Through Absa’s Supplier Development programme (facilitated by Absa Group Procurement) entrepreneurs are able to gain access to business opportunities and resources; helping to address some of the challenges they face while trying to gain market share. In 2019, supplier development funding, amounting to R234 million, was provided towards black-owned Qualified Small Enterprises (QSE) and Exempt Micro Enterprises (EME); aimed at assisting them in growing their businesses and building capacity and infrastructure.

Here’s how Pavati made the partnership work:

Bruce and Ntombenhle’s story:

Pavati truly embodies the essence of its founders, Mthobisi Bruce and Ntombenhle Nhleko: integrity, professionalism and superior service. From humble beginnings as plastic related product distributors, to recycling and circular economy ambassadors, the company has truly come a long way; boasting a 30% black female ownership.

Money, money, money

In order to land a lucrative contract with Bidvest Afcom, Pavati needed to secure reliable funding and find a financial partner who believed in what the company was aiming to achieve. They chose Absa, and through the bank’s Supplier Development programme, Pavati received significant asset funding and an extensive overdraft facility at discounted rates.

Networking was also a critical component. Absa introduced the business to a variety of stakeholders and partners, helping Pavati secure a number of blue-chip clients and opening the door for the business’ new product offering: plastic money bags for commercial banks (with them being the sole supplier for Absa branches).

Shaping a circular economy

Recycling is also critical, with Pavati establishing an in-house recycling centre so scraps can be reused, focusing efforts on educating customers about specific processes. The organisation also believes that the recycling space is a key employment generator, driving job creation and sustainability simultaneously.

Pavati’s ultimate goal is to manufacture, package and distribute its own products, solidifying a strong presence across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region - this dream is only a few years off, and something the team is intent on accomplishing.

Empowerment is also central to the company’s business model, providing students with training and manufacturing work experience, assisting community schools with much needed equipment and infrastructure and offering employees company bursaries to further their studies. Their secret? According to Bruce, consistency is key: “Stay consistent with your vision and ensure that the business you create is a legacy one.”