The Expo, now in its fifth year since it was first established, is attracting record breaking audiences of over 3000 SMMEs and procurement buyers. At the Expo, the SMMEs and corporate sector are able to connect and share information. One of the benefits of this interaction is that corporates can help SMMEs to understand procurement processes and how they can do business with well established businesses. Part of the advice shared is around policies, procedures and requirements as well as ways to be able to be the approved service providers to leading businesses locally and globally.
One of the innovations at the Expo is the Match Making Sessions, where corporates can meet potential SMME suppliers on a one on one basis. In addition to this, the expo encourages both SMMEs and corporates to set up stands so that they are able to meet more delegates.
“Going forward, we want to expand the focus and involve more corporate buyers formally at the event – to achieve this we launched ‘Supplier Match Up’,” says Expo organiser Debbie Tagg. The Match Making Sessions are an opportunity for procurement officers to communicate and educate SMMEs, leading to closer collaborations between these two functions. “Another unique aspect of the expo is the focus on supporting more technical businesses, to this end we launched a new initiative concentrating on the engineering sector this year. We received great feedback on this and we will again feature this sector next year” added Tagg.
Tagg believes that the Expo is a practical manner of driving economic development and transformation in the country. “Through the Expo, procurement officers can give SMMEs an opportunity to prove themselves and in turn, the SMMEs can gain access to lucrative markets both locally or internationally. This can be a game changer for any small business” she explains.
She further adds: “The Expo is about driving and facilitating true transformation, where established businesses can integrate SMMEs into their supplier chains. In this way, there is an opportunity to also develop economies in all provinces especially in district municipalities where businesses do not normally have this opportunity. So through the Expo we can help businesses to be on a solid path to growth and strong success.”
There is a surprise in the pipeline, advises Debbie as she talks about the future of the Expo: “I am very excited to be hosting the Cape Town regional version from the 15 – 17 May 2018, with the partnership of the city of Cape Town, Treasury and a number of corporate hosts that are in the region.” The event can be followed online through www.esdexpo.co.za or www.smartprocurementworld.com – one only needs to register on the website and they can also receive for information through our newsletter on any new and exciting development.