President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow launch an online trading platform which will link registered small, medium and micro enterprises’ (SMMEs) access to supply chain opportunities of large South African corporations that have an integrated global footprint.

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The platform – called the Business Leadership South Africa Connect – will be launched in conjunction with the SA SME CEO Fund Circle.

In a statement, the Presidency on Wednesday said the online portal will promote supplier diversity and the inclusion of black suppliers in the value chain.

“This initiative will create market opportunities for black-owned SMMEs through linkages and networking between large firms and SMMEs. It will also support emerging enterprises with access to enterprise and supplier development,” the Presidency said.

This programme of broadening economic participation forms part of BLSA’s #BusinessBelieveInSouthAfrica campaign. One of the commitments under this campaign is support for small businesses.

The Presidency added that BLSA campaign supports government efforts to broaden economic participation and dilute the concentration of the South African economy in which a relatively small number of enterprises dominate all levels of supply chains and limit choices for consumers.

In February 2019, President Ramaphosa signed into law the Competition Amendment Bill which constitutes a boost for SMEs, economic inclusion and is intended to open the economy to fresh investment and innovation.

At this week’s event, President Ramaphosa will concurrently launch the SA SME Fund CEO Circle which aims to finance and scale up black SMMEs

“The fund was set up under the auspices of the CEO Initiative in 2016 to stimulate growth and investment drawn from the expertise of South Africa’s top business leaders.

“Fifty of South Africa’s largest companies have collectively invested R1.4 billion in capital in the SA SME Fund which is mandated to invest the bulk of its funding into black emerging businesses,” the Presidency said.

President Ramaphosa has urged all social partners across the public and private spheres to collaborate on finding long term sustainable solutions to combat and reduce inequality, poverty and unemployment, and to secure and create inclusive growth to build a prosperous South Africa.

Image Courtesy: HuffPost

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