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Absa intros online portal to boost supply opportunities for SMMEs

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Big-four bank Absa has unveiled an online procurement portal that aims to give small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) access to its corporate supply opportunities.

Named the Absa Procurement Marketplace, the portal is described as a single platform for prospective SMMEs to register their company profiles, upload their value propositions and access supply opportunities with the bank.

It will be implemented across the financial services group’s operations, starting with South Africa, according to an Absa statement.

“Absa’s Procurement Marketplace portal not only demonstrates Absa’s strategy of promoting responsible and inclusive procurement practices, but also ensures all suppliers are aware of the bank’s service requirements; information that was not previously widely available,” comments Vusi Fele, chief procurement officer at Absa Group.

“What’s more, it will help us build mutually beneficial, thriving, inclusive and healthy supplier relationships.”

In the statement, Absa explains the portal allows prospective suppliers to access information relating to services and/or products that Absa procures. Suppliers will also be able to add their details to Absa’s database, and identify the procurement categories and services that the bank is looking for, ranging from construction and marketing, to IT and cash management.

In addition, qualifying SMMEs may be eligible for Absa’s supplier development programme, which provides business support, training, mentoring and advisory.

Absa says its goal is to promote two-way engagement and bridge the communications gap, in terms of products, services, tenders and RFPs, ensuring all relevant businesses are included.

Fele is of the view that a supplier diversity approach will assist in driving sustainability and progressively transform the bank’s supply chain. “Not only will we be able to identify suppliers that comply with B-BBEE requirements, but we will also be able to award/extend contracts to currently exempted micro enterprises and qualifying small enterprises. We are also excited to welcome new suppliers to our business.”

He encouraged small businesses across the continent to visit the platform and sign-up. “We look forward to leveraging this portal to drive meaningful entrepreneurship development and deliver material benefits to local economic and social reform.”

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