by maurisha

Reflecting its commitment to growing and supporting small businesses, the City of Cape Town put a group of 215 entrepreneurs through rigorous training as part of its annual Smart Supplier programme. The skills development and business building sessions recently concluded amid high praise from the participants.

The aim of the Smart Supplier programme, which the City launched nine years ago in partnership with Smart Procurement World, is to empower small businesses to engage effectively with corporate supply chains and access new and larger contract opportunities in the public and private sector.

The two-part training portion of the programme took place online over two weeks. It consisted of a series of Masterclasses designed to upskill and develop entrepreneurs and provide small businesses with vital know-how to boost their performance, success and profitability. The topics of the Masterclasses were:

  • The 7 Supplier Strategies For Getting Noticed
  • Leveraging Technology For Supplier Excellence
  • Business Systems, Operational Controls, and Internal Project Management
  • Leading Conversation With Compelling Financial Questions
  • Cultivating Professionalism: Crafting A Compelling Brand Identity That Tells The Right Story
  • Professional Proposals: Standing Out From The Competition

The excellent content and knowledge shared has been commended by attendees. “Thank you so much for an insightful session. It certainly provides a reminder of the critical areas to focus on to increase customer interest in the solutions we offer,” commented Ratshibvumo Matodzi, from Naledzi Technologies.

“My key takeaways are the importance of aligning with my clients, of including them in our service offerings and personalising their experience. I also learnt how crucial it is to maintain relationships, even when there are no current projects,” said Sizeka Dyantyi of Linchpin Environmental Sustainability Solutions.

In her feedback, Grace Cable from CG Plastics stated: “These were very interesting sessions. They made me realise how much I am lacking. I am excited to get started with implementing some of the lessons learned today.”

The training sessions were just one part of the CoCT’s 2024 Smart Supplier programme, which Smart Procurement says is “all about linkage”. “The focus this year is on one-to-one, face to face linkage. The in-person and online buyer and supplier linkage and MatchUp sessions are an incredibly important way to give the small businesses a big boost,” explains Smart Procurement ESD Projects Manager Keshni Reddy. “Through these ongoing sessions, small business owners get to make important new connections, build their networks and benefit from personal introductions to local and African purchasing decision makers.”

Corporates and procurement teams who share the CoCT’s commitment to developing and growing SMMEs are invited to participate in the continuing supplier and buyer matchup sessions in the 2024 Smart Supplier programme. Interested businesses can contact Smart Procurement to get involved by emailing keshni@smartprocurement.net . “We are excited to see the impact that these market linkage events will have for the city’s suppliers,” comments Alderman James Vos, the CoCT’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.

In addition to the training that was undertaken and the ongoing buyer and supplier linkage initiatives, this year’s Smart Supplier programme enabled participating small business owners to attend the continent-wide 2024 Made In Africa virtual conference and the CoCT Smart Supplier Conference, to learn and network. The participants also enjoy the benefits of continued access to and support from the SMME Clinic, a community of experts created and managed by Smart Procurement World, which is South Africa’s largest linkage and professional development platform for small businesses and procurement and inbound supply chain professionals.

For more information, contact: 0861 334 326

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