An online trading platform aimed at linking registered small, medium, and micro enterprises’ (SMMEs) to supply chain opportunities from large South African corporations that have integrated global footprints will go live tomorrow following its official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The platform, called the Business Leadership South Africa Connect, will be launched alongside the SA SME CEO Fund Circle, which aims to finance and scale up black SMMEs.
The presidency said in a statement on Wednesday: “The fund was set up under the auspices of the CEO Initiative in 2016 to stimulate growth and investment drawn from the expertise of South Africa’s top business leaders. Fifty of South Africa’s largest companies have collectively invested R1.4 billion in capital in the SA SME Fund, which is mandated to invest the bulk of its funding into black emerging businesses.”
According to the statement, the online portal will promote supplier diversity and the inclusion of black suppliers in the value chain.
“This initiative will create market opportunities for black-owned SMMEs through linkages and networking between large firms and SMMEs. It will also support emerging enterprises with access to enterprise and supplier development,” read part of the statement.
In February 2019, President Ramaphosa signed into law the Competition Amendment Bill which constitutes a boost for SMEs and economic inclusion and is intended to open the economy to fresh investment and innovation while providing consumers with a wider choice.