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Massmart, Jozi grow business

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A partnership between retailer Massmart and the city of Johannesburg seeks to help small enterprises to be marketable and able to export their products. The trade and investment promotion director at the metro, Reginald Pholo, says that through the Massmart Development Programme they develop the ability of small entrepreneurs to market their products and meet global expectations. Massmart and the Joburg municipality held a supplier development exhibition for Johannesburg-based manufacturers to showcase products with the possibility of becoming suppliers to Massmart. About 200 suppliers were in attendance. A crucial part of the exhibition’s programme was advice from a team of experienced Massmart buyers, who will educate and inform potential suppliers on how to do business with the company. They were given technical insight into areas such as rebates and logistics management to ensure they are in a better position to do business with Massmart or approach other retailers. “This is the first time we are doing an exhibition like this, for small businesses to market their products to Massmart and it’s going to be an annual project,” Pholo said. “We want to develop entrepreneurs to be able to supply their products to companies like Massmart and Woolworths.” He said through this programme, they would make sure that 60% of their products were exportable. Pholo said the partnership with Massmart was already producing spin-offs. A company under the city’s incubation, Pitseng, has already scored a supply deal of R38m for the next five years. “Pisteng supplies vases and pot plants and they recently received another deal to supply Massmart retailers with lampshades,” Pholo said. Massmart’s Group Africa retail and supplier development xecutive Mncane Mthunzi said it was a good thing that they had partnered with government agencies which they shared a common vision with. “For quite some time, we have been toying with the idea of partnering with government agencies. “And today it is happening,” Mthunzi said. He said their mandate was to help with working capital for small business, which would supply their product to the Massmartowned stores. “We buy and sell products from small businesses, unlike in the past. We are now shifting gears in terms of suppliers. “We sort of give them a softlanding, but eventually they need to graduate to be able to compete with the big suppliers,” Mthunzi said. Among 60 exhibitors there was Reineth Mokhubidu with a cockroach killer gel called Drift. She said unlike other cockroach killers, her product had no bad smell and it’s non-poisonous to people. It attracts cockroaches and its smell dehydrates roaches to death. Gregory Bender sells facial creams for wrinkles to keep people “young”, imported from Sri Lanka. “My product is Nature’s Secrets anti-wrinkle cream and it’s safe for every type of skin as it contains no dangerous chemicals – all naturally grown herbs mixed together,” Bender said. Lucky exhibitors will get a chance to supply their products to Massmart retail stores.

The New Age
Sandile Gumede

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