Public-private collab empowers SMEs with e-commerce skills

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 06 Dec 2023
E-commerce is expected to reach 7% of SA’s retail market by 2027.
E-commerce is expected to reach 7% of SA’s retail market by 2027.

Takealot teamed up with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the Black Business Council to run a pilot workshop to upskill small businesses in e-commerce and entrepreneurship skills.

According to a statement, the workshop, which took place recently, was a stepping stone towards a much larger programme planned for early 2024, to engage SMEs from various sectors and further enhance collaboration between the public and private sectors.

The goal of the workshop was to establish a new way of working between businesses and government, with the focus on creating better inclusion and diversity within the economy and Takealot’s Marketplace platform.

The platform allows SMEs to trade and directly access the growing e-commerce market in SA.

The workshop comes after Takealot in February launched a business accelerator programme to give black-owned businesses trading on Takealot Marketplace the opportunity to gain access to business skills development and training, mentorship and virtual masterclasses delivered by expert partners and Takealot specialists.

E-commerce, estimated to reach 7% of SA’s retail market by 2027, has become a crucial part of the consumer landscape, according to the e-commerce giant.

Fred Zietsman, head of Takealot, addressed entrepreneurs during the workshop: “We aim to leverage the existing support that’s been provided to small businesses by the DTIC, to create a pathway for them to access our marketplace and ensure they have a wider reach through e-commerce."

Also speaking during the workshop, Tanya van Meelis, acting deputy DG of transformation and competition for the DTIC, emphasised the importance of leveraging technology to support smaller businesses.

"We're excited about this initiative because as the DTIC, we want to grow businesses, see them thrive and create employment. The more we're able to use the wonderful technologies and efficiencies available through Takealot to help smaller businesses access a wider market, the bigger the chances of them being able to succeed.”

Van Meelis commented that the workshop represents the sort of collaboration that’s “essential to growing the economy” and making sure government is able to serve the businesses that need assistance.

Kganki Matabane, CEO of the Black Business Council, added: “The Black Business Council appreciates an opportunity to partner with Takealot in providing potential market access to businesses owned by black people, black youth, black women and people living with disabilities. This also has the potential of creating much-needed jobs, growing the economy and promoting localisation.”