Enterprise and supplier development still remains key to enabling growth and progress in society

Social and economic transformation has long been at the centre of our country’s development imperatives, and one of the key drivers of said transformation has been enterprise and supplier development. A 2017 corporate footprint analysis of Business Leadership South Africa’s 73 members established that big business supported small enterprises in the supply chain with nearly R1-trillion paid to suppliers. This enabled them to employ people, pay taxes, purchase supplies and make investments.

As one of South Africa’s oldest companies, Barloworld has an established history of contributing to economic and social transformation. Our aim is to contribute to creating an inclusive economy that creates jobs.

Since 2007, we have actively contributed to enterprise and supplier development through Barloworld Siyakhula. Siyakhula’s main focus is on diversifying procurement spend to benefit black-owned and, in particular, black women-owned entities.

Our aim is to activly contribute to the national imperative of creating jobs and transforming the sectors we operate in. Accordingly, we allocate 3% of our South African operations’ net profit after tax to Siyakhula to develop entrepreneurs in our communities. This commitment, while it has roots in transformation and empowerment legislation, has been internalised and blended with our corporate purpose and ambitions as a company.

Our goal is to make a difference

Our brand promise is “making a world of difference”. One of the ways in which we have achieved this over the years has been through Siyakhula and establishing symbiotic relationships with SMME beneficiaries and implementation partners. 

Our comprehensive support programmes include:

• Financial support in the form of soft loans, bridging finance, grants and seed capital

• Access to partnerships and joint development funding opportunities and market access

• Capacity building and incubation in the form of skills development, post funding support and business development needs

• Supplier development support to enable access to supply chain opportunities.

Barloworld has also partnered with financial institutions to mobilise additional funding to enable blended financial offerings to Siyakhula participants. We have also contracted third-party service providers in the form of enterprise and supplier development (ESD) agencies to provide support to the programme.

In determining the success of an enterprise, we look at the number of jobs created, turnover, year-on-year profitability and whether an enterprise is sustainable into the future. Our aim is that we should not be Siyakhula participants’ only client, but that we should be a catalyst for generating further access to opportunities in the marketplace.

Siyakhula’s impact

Siyakhula works with businesses across Barloworld Divisions’ value chain to identify opportunities for SMMEs to maximise opportunities and realise growth. Since inception, Siyakhula has invested over R300-million to provide assistance to 150 SMMEs. Tailored support programmes for SMMEs have not only ensured business sustainability; they have created jobs and contributed to much-needed diversity of suppliers.

In the past year for instance, Siyakhula incubated a number of businesses that have flourished and contributed to job creation. Among these are:

• Lucient Engineering and Construction (Pty) Ltd, a 70% black-owned company, provides engineering maintenance services and routinely partners with Barloworld Equipment’s environmental management programme division. Over and above the 200 sustainable jobs the company has created from being a Barloworld Equipment partner, it has created 100 project-based jobs, bringing the total count of direct jobs created to 300.

• T ’n A Auto Services: Established in 2014, the company is a 100% black woman-owned business that provides automotive glass repair, automotive electrics, electronics and general mechanical repair services. From repairing three vehicles a month, the company now services 28 vehicles per month and has created 10 permanent jobs.

Creating jobs, enabling the sustainability of enterprises and economic transformation will remain core drivers of Siyakhula, ensuring that the programme contributes towards Barloworld’s mission to make a difference in society.

Hlonela Lupuwana-Pemba is executive: commercial, enterprise and supplier development at Barloworld

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