Demonstrating that SMMEs can benefit from niche interactions with the right procurement specialists in both the public and private sectors, the 7th annual Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Expo facilitated highly beneficial relationship building.

Hosted by Absa, with the City of Joburg as the host city, the ESD Expo is the region’s premier linkage event and once again the platform facilitated business transactions, knowledge sharing and networking between small business and corporate buyers.

“We had an excellent experience. The expo was a very good platform to network and market our business,” says Sakhile Modondo, owner of Vunani Technologies, a hosted SMME at the show.

The event was opened by Councillor Leah Knott – MMC for Economic Development at the City of Johannesburg and Dumisani Mkhonza – COO and Head of Solutions, Enterprise & Supply Chain Development at ABSA, on the evening of 18 September at a cocktail networking function which was packed to capacity with enthusiastic SMMEs and industry decision makers.

The bumper schedule of events included concurrently running Knowledge Hub Business Workshops and How to do Business Workshops, sector specific matchup sessions and complimentary buyer training on 19 September. The event was open to the public, and allowed the 300 exhibitors to interact with over 3 000 conference delegates and visitors.

Running alongside the Smart Supplier Conference, the ESD provided the sponsored and self-funded SMME exhibitors with the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and capacitated them for the ultimate goal of growing their businesses for sustainability. The speaker lineup at the conference included Kea Obaka Mahuma – Head of Enterprise & Supply Chain Development Financing at the Absa Group, Rakgadi Motseto – Chief Director of Stakeholder & Client Management at the Office of the Chief Procurement Office in National Treasury, Kamogelo Mampane – CEO of TK Global Experts, and Vusi Thembakwayo – the acknowledged rock star of public speaking.

Day 2 of the EDS Expo, on 20 September, provided SMMEs with the opportunity to equip themselves with knowledge on the top three challenges for small businesses: access to market; access to finance; and non-financial business support.

“There is nothing that quite compares with the Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo with regards to breaking down the perceived barriers to market entry for SMMEs. The ESD not only fosters productive networking and highly practical upskilling and knowledge sharing, but it also results in the securing of millions of Rands worth of business contracts both onsite and after the event,” says Debbie Tagg, Chief Operations Officer for Smart Procurement World.

For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World showcases for 2019 or to become involved in the ESD showcase in Gauteng in September 2019, please visit the website at: www.smartprocurementworld.com