Absa Business Day Supplier Development Dialogues

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Bridging the digital divide – giving small suppliers a place at the table
22 April 2021
10h00 – 11h00

New technologies are developing with exponential velocity and their systemic impact is profound. However, with the acceleration of ICT precipitated by the pandemic, they threaten to amplify inequalities amongst small and medium suppliers, in South Africa and beyond. Without digital inclusion, can small suppliers’ transition to doing business online, remotely, through digital platforms and using data-based analysis and business intelligence? What does digital inclusion mean and whose responsibility is it? Policymakers, academics and companies need to understand why all these advances matter and, more importantly, what to do about them.

This discussion aims to identify the rate of digital transformation and its adoption by small suppliers in Africa.

Join Joanne Joseph and her panel of experts as they discuss:

  • What are the needs and challenges of small suppliers? Electricity? Stable and easy access to the internet? Prohibitive technology costs? Digital skills?
  • How can corporates, governments and organisations help their small suppliers pivot and remain competitive?
  • How do stakeholders connect and collaborate to employ systems thinking, lead the way and lay the foundation for adopting new technologies?
  • What are the public-private partnerships required to ensure digital access and inclusion for suppliers?
Joanne Joseph

Joanne Joseph

Audrey Mothupi


SystemicLogic Group

Professor Barry Dwolatzky


JCSE at Wits University

Vusi Fele


Absa Group

Azim Omar

Partner | Africa EY Private Leader

Ernst & Young

Accessible finance for small suppliers – a tool to boost growth
20 May 2021
10h00 – 11h00

The pandemic disruption to the supplier development ecosystem in Africa has resulted in many small suppliers experiencing cash flow challenges as corporates reduce demand or extend their payment terms to manage their own cashflows. Supplier working capital may be tied up in unsold stock and numerous suppliers are struggling simply to survive. With congested supply chains, corporates find it increasingly difficult to support their suppliers and keep them intact. The distress filters down through the entire value chain, as many suppliers are dependent on corporates for their survival.

How can corporates and their small suppliers’ transition through the huge financial impact of the pandemic? Join Joanne Joseph and her panel of experts as they consider how stakeholders can mitigate the risks of supply chain disruption through access to finance and innovative financial mechanisms for small suppliers.

How to empower our youth through entrepreneurship
17 June 2021
10h00 – 11h00

Research underscores the risks posed by large numbers of unemployed and underemployed young people, especially in developing countries like Africa, where Youth unemployment averages between 45% and 60% of the total unemployed workforce. Jobless Youth threatens social unrest and political instability and needs our urgent attention.

Youth economic empowerment is tied to the future of SME supply chain and should be addressed synergistically, through a variety of integrated initiatives. Join Joanne Joseph and a panel of representatives from the business ecosystem, considers facilitating youth participation in the SMEs access to the corporate supply and delivery chain.

Panelists will discuss Youth Economic Empowerment Programmes to help young people add value to the supply chain SMEs, including how to leverage resources to improve:

  • Refocus from employment to entrepreneurship
    Access to finance, information, local and global markets and value chains
  • Upskilling and reskilling in personal growth, business, ICT and financial skills using online training
  • Matching skills development to current and future business needs
  • Transport, digital connectivity and energy infrastructure and services
  • The flow of goods at borders to open markets and global competition
  • Development of women, rural and gender sensitive Youth

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