Technology in Transformation:The new BusinessWorld for SMME’s and corporates

By Brendan Van Zyl and Kealeboga Mokolobate

LEAP’s innovative technology-backed solution in today’s challenging Enterprise and Supplier Development environment

B-BBBEE legislation is for many companies, very complicated and a moving target for large corporates trying to get to grips with it. With the age of technology upon us, the question is whether technology can be used to advance the South African transformation agenda? LEAP has answered the call to act, through its innovative platform, BusinessWorld. (http://www.businessworld.co.za/). 

The BusinessWorld is the solution for SMME’s and large corporates collectively working to achieve the ideals of B-BBEE. The solution is simple and mutually beneficial: SMME’s gain access to new markets, and large corporates gain access to the best black-owned SMME’s in the market.

B-BBEE legislation demands that companies transform all aspects of their business: ownership, the amount of black people in senior position(management control), the manner in which black-owned companies are supported for growth(Enterprise Development), and also, to transform their supply-chain(Supplier Development).

One of the key challenges in Enterprise and Supplier Development is assisting the large corporate companies to find reputable black-owned SMME’s to support through Enterprise Development, and to integrate into their supply chain through Supplier Development. The large corporates, usually risk-averse, are trying to build new systems that allow them to introduce black-owned SMME’s in  their supply chains, without having to face the risk of their operations being disrupted. Where do we find these SME’s? How do we know if they are reliable? This is the conundrum that large corporates, eager to be B-BBEE compliant, face.

Meanwhile, although government attempts to boost entrepreneurship is South Africa, SMME’s are facing challenges that threaten the sustainability of their businesses. Chief among them is access to new markets. Small businesses, in order to grow and improve need a foot in the door in the industries they operate, and need for procurement specialists in large corporates to give them a chance to service them.

LEAP has built the BusinessWorld to ensure that these companies that desperately need to grow and need access to new markets are connected to corporates searching for SMME’s. The golden touch of the platform is that the SMME’s are pre-vetted and thus the corporates can have confidence in these suppliers.  BusinessWorld is a business to business trading platform portal that allows corporates and SMME’s to connect and do business together. Corporates post opportunities on the platform and this allows the companies for bid for the work.

The SMME’s now have the opportunity to have access to markets that they previously not had access to.  Over 10 000 SMME’s loaded on the BusinessWorld. Since its inception in 2014, almost 10 000 opportunities have been posted on the BusinessWorld.  Each opportunity is viewed over 50 times, a very significant sign of the need for such a platform.

The Businessworld is especially effective because of its ability to transcend industry barriers and to ensure that companies of all types and sizes are able to build a mutually-beneficial ecosystem that allows all businesses to participate in the economy.  This type of advancement is being used by Mining Industry giants, South32(http://www.south32intsika.net) to enable them to advance their B-BBEE agenda with integrity and in a sustainable manner.

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