The  Absa Smart Supplier Conference has always been a premier event co-located at Smart Procurement World. Post pandemic, the event is still part of the Smart Procurement World event, but will take place online alongside it. The event prepares suppliers to be ready for business by giving them technical support while creating access to the market through buyer-meet-seller platforms.

SMMEs in South Africa still struggle to access markets and get sustainable contracts. At this conference, senior buyers talk through the various processes that are essential to access their markets. This conference aims to boost supplier performance, preparing corporate ready suppliers to be a #SMARTSUPPLIER.


13 September 2021



WELCOME | MC Opening Remarks


OPENING KEYNOTE | How South African SMEs Can Survive and Thrive Post COVID-19

A survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has revealed that 42.2% of the country’s businesses have indicated that they have run out of financial resources to continue operating during the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that 7.5 million small businesses are in danger of closing down owing to coronavirus.

Here’s how the public and private sector can provide the right support to enable SME growth in South Africa, now and beyond the crisis.

Kanelani Mavundza, Enterprise Development, Absa


Q & A


PRESENTATION | Maintaining Awareness of Opportunities

Even when funding is available, low awareness of opportunities and a lack of financial knowledge remain major barriers to SMEs accessing the required support. In a recent survey, 36 % of respondents said that they were not receiving government loans or support and a quarter were not making use of payment reliefs such as UIF and PAYE.

What opportunities and provisions are available for small businesses?


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION | The Pillars of Procurement for Small Businesses

For small businesses to help lead economic growth in the next normal, now is the time to begin work on reimagining every aspect of procurement and creating synergy.

  • What should small businesses understand about contract management in a pandemic situation?
  • What basic procurement principles should small businesses grasp in order to be contract ready and become supplier ready?


Q & A


PANEL DISCUSSION | Addressing Top Challenges Faced by Small Businesses in South Africa

Small businesses represent more than 90% of enterprises in all economies and also constitute a majority of a country’s employment virtually worldwide. It’s important to address challenges that they face.
The panel discusses solutions to the top 5 challenges faced by small businesses.

  • Attracting customers
  • Maintaining profitability
  • Increasing revenue
  • Maintaining operations during uncertainty over economic conditions
  • Securing financing for expansion


Q & A


PRESENTATION | Leverage Technology to Reach New Customers or Provide a Distinctive Value Proposition

Digital and new technologies create an opportunity for SMEs to enhance their reach and efficiency at lower costs, overcoming the scale disadvantage they have relative to larger players. Why then is there a low appetite to leverage technology in the small business space?


End of Session