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A leading enterprise and supplier diversity advisory and project management firm in South Africa has teamed up with the African Management Institute (AMI) to strengthen the performance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who support the mining sector with a comprehensive business development programme.
Zevoli Growth Partners managing director and co-founder, Mpopi Khupe, says the company has joined forces with AMI to develop “MSME Future Forge for Mining Supplier Diversity,” a tailored programme specifically for early-stage and growth businesses looking to become procurement partners for mining houses.
“While we provide the participating MSMEs with the business development support they need to become procurement ready, we also leverage partners like AMI for the learning and development component to co-create programmes and implement them on behalf of our mining clients,” says Khupe.
To date, close to 100 MSMEs have completed the 10-month development programme, which is made up of three main components – mentorship and coaching; learning and development; industry specific compliance and tools and systems.
Khupe notes that following the completion of the programme, most of the participating MSMEs were able to establish work and procurement relationships with the mining houses that sponsored the programmes, with some even doubling their revenue and hiring more people.
Understanding corporate and MSME needs
She explains that the programme holds numerous benefits for both MSMEs and the corporate clients as it addresses the disconnect between the requirements of mining corporates, and the expectations of the MSMEs seeking to become providers.
“For mining corporates, there is the tangible benefit of being able to proactively communicate their requirements from a supply chain localisation, compliance and technical capability perspective. This applies to any business with whom a mining corporate wants to work – they want to know that operationally, an MSME is running safely, efficiently and sustainably to enter into a medium- to long-term contract. There can’t be a risk of an MSME not being able to sustainably deliver on the contract,” says Khupe.
“From the MSME’s side, there often isn’t an understanding of the hurdles they need to overcome to establish and sustain a working relationship with mining corporates. So when MSMEs are afforded the opportunity it’s critical that they are provided with the support to be able to deliver and continuously improve their service delivery.”
Khupe adds that the programme ensures Zevoli Growth Partners properly understands the mining corporate’s needs and makes sure that they enable MSMEs to meet those needs before a procurement relationship is established.
After its initial success, Zevoli and AMI plan to roll the programme out to MSMEs and mining companies in additional communities.
Focus on practical tools
Rebecca Harrison, chief executive officer at AMI, says the company’s unique practical learning approach enables businesses to immediately implement tools and practices for improved resilience and growth.
“AMI’s learning programmes provide busy business owners with practical tools, templates and resources that can be downloaded on-the-go and immediately implemented in the business, which leads to very tangible businesses impact, with businesses supported by AMI growing on average 35% in 2021 and created 4 new jobs each.
“From a corporate enterprise and supplier development and service delivery perspective, you have two of the longest-standing and most capable businesses’ delivery teams coming together to deliver a uniquely powerful solution for MSMEs, and for corporates looking to provide practical solutions to the suppliers and entrepreneurs with whom they work,” she concluded.