essential online business training courses are available, covering BEE requirements, financing decisions, tax, HR, legal compliance and financial management.
• Enterprise Development: Through an enterprise development portal larger companies can select enterprise development beneficiaries from the Blackpages member database and access tools to assist them in developing these businesses online.
• Discounted Products and Services: Members can access discounted products and services, including a discounted BEE EME certificate offering from Empowerdex which includes free accounting and legal software from Sage Pastel.
SBU added that Shanduka Blackpages members can take up either basic or premium membership. Basic membership is free, while premium membership is available for R99 a month plus Vat. Premium members receive additional benefits, such as being able to view detailed information about tender opportunities and accessing various products and services at competitive rates. In time, they will also have access to finance service providers.