City facilitates multimillion rand Jozi SMMEs deals
Small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in Johannesburg landed a total of more than R120 million worth of deals and sales leads at Empowertec Africa, a small business opportunities symposium that formed part of the SA Industry and Technology Fair (INDUTEC) at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand last week.
“Small business has reaped incredible rewards from exposure, networking and negotiating that has characterised this symposium. Sales leads exceeding R120 million have been generated, with several other mega deals and partnerships having been negotiated over the past three days,” said Reginald Pholo, the City’s Director of Trade and Investment Promotion.
“The City of Johannesburg, as a facilitator of these invaluable business platforms for SMMEs, is very excited at these positive outcomes.”
Empowertec Africa was one of 12 sector-dedicated shows making up INDUTEC, which targeted manufacturing, engineering, water, petrochemical, plastics, energy efficiency, waste and recycling sectors.
Speaking at the opening of the expo, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Clr Ruby Mathang said “national, provincial and local government each have a role to play in facilitating and guiding patterns of economic development [to ensure] supportive conditions are in place to leverage private sector synergies, competencies and resources”.
The fair attracted more than 220 companies from 14 countries, including France, Turkey, Nigeria and India. The key focus was on manufacturing and technology providers.
The City-hosted pavilion provided exhibition space for 60 SMMEs and featured several of the top finalists in the City’s Green City Start-up Challenge, a greening innovation contest that will see the winner walking away with the R1 million grand prize later this year. The Green City Challenge is a partnership between the City, the University of Johannesburg, the University of Witwatersrand and Resolution Circle, a University of Johannesburg-owned private sector company specialising in developing innovations and training and human development initiatives.
Baoberry, an ecological engineering and environmental services company, was one of the finalists in the Green City Challenge that exhibited at expo. Baoberry Director Yolandi Schoeman said the expo had been an invaluable learning opportunity, with several large businesses showing interest in the ecological technology her company provides.
“We have had very promising interest from various sectors and have identified potential new market ideas for the company from the suggestions and needs expressed by delegates,” said Schoeman.
Schoeman said being a finalist in the Green City Challenge was “like an endorsement,” which was valued by interested parties at INDUTEC.
Another finalist, Semona Eco, a green energy solutions company, also exhibited at the show.
The company’s Obakeng Masipa said the “capacitation" by the City to be part of the expo had created several sales and future business leads. Other finalists exhibiting at show were Energidrop, Recor, GezaJozi and Intellilab.