Interactive opportunity for SMMEs and potential customers at Enterprise & Supplier Development Expo

The unanimous feedback received from participating SMMEs at the 2nd Annual Smart Procurement World Conference and Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) Expo, held in late February in Bloemfontein was that the event provides the perfect opportunity for SMMEs to interact with both the public and private sector.

Over 65 SMMEs from the Free State met with potential customers and buyers and were exposed to on-floor knowledge hub sessions, which assisted in their personal development. MTN, Transnet, SALGA, Macsteel, Sun International Windmill and FNB were just some of the buyers who participated in the Supplier MatchUp sessions. The corporate exhibitors present included the Free State Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA); Absa; Macsteel; Coca-Cola Beverages SA; Transnet and Salga.

“Our new meetings platform – SmartXchange –was launched. A full-time resource was dedicated before and at the event, to help connect relevant industry buyers with SMME suppliers. An estimated 50 scheduled meetings took place at the event during the expo, highlighting the popularity of this initiative,” said Jodi-lee Rood, Project Director of Smart Procurement (the organisers of the event).

Hosted in partnership with DESTEA, the ESD Expo provided attending SMMEs with interactive training (Smart Supplier Conference) that focused on key topics such as ‘Your value proposition’ and ‘The context of networking and sales’. “We received some really positive feedback from SMMEs on the training on ‘designing your business pitch, redefining your unique selling point and how to seal your business deals’,” said Rood.

“The event was a great success. It helped us to reach the suppliers we were looking for. Smart Procurement has helped us achieve our goal of finding the relevant suppliers. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!” said one of the SMME Hosts, Chris Mojakisane, Assistant Financial Accountant, Sun International Windmill

“The training was great and assisted me a lot with the pitching session we had for the ESD Expo. Being able to redefine my unique selling point is what stood out for me during the conference and I will definitely implement this in my business going forward. Market to access was an excellent benefit of being an exhibitor,” said Thabisile Hlongwane, Isibusio Holdings.

“This was my second time at the event and I love the fact that there are new businesses that we could engage with. I’m excited because I got to interact with businesses that are actually in my industry, which is rare – I don’t get that at other expos,” said Akhona Buma, Quality Rag Solutions.

For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World events for 2020, please visit the website at:


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