Rebuild, Grow and Prosper
Barloworld has been a trailblazer in economic transformation for the last fifteen years. With transformation as the key driver to fulfilling one of South Africa's black empowerment initiatives, a vision came about to develop black owned Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) within Barloworld's value chain and within the communities in which they operate. Barloworld Siyakhula was born from that vision and has proven itself to be a robust enterprise supplier development program. Over the past two years, beneficiaries of this program have endured tremendous challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The devastating aftermath that caused the closure of doors for several small enterprises as a result of the virus followed by the July Riots of 2021, which added insult to injury, shook every single company to its core.
Once again, livelihoods were shattered, business premises were wrecked and what was just being restored was destroyed which left those affected once again, back at square one. Fortunately, the correct structures, support and partnerships with Barloworld enabled beneficiaries the ability to stand tall against adversities and push through to deliver. Therefore, the goal of the Barloworld Siyakhula Supplier Summit was to highlight and reward the existing suppliers and enterprise development beneficiaries of Barloworld by thrusting a spotlight on their achievements and outstanding contributions over the last two years. Hosted at The Galleria Premium Conference and Events venue in Sandton on Thursday 8 September 2022, the highly anticipated Supplier Summit saw various Barloworld Siyakhula beneficiaries, Barloworld key Stakeholders and representatives from both Private and Public Sectors gathering under one roof.
The theme, which was to Rebuild, Grow and Prosper, highlighted several actions that small businesses need to exercise during challenging times. Masterclass sessions saw accomplished speakers from the private and public sectors providing insight into how their organisations support SMMEs and what SMMEs need to do to survive and thrive in these challenging times. The speakers shared valuable information and teachings from their specific fields of expertise. Every topic was relevant to the end goal, which centred around what beneficiaries need to do to develop and grow their businesses.
Kickstarting the day, attendees fuelled themselves up with a morning coffee boost and delicious snack breakfast prepared by The Harv Table from LM Holdings Group, who also provided a scrumptious lunch later in the day. Thereafter, Barloworld Siyakhula Chairperson, Ms Noluvo “Vovo” Ngcwabe, set the tone for the day, with an encouraging speech that motivated beneficiaries to exert and push themselves to rebuild, grow and prosper. She further highlighted how Barloworld Siyakhula supports and invests resources to enable the continued growth of SMMEs. Attendees were impressed with the topical themes chosen and left with a significant amount of knowledge meant to empower them on their entrepreneurial journeys. Phumzile Engineering’s Martie Mpilo expressed her gratitude towards Siyakhula by expressing that she felt like a celebrity while sharing her Limpopo-based company’s success. This was a creative way to motivate other beneficiaries, who may need a little boost in confidence. As Lesego Serolong of Bokamoso Impact Investments put it, “entrepreneurship is no easy game and often a lonely journey, but future entrepreneurs should not be afraid of failure as wisdom is abundant there”.
It is evident by the influx of emails rolling into the Siyakhula inbox that the summit was a huge success and generally enjoyed by all. Feedback subsequent to an event is always advisable from participants for future improvement.
The following are the voices of those who participated in the Summit:
Carol Abade, Group CEO of EXP, a Pan African Experiential Marketing and Sponsorship Agency
Carol boasts extensive knowledge in marketing and spoke to beneficiaries on the topics of digital marketing and making use of technology in small businesses. As a marketing specialist, Carol understands the importance of developing a product and knowing how, where and to whom the marketing of the product or service should be directed. Since the Summit, she has had several emails from beneficiaries, with compliments and/or requests for further guidance. In conversation, Carol stated that for her, the winning factors were the vast number of differently positioned SMMEs and the diverse group of speakers that presented on the day. She further stated that the selected topics were interesting with deep and rich content and that she too, had learnt so much. She left the venue with an increased understanding of stakeholders’ roles in supporting SMMEs. Carol gave a few suggestions that could make next year’s Summit that much better. All in all, she was generally impressed with the Summit of 2022.
Colin Leshou, Acting Executive Manager, SEDA Technology Programme
Colin has chosen to dedicate his life to small enterprise development and has worlds of knowledge under his belt. He expressed his appreciation for the invitation to share his expertise with others and is overly impressed with what Barloworld Siyakhula is doing for SMMEs. He believes that everyone present (including himself), left there having gained something. Colin is excited to see what will emerge from the day, in terms of collaboration between the private and public sectors. In conversation, he expressed that the Summit was beneficial to stakeholders as well, as they had the chance to solidify relations and interact with potential partners. Colin’s parting words stated the high point for him was the time allocated for networking, as well as hearing the success stories from the beneficiaries themselves. He also gave some tips and some valuable advice that will be beneficial to Siyakhula and its beneficiaries.
Litha Kutta, Enterprise and Supplier Development Director at Tiger Brands
Litha Kutta graced the stage, delivering some valuable insight into the agri-economy, his field of knowledge, and shared several valuable tips from the agricultural sector. He dropped a few suggestions and tips that may assist in future Summits. In conversation, Litta shared his joy, regarding the turnout for the Summit and the amazing combination of speakers. He said that this was an opportune time for networking and forming partnerships. Like those previously engaged, he hopes to see more collaboration between the private and public sectors, ultimately realising one of the objectives set by the events’ organisers. Although he was impressed, Litta brought to light a particularly crucial point; the fact that agriculture is not a common trade for most of the Siyakhula beneficiaries. He, therefore, suggested that “everything agriculture” should be an event on its own, an Agri-Summit, so to speak. In parting, Litta shared the highlight of his day, "The Barloworld Siyakhula explanation of their internal operations, namely who they are, what they do, and how they do it."
Angeline Molete, Director of Tthari-Phepa Cleaning and Projects CC-Siyakhula Beneficiary
Angeline dedicates her life to community upliftment and educating the youth through several projects, which she runs in her community. A few examples being school veggie gardens and extra lessons for matriculants. In a telephone conversation, Angeline muses that she felt humbled by the opportunity to attend the Summit and that, being a “first-timer”, she did not know what to expect. "The variety of topics and speakers impressed me. I learnt a great deal and was blown away by the legal presentation" she said. She further commented that she learned how important it is to go through the fine print of every document and that compliance is absolutely key. She too left a few suggestions regarding active interaction, among a few other tips. Overall, Angeline thought that the Summit was amazing and took her hat off to appreciate the Siyakhula management.
All in all, it is clear that the Summit was a resounding success with a few considerations to be made. Many are looking forward to the Summit of 2023 and the learning and networking opportunities it will bring with it.
SERVICE PROVIDER CONTACT DETAILS
Tel: +27 81 587 6250
Address: 8 Mnamatha Street
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Tel: +27 74 655 8974 (Queen Mohale)
PHUMZILE ENGINEERING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES
Tel: +27 82 334 9702
+27 15 004 0078
Business Address: 47 Lood Street,
Postal Address: P O Box 12081,
Bendor Park, 0713
Barloworld Siyakhula (Pty) Ltd
Registration No 2005/043656/07
Barloworld Siyakhula (Proprietary) Limited
150 Linden St
PO Box 782248
011 445 1000
087 830 9603