Celebrating Women-Led Business And Their Contribution To Sa’s Economic Growth
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In commemoration of Women’s Month, Massmart today hosted a lunch to celebrate women entrepreneurs participating in the Group’s Supplier Development Programme (SDP).
The main aim of the SDP is to provide opportunities for small and medium manufacturing enterprises. It was established following intervention from Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, who has championed the development of local suppliers in the retail sector.
Minister Patel says: “Small businesses play an important part in creating a more inclusive economy. Job creation and expanding our industrial base is one of our key mandates.” The programme currently has a portfolio of 32 small businesses manufacturing a variety of products ranging from window frames, paint and bath tubs to adhesives, cooler-boxes and maize meal. Of the 32 suppliers, six are import substitution projects.
Some of the female entrepreneurs participating in the SDP include Reapso SA, FBG Packaging, Xchem Chemicals and Lokuhle Trading & Designs. Established in 2010 Reapso SA is a 100% black female-owned company that operates from a factory in Selby, Johannesburg. Through the SDP Reaspso now manufactures chef jackets, protective workwear and reflector jackets, which are sold in Makro stores.
“We are grateful for government’s intervention, especially their support for the local textile industry. They have given a small business like ours access to Massmart’s supply chain, which presents an enormous opportunity,” Reapso owner Mahlatsi Mashile says. In addition to the procurement from Makro stores, Reapso has received a grant from Massmart to upgrade machinery and acquire new factory space.
XChem Chemicals is a 100% black female-owned business that supplies adhesive glues and sealants. Owned by entrepreneur Angela Chris Pitsi, the Pretoria-based company’s products are sold at all local Builders Warehouse stores and recently begun supplying a Builders Warehouse outlet in Mozambique. “Through the programme we have been able to grow our footprint and most importantly in the South African context: create jobs”, says Chris Pitsi. The SDP also provided funding for the adhesive company to upscale equipment, put employees through advanced training as well as rebrand and repackage its products.
Lokuhle Trading owned by Zanele Ntsibande, based in Boksburg, is a black female-owned hollow-core door manufacturing company. Ntsibande says: “Access to market is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses and through this programme I have been able to get a foot in the door at one of the biggest retailers on the continent.”
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Massmart Communication Manager
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About the Supplier Development Programme
The Supplier Development Programme was established by Massmart to create opportunities for small to medium farming and manufacturing enterprises. The objective for the programme is to improve local procurement linkages for new and existing small businesses to be able to sustainably trade with Massmart.
Massmart is a managed portfolio of four divisions, each focused on high volume, low margin, low-cost distribution of mainly branded consumer goods for cash, through 414 stores in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.