The Free State Department of Economic Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) is partnering with Smart Procurement World to host the region’s first Smart Procurement World and Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) Expo.

The event, which will be held on 20 March at PACOF’s facilities, is geared around facilitating knowledge sharing for the supply chain and invaluable business networking opportunities for SMMEs.

The Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo will provide both the public and private sector with the opportunity to assist in the showcasing of leading verified Black Owned Suppliers. Over 100 exhibitors from a number of sectors have already confirmed their attendance at the inaugural event.

DESTEA’s partnership with Smart Procurement World will clearly demonstrate what public-private partnerships (PPPs) can achieve. “The event will bring together the region’s government and corporate supply chain, procurement, LED and ESD professionals as well as the region’s small business community,” says Debbie Tagg, COO for Smart Procurement World.

“The focus is on local economic development and fast tracking the development of small businesses in the region. Leading up to the event, 100 small business representatives will be trained in the province’s first ever Supplier Readiness Competition. Finalists will be hosted as exhibitors at the expo and will have a chance to conduct business with the buyers attending the event,” Tagg explains.

The expo will also provide exhibitors with fast track access into the supply chain together with the opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurial peers, develop new business partnerships and ignite their collective business power.

Under the banner: ‘Walk the talk: High Impact Procurement’, the event will drive strategic thinking within the procurement sector and South Africa’s supply chains to focus on innovation and make procurement a high-impact function.

“The keynote speakers at this event are recognised industry thought leaders and the session presenters will share real-life practical experiences as well as a wealth of procurement transformation strategies that will enable delegates and visitors to adopt strategic ideas that apply specifically to their organisation’s teams,” says Tagg.

Mphoko Matsie, Director: Regulatory and Stakeholder Management from DESTEA is very positive about the impact the event will have on the local market. “We are thrilled to be given this opportunity as a strategic partner to communicate our objectives to our stakeholders. The Province is committed to facilitating linkage and market access within the region as well as to the national and global economies.”

For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World showcases for 2019 or to become involved in the ESD showcase in Bloemfontein, please visit the website at: