The Inaugural Awards - launched in 2018 - attracted more than 400 entries across diverse industries and have grown in scope and impact.
Vusi Fele, Absa Group’s chief procurement officer, says the awards align well with Absa’s values of Africanacity in promoting growth, innovation and prosperity on the African continent. "We are proud to be partnering with the Supplier Development Awards for the fourth year in a row, as we continue to promote the development of robust and sustainable supply chains in South Africa and across the rest of the continent.
"Absa’s continued involvement with and support of these awards is motivated by our confidence and belief that having robust and inclusive supply chains is crucial if we are to drive the growth and development of a viable SME sector that can contribute to sustainable economic growth."
"The importance of supplier development, particularly in the current South African context of Covid-19 and beyond, can no longer be gainsaid. We believe that opening up opportunities for SMEs to access corporate supply and delivery chains is one of the most efficient and consistent ways in which established corporates can contribute to sustainable entrepreneurship development. This will be even more crucial for economic recovery after Covid-19," says Fele.
"It is in times like these that SMEs become critical to supporting the value chains of the mainstream economy, to help drive economic revival after disruptive shocks such as the pandemic, absorb or shore up some of the jobs lost due to the self-preservation and survivalist strategies."
This year, the awards programme includes an engaging series of online Africa-wide Supplier Development Dialogues, with a focus on the growth of SMMEs. During Youth Month, the Supplier Development Dialogue focused on empowering the youth through entrepreneurship.
From July to October, key themes include:
• Future of jobs and its impact on supply chains
• Bridging the digital divide for small suppliers
• Access to finance for small suppliers as a tool to boost growth
• The value and changing role of women in the value chain
• The role of ethics in the business value chain
Catherine Wijnberg, one of the co-founders of the awards, notes that past awards winners highlight how supplier development that is deployed as a strategic business imperative, helps strengthen competitive advantage and ensures business viability. This leads to healthier supply chains that can grow employment during challenging economic times such as this Covid-19 period.
"We are delighted with the growing strength of the Awards and very pleased that the Supplier Development ecosystem will now extend into Africa. This year’s awards programme is, even more, interactive and engaging, with opportunities for interactive sharing and learning between leading corporates and the suppliers they support," says Wijnberg.
Previous award winners include some of South Africa’s most prominent corporate brands: Massmart, SAPPI South Africa, Distell, Hatch, Exxaro, Empact Group, SAB, Macsteel, Spar, Unilever and Tiger Brands.
The 2021 winners of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards will be announced on 18 November 2021.
Entries can be made online at www.sdawards.co.za.