MariaRamos.jpgSuppliers met with decision makers, black-owned and black-woman-owned businesses at the Barclays Africa inaugural Supplier Diversity Day hosted by Barclays Africa Sourcing and Enterprise Development in April 2015.

The Supplier Diversity Day aimed to showcase diverse small and medium sized suppliers with potential to participate in sourcing opportunities over the next 6 to 12 months.

The empowerment of small suppliers remains an important focus area for Barclays Africa where Barclays Africa Sourcing and Enterprise Development focuses on the development of suppliers.


“The event is a big day for Barclays Africa and the invited suppliers,” Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa, told SmartProcurement. “Small enterprises are the engine and drive of South Africa’s economy, but it takes courage and entrepreneurial skills to run a business. It is vital for suppliers to network among themselves and this platform will help them share ideas and solutions for their organisations to grow and create business. It is an opportunity for collaboration and partnership between Barclays Africa and suppliers.” added Ramos.


MariaLepore.jpg“We believe that the event – to be hosted annually – will help suppliers share ideas and solutions to create and further grow their businesses,” explained Maria Lepore, Head of Barclays Africa Sourcing.

Added Cornelia Olivier, Head of Supplier Management and Development at Barclays Africa: “Apart from providing a platform for much needed collaboration, the Diversity Day in April also gave suppliers the opportunity to demonstrate that they are in fact ‘supply ready’.”

“Meeting people to do business with us is our main goal today,” said Clayton Slack, director of printing company Sisonke, which is seeking funding through partnerships. “We do not sell ourselves as a black supplier; we are a company that believes that the more you grow, the more we grow.”

“The reason we attended this event is to build a relationship with Barclays Africa’s supply chain management and to network with other black-owned business suppliers so that we can expand our network,” said CEO of Aptronics, a black-empowered IT solutions provider, Anil Appie Pema. “We hope to do business with other organisations to see where we can use diversity to enhance other opportunities and skills development to further build enterprise development within our organisation.”

“I’m here to market my supply chain solutions company and I’m fortunate to have begun relationships with at least two businesses through networking thus far,” said Carol Roskruge-Cele of Carlynro Supply Chain Services. “I am looking forward to receiving the necessary information and support I require to grow my business, such as non-financial support, training and access to markets. I am currently a small business and I want to convert myself into an employer. Over the next three years the goal is to build my business, brand and reputation and extend my geographic footprint”.

The event was packed to capacity with 80 suppliers and numerous Barclays Africa stakeholders attending. Various sessions were offered during the course of the day, including:

1. Tax, presented by a representative from SARS
2. Formalising your business, presented by Leap Entrepreneurial Development
3. Growing your business, presented by Barclays Africa
4. Access to markets, presented by Supply Chain Network
5. Cash flow management, presented by Barclays Africa
6. Banking and insurance, presented by Barclays Africa
7. B-BBEE, presented by the Department of Trade and Industry

Supportive facts about Barclays Africa Sourcing and Enterprise Development:

  • Barclays Africa Sourcing and Enterprise Development offers ‘supply ready’ suppliers access to funding.
  • Non-financial support includes advice on growing business; drafting a business plan; or registering with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Going forward, ‘supply ready’ suppliers will be invited to bid for business with Barclays Africa. Those suppliers that are not quite ready, but show potential, will be invited into a development programme.