Absa Group has developed a user-friendly online portal focused on providing additional opportunities for Africa’s Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) key drivers of post-pandemic growth. According to the World Bank, formal SMMEs make up 40% of GDP in emerging economies, with this number being significantly higher when informal SMMEs are factored in.
“Absa’s Procurement Market portal not only demonstrates Absa’s strategy of promoting responsible and inclusive procurement practices, but also ensures that all suppliers are aware of the bank’s service requirements; information that was not previously widely available,” comments Vusi Fele, Chief Procurement Officer at Absa Group Ltd. “What’s more, it will help us build mutually beneficial, thriving, inclusive and healthy supplier relationships.”
Absa’s goal is to promote two-way engagement and bridge the communications gap in terms of products, services, tenders and RFPs, ensuring that all relevant businesses are included. The platform will allow SMEs to access corporate supply, and at the same time enable Absa to further contribute to ongoing entrepreneurship development.
Fele firmly believes that a supplier diversity approach will assist in driving sustainability and progressively transform the bank’s supply chain. “Not only will we be able to identify suppliers that comply with B-BBEE requirements, but we will also be able to award/extend contracts to currently Exempted Micro Enterprises (EME) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs). We are also excited to welcome new suppliers to our business.”
Suppliers will be able to add their details to Absa’s database, and easily identify the procurement categories and services the bank is looking for, ranging from construction and marketing, to IT and cash management.”
In addition, qualifying SMMEs participating in the bank’s inbound supply chain become eligible for Absa’ Supplier Development Programme, which provides business support, training, mentoring, advisory and more. These businesses are also able to obtain development funding at favourable interest rates and with no or minimal collateral required, other than the committed spend contract to supply goods and services.
Fele encourages small businesses across the continent to visit the platform and sign-up. “We look forward to leveraging this portal to drive meaningful entrepreneurship development and deliver material benefits to local economic and social reform.”
The portal will be implemented across Absa’s operations, starting with South Africa next week.