Bloemfontein will this month host its first ever provincial edition of South Africa’s premium procurement and supply chain event, the Smart Procurement World Conference.
The high end meeting will take place at PACOFS from March 19-20 under the theme, “Walk the talk: High impact procurement.”
It is being organised by Smart Procurement World in partnership with the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) as well as the Mangaung Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
MCCI president Nancy de Sousa told The Weekly in a telephone interview that the conference is a massive opportunity for local Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) to learn from established businesses and find ways of collaborating in order to grow their operations.
“Our SMMEs here will be able to meet with local and international corporations and talk to them directly,” said De Sousa.
“They will be able to say, this is what we have, what can we do to be on your databases so that we can work closely with you?’ It’s a match-making event where SMMEs can showcase their work and at the same time learn from others, while seeking ways to expand their operations,” she added.
More than a thousand people are expected to attend the two-day event which will be addressed by several top speakers.
Some of the topics to be covered include a look at how businesses can translate economic development policies into mainstream provincial goals using specially designed High Impact Enterprise and Supplier Development programmes.
The meeting will also answer questions like: What does good governance look like from a procurement perspective? How do you move from conformance to performance and achieve success stories in the context of procurement at provincial level?
The MCCI president noted the event is very important for SMMEs because high impact procurement requires appropriate levels of control and probity in order to drive performance with view to measure impact and success.
She said there is a fee to attend the conference but organisers will allow free entry on the second day so that small business operators who cannot afford to pay, won’t be left out.
SMME operators will be allowed into the Marble Hall where some of the key speakers will also talk. De Sousa said it will be an opportunity for them to do some match-making with some of the large corporations that will be exhibiting there.
According to Smart Procurement World, the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Exhibition is aimed at assisting procurement professionals to better understand the demands placed on them to source local content and gives them a platform to find SMMEs who can fit into their business structure.
“Empowering black business, particularly the SMMEs, is absolutely essential if we are going to transform and grow the economy of our country. The Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo is committed to building the business of entrepreneurs and supports the business case for ESD initiatives in South Africa, helping develop sustainable, efficient and profitable enterprises that are able to grow the economy,” it said in a statement.