Glencore Coal has launched its Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) portal as a key tool to support small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in the communities in which it operates in an effort to alleviate some of the socioeconomic challenges faced by the communities.
The Glencore ESD portal enables local businesses to register their business profiles and access procurement opportunities with Glencore Coal.
As such, those who register on the ESD portal will obtain information about procurement opportunities and may qualify for business support and advice so as to create employment and business opportunities to help build their capacity, skills and expertise.
In addition to the portal, Glencore Coal also launched a business walk-in centre for the communities in Ogies, Mpumalanga.
“One of our core values is entrepreneurialism, where our aim is to foster an entrepreneurship spirit within our communities by supporting local, black-owned businesses,” says Glencore Coal CEO Murray Houston.
He adds that the launch of the business centre comes at a crucial point in time when the country is trying to rebuild and strengthen its economy.
“This project, and many others, form part of our Progress Together initiatives, which are designed to show communities the positive ripple effects of investing in the growth of our people,” says Houston.
In establishing the business centre, Glencore Coal partnered with Regoapele Capital – a development consultancy that specialises in the design, development and implementation of enterprise development and supplier development solutions.
Together with Regoapele, Glencore Coal intends to connect with local businesses from the communities in which it operates in a “meaningful and lasting way”, states Glencore Coal in a statement.
The services offered by Regoapele, which will be available at the business walk-in centre, include free consultations for SMMEs, diagnostic services for established businesses applying for funding and an information hub for local community members.
The services also include assistance for SMMEs preparing applications for asset finance or working capital; providing SMME training - both business skills training and specific technical training, including facilitating SMME attendance of any accredited courses by third-party providers.
Further, the business centre also provides mentorship of SMMEs regarding enterprise development, and the offering of targeted programmes and initiatives to equip SMMEs with the required managerial, technical and financial skills.
Business centre manager Omphile Mathole says the success of programmes like these are in leveraging on the power of large businesses to grow the business sector through empowering SMMEs. “The ESD programme is built on the ideals of fostering sustainable growth for small businesses.”
He adds that the walk-in centre aims to empower SMMEs and create a diverse and competitive local business environment where everyone has an equal and fair opportunity to grow their business.
The business walk-in centre will be targeting a variety of small businesses with a special focus on suppliers that are more than 51% black and/or black women-owned and those owned by individuals between the ages of 18 and 35.
Local business, Investability owner Innocent Mdlalosi says the Glencore Coal ESD hub is a “source of hope” to the community, growing business owners and those who are considering starting their own businesses.
Meanwhile, Glencore Coal has also rolled out the Supplier Development Training Programme as part of the ESD programme.
This year-long training programme aims to fully equip small businesses with the right knowledge and expertise to grow their businesses.
The programme will cover various modules such as strategic planning and the use of strategic tools in business, an introduction to Glencore Coal’s procurement processes, acquiring new businesses and a step-by-step guide to the tendering process, financial management, and managerial and leadership skills.
To date, Glencore Coal has enrolled 15 local businesses from the Nkangala area in the training academy. Representatives from these businesses started training in June and should be completing the process within a year.