Smart Procurement, which is Africa’s leading procurement and inbound supply chain information service, was awarded second place in the Ecosystem Enabler of the Year category. Nominees in this category comprised organisations that, through lobbying, organising, advisory services, research and events, seek to advance the cause of entrepreneurs and SMMEs. These essential businesses also create communities by finding and leveraging various ecosystem players.
“It was a privilege for Smart Procurement to reach the finals and to be placed second in these prestigious awards.” comments Smart Procurement chief operations officer Debbie Tagg. “This recognition has further ignited our passion and commitment to the development and growth of SMMEs. Congratulations to our fellow finalists and all the category winners that came out tops from more than 4 000 entries. We salute you! “
Tagg explains that Smart Procurement has been facilitating the development of suppliers and small businesses through market linkage and access for more than 11 years. Expanding on the organisation’s achievements in the SMME space, she says: “We have supported over 3 950 businesses through our market access events alone. We have also educated procurement practitioners, enabling them to engage better with smaller suppliers and businesses.”
“In 2020 we launched the SMME Clinic as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. The SMME Clinic now represents a growing community of local and continental suppliers who are invited to participate in ongoing training, networking and linkage initiatives.
“Smart Procurement believes in facilitating collaboration between business support organisations, procurement and stakeholders. Our passion is to reduce barriers of market access, to enable collaboration and the mentoring of SMMEs, to ensure that they are equipped to engage with procurement buyers,” Tagg states.
At the height of the pandemic, when small businesses desperately needed a lifeline, Smart Procurement launched a powerful virtual market linkage programme for local and African businesses. “This was through our network of African buyers that now forms the Africa Supply Chain in Action community and encompasses the Made in Africa market access event and platform. Made in Africa is bringing together purchasing decision makers, policymakers, investors and businesses from across the continent,” Tagg explains.
She says that the impact that Smart Procurement is making on small businesses, entrepreneurs and economies is what keeps the organisation motivated. “Our most recent Absa Enterprise & Supplier Development Event saw over 839 business leads generated for the hosted businesses. These business leads are estimated to reach a potential deal value of over R91,4 million.
“Smart Procurement is committed to continuing to be an SMME enabler in 2023 and beyond,” Tagg concludes.