Research has shown that five out of seven small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) fail within their first year of operation. One of the reasons, according to Debbie Tagg, chief operating officer of Smart Procurement World, is that SMMEs in South Africa struggle to access markets and get sustainable contracts.

The Absa Enterprise & Supplier Development Event, which is organised by Smart Procurement World, aims to address this, and ensure that SMMEs have the skills, knowledge and connections to access their markets and contribute to economic growth as proficient, corporate ready suppliers. This year’s 7th annual Absa Smart Supplier Conference takes place on 13 September 2022 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand. It forms part of the 16th Annual Smart Procurement World Indaba, South Africa’s largest and longest-standing event for procurement and inbound supply chain professionals.

“The Absa Enterprise & Supplier Development Event prepares suppliers to be ready for business by giving them technical support while creating access to the market through buyer-meet-seller platforms,” Tagg expands.

Over two days, SMMEs will benefit from peer to peer networking and Buyer/Supplier MatchUp sessions. They will also have access to an SMME helpdesk, Knowledge Hubs and SMME clinic. “The networking will promote collaboration between SMMEs. The Supplier MatchUp will enable small business owners to visit buyers in the public and private sectors. SMMEs will have the opportunity to ask buyers questions about their processes or just to make themselves known. Buyers will have the opportunity to build a base of reliable, tried and tested SMME suppliers,” Tagg explains.

“The SMME helpdesk will provide SMMEs with a vital opportunity to engage with a selection of business experts to gain valuable knowledge on pressing questions, challenges, and opportunities. All hosted businesses will become part of Smart Procurement’s SMME Clinic community where they will gain access to a wealth of ongoing training and networking opportunities even post the event.”

Tagg urges all SMMEs to attend the conference. “As business owners and entrepreneurs, our SMMEs have navigated one of the toughest times for any business over the last 18 months. Together with Absa, the proud sponsor of the conference, we have put together a powerful programme with sessions and talks that are practical, relevant and helpful.”

A panel discussion that will cover what is important to buyers right now and will help SMMEs to chart a path forward to prosperity and longevity is one of the sessions that attendees can look forward to at the conference. The panelists are Simon Badugela, Honeywell’s Director of Strategic Sourcing for Europe the Middle East & Africa; Michal Pillay, Head of Supplier Diversity for the Absa Group; and Larisha Naidoo, Head of Anglo American Zimele. The discussion will be moderated by Izane Cloete-Hamilton, Chief Inspiration Officer at nFold.

An insightful presentation by Mark Raffan, President of Canada-based Negotiations Ninja, will examine the flipside of this topic – namely what is important to small business owners now. Raffan’s presentation promises to enable entrepreneurs to “negotiate like a ninja”.

Kgalaletso Tlhoaele, Head of Enterprise Development at Absa Group says: “Absa is pleased to continue supporting this event and its many needed benefits for small businesses. We know that it is especially important to build financial resilience in the current environment through key financial partnerships.”

Reflecting the crucial role of SMMEs in the economy and the importance of ensuring their success, this year’s Absa Enterprise & Supplier Development Event has the support of event partners that include the Department of Small Business Development, the Gauteng Provincial Treasury, NYDA and Mediclinic. The conference’s enterprise development hosts this year includes Absa, Afrimat, BP, PPECB, Royal Bafokeng, SMTDC, Anglo American Zimele, GEMS and Sasol.

PHOTO CAPTION: Kgalaletso Tlhoaele, Head of Enterprise Development at Absa Group


Smart Procurement World (SPW) is the largest professional development event for procurement and inbound supply chain, supported and endorsed by industry professional bodies. SPW also achieves professional development for procurement and supply chain professionals while achieving economic development objectives in each region through enterprise, supplier development linking small business to supply chain.


Contact info@smartprocurementworld.com for event inquiries.

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