Small businesses are a critical driver in boosting the South African economy. Smart Procurement’s Supplier MatchUp Sessions recognise this with an initiative geared to link suppliers to buyers. It has been an ongoing feature of the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Expo for many years and, for the first time, the event was hosted online in May 2020.

“We simply cannot let COVID-19 and the lockdown bring us to our knees, so the Supplier MatchUp sessions are vital in encouraging a dialogue between small businesses and large organisations. They give corporate buyers an opportunity to address suppliers and provide them with important information on how to become a supplier to their organisation,” says Jodi-Lee Rood, Project Director for Smart Procurement, the organisers of the event.

The inaugural online event presented over 40 SMMEs with the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with big-business buyers.

The supply chain and procurement category managers from PPECB, Pick ‘n Pay, University of Cape Town, Distell and BP covered issues like supplier registration processes, the types of commodities that these businesses are currently looking for (where the opportunities lie for SMMEs),  as well as supplying SMMEs with the details of key Category Managers within their organisations.

All SMMEs who attended the sessions were registered on Smart Procurement World’s SmartXchange platform, a value-add-linkage platform for all Smart Procurement World event attendees.  The platform allows for big business buyers and SMMEs to create an online profile for all-year-round meetings and networking.

Testimonials from SMMEs who attended:

“This was super awesome! We can’t thank you enough and sincerely hope that you plan to arrange more of these. Please don’t stop. You have no idea what a difficulty it is to access potential clients at the right level and this is one of the best initiatives that I have encountered for this year. Thank you very much.” ~ Nisha Maharaj,  Niche Integrated

“Thank you very much for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.” ~ Dipitseng Manamela, Dihlashana Group

“This was a great opportunity to engage with buyers. I attended all the meetings and they were all insightful.” ~ Jabulani Mahlangu Inkwa Investments

“The #LocalIsLoyal Pledge initiative was also launched at the event. This is a movement for procurement and supply chain professionals to pledge their support and commitment to local businesses. We encourage local businesses to get involved by visiting the SmartXchange website – www.smartxchange.org.za,” says Rood.

For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World events for 2020 please visit www.smartprocurementworld.com