More than half of the owners of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) surveyed by Ipsos were uncertain about the sustainability of their businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on business profitability was significant, with 63% of SMMEs revealing that they were performing "Not Well" or "Not Very Well" after lockdown.
The upcoming 2021 Absa Smart Supplier Conference is geared towards helping small business owners and entrepreneurs to put the challenges of the past 18 months behind them. It will equip them with the skills, knowledge and connections needed to move forward with confidence, and to grow their businesses and contribute to South Africa’s economic success, the organisers have announced.
“Do not miss this opportunity to reinvent your business and empower yourself to succeed in the midst of adversity,” says Kgalaletso Tlhoaele, Head: Enterprise Development, Absa. “Make time to engage industry leaders on how to participate in the biggest economic opportunity in SA – the corporate supply chain.”
The one-day Absa Smart Supplier Conference will take place online on 10 November 2021. Now in its 6th year, this premier annual event is organised by Smart Procurement World. In addition to giving small businesses invaluable technical support to drive their success and competitiveness, it provides them with enhanced access to the market through buyer-meet-seller platforms.
“SMMEs in South Africa still struggle to access markets and get sustainable contracts. At this conference, senior buyers will talk through the various processes that are essential for SMMEs to access their markets. This conference aims to boost supplier performance, preparing corporate ready suppliers to be smart suppliers,” expands Smart Procurement chief operating officer Debbie Tagg. “There is no doubt that small business owners and entrepreneurs have navigated one of the toughest times for any business over the last 18 months. The Annual Smart Supplier Conference sponsored by Absa will deliver sessions and talks that are practical, relevant and helpful.”
The 2021 Absa Smart Supplier Conference will feature a dedicated “SMME Clinic”, where delegates will have the opportunity to engage with experts in one-on-one question and answer sessions. This is offered in partnership with the Clinic with Purpose.
The compelling presentations on the programme include the opening keynote by Absa’s Kgaleletso Tlhoaele who will examine how South African SMEs can survive and thrive in the current environment. “The Pillars of Procurement for Small Businesses” is the title of the keynote presentation by Anastasia Machobane, contract compliance expert and Group Chief Executive Officer at Machobane.
A panel discussion entitled “Knowing Your Financial Superpowers - Is it all about the money?” will be moderated by Atul Padalkar, Managing Director of Bizfarm Incubator. It will feature panelists Precious Mvulane, a chartered accountant, award winning businesswoman and content developer; award winning business consultant and entrepreneur Dr Thabo Pitse, who consults to the University of the Free State; and renowned business enabler, growth accelerator and brand analytics specialist Diane Boorman.
A presentation by Sibusiso Msomi, Managing Director of The Sales Enablement Company, will unpack the technology that SMMEs should be taking advantage of to reach new customers.
The 2021 Absa Smart Supplier Conference is partnering with the following industry leaders: bp, Sasol, Royal Bafokeng Enterprise Development, Grinding Media and Afrimat as ESD Host partners.
To find out more, or to register for the event, visit www.smartprocurementworld.com/indaba/smart-supplier-conference