KeaobakaMahuma.jpgSouth Africa’s population is one of the youngest in the world, with an average age of 24.9 years. That is a lot of potential young entrepreneurs who could start companies, create jobs and positively impact the economy — if the right training, knowledge-sharing and example is impressed upon them, says KeaObaka Mahuma, Head of Enterprise & Supplier Development at Barclays Africa, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

According the National Development Plan 90% of jobs by the year 2030 will be created by SMEs.
SMEs hold the key to unleashing the growth of developing countries and big business and government must work closely together to create a thriving small business economy if South Africa is to meet its real growth potential and create decent, sustainable jobs over the next five years.
The national government has prioritised the development of a healthy and sustainable Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector as a key driver of employment, with a clear objective of solving this challenge.


To achieve this, big business, state-owned-enterprises and public departments will have to spend billions in procurement expenditure on SMEs in order to promote the development of this sector.
In every growing economy around the world SMEs are the engine room of job creation and economic growth.
However, for many SMEs one of the biggest trading challenges is getting their products seen by the right people at large companies – a major hurdle for the growth and profitability of their enterprise.
Conversely, one of the challenges procurement professionals face is finding small businesses that are able to meet their needs.
Bridging the gap between established business and SMEs is essential for economic growth and sustainability.
To address this issue Absa in association with Supply Chain Network have developed a procurement portal which connects SMEs and big business. 
The vision is to quickly and smartly facilitate business connections to stimulate economic and employment growth.
Supply Chain Network provides procurement tools to make it simple for procurement professionals to connect to valid small businesses who can successfully deliver against the required procurement targets. 
By providing small businesses with access to the growth and development opportunities required to best meet the needs of big business, Absa and Supply Chain Network are effectively closing the gap between the two sectors.
Having an effective supply chain system is critical for any organisations that want to succeed in a competitive economic environment because not only does it allow for teams to deliver excellence on schedule but also for them to stay within budget with quality outcomes.
Absa recognises the importance of small businesses to the economic growth of South Africa. Over 12 million South Africans rely directly on small business for their livelihood, and employ almost 60% of the employable population in South Africa today.
In the current economic climate it is critical for SMEs and big businesses to work together.