Small businesses celebrate big success through strategic partnerships

by Ofentse Sefolo
Small businesses celebrate big success through strategic partnerships

Macsteel and ORT SA work together to support small business to achieve compliance and business growth.

Earlier this year small businesses in the local manufacturing industries were celebrated for outstanding achievement in Macsteel’s award-winning Usizo Supplier Development Programme.
The Usizo Supplier Development Programme, into which Macsteel has invested R37.9m in the past four years, is designed to strengthen the capacity of SMMEs within the steel manufacturing sector by offering sustainable solutions to overcome their operational limitations. In addition to promoting gender and racial equalities as well as empowering youth-owned business, the project has supported 62 businesses with an average turnover of R4.3 million. The impact of this on South Africa’s economy is a contribution of R110.6m, the creation of 230 new jobs and a further 756 existing jobs being sustained.

Recognising that greater impact and business growth can be achieved through partnerships with intermediaries, Macsteel enlisted the services of ORT SA, an accredited, award winning non-profit education and training organisation funded generously by Macsteel’s founder, through the Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation.

“As a corporate, Macsteel can only do so much in our own capacity, hence the imperative of creating shared value. Our strategic collaboration with stakeholders is of the greatest importance, with each playing a role and contributing towards creating a thriving eco-system to support the development of small businesses,” says Kim Allan, Macsteel Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.

The ORT SA Usizo Project commenced at the end of 2018 to assist Usizo businesses where they need it most. So far, it has supported 30 SMMEs through needs analysis, individualised mentoring and training on both technical aspects and business acumen – assisting them to, amongst other things, reach compliance of above 75%.

“We are pleased to report that to date, 19 of the businesses in the ORT SA Usizo Programme have achieved 75% compliance, with three of these achieving 100% compliance,” reports Allan.

Vuyani Gaya, CEO of Baolong Enterprise, a beneficiary of the programme, explained that their business has seen accelerated growth and recognition as a result of the initiative, adding: “A special thanks goes to Macsteel’s Corporate Social Responsibility department. The Usizo Programme really does justice to its name ‘Usizo’ – it assists and provides a meaningful development to us SMMEs.”

“We believe that this initiative is a testament to our long-term commitment in sustainably building our economy, through co-operation with partners who have a shared vision. We are proud of our unique database of local manufacturing suppliers and look forward to assisting even more small business to achieve success,” concludes Allan.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Macsteel for the information in this article.
For more information visit their website at www.macsteel.co.za.

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