Absa is committed to assisting emerging black small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa to grow and prosper through our various Enterprise Development (ED) initiatives. ED is an integral part of the Barclays Africa Shared Growth Strategy and contributes to the wider National Agenda to promote a thriving SME sector to enable economic and social development in the country.
What we offer
SMEs face numerous challenges in achieving sustainability and success, the most notable of these being: Access to development finance, Access to markets, and Business development support. Absa, together with our various partners, seeks to assist SMEs to overcome some of these barriers.
Access to development finance
Through partnerships with our corporate clients and other partners we are able to offer a number of development funding solutions to qualifying emerging SMEs, based on the profile of the entrepreneur and the business.
Access to markets
In South Africa, the Absa Procurement Portal, which emerging SMEs can access, is a virtual marketplace bringing emerging SME suppliers and corporate procurement teams together to access goods and services. This portal unlocks numerous opportunities for SMEs to penetrate existing markets. Currently there are over 7 000 corporate buyers registered on the portal with over R2.5bn of tenders listed.
Business development support
Our approach to growing SMEs business management skills is to provide a variety of different types of non-financial support interventions depending on the SMEs varying needs. Business development support (BDS) solutions can range from offering generic business and financial management training on a variety of topics, to bespoke interventions and mentorships to assist SMEs to grow and expand their businesses, as well as manage risk.
Enterprise Development Centres
We have four Enterprise Development Centres across South Africa, which are hubs for emerging SMEs to receive training; access computers and boardrooms; and benefit from networking opportunities. Some of the business development services offered to SMEs include:
- Hot-seats/workstations and boardroom(s)/meeting rooms with telecom facilities for EDC members
- Advisory services on Absa ED offerings (including the Procurement Portal, Procurement Finance and Developmental/Equity Funding)
- Workshops focusing on Business plans (review), cash flows, licenses, permits, registration regulations and documents required to start and/or register a business, tax compliance etc.Entrepreneurial skills development, financial literacy, business principles etc.
- Provision of network platforms through business seminars
We also have two Enterprise Development offices which provide advice and training, as well as the Absa StartUp store based in the Tshimologong Precinct, 41 Juta Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.