HomeBusiness and policyGlencore Coal launches business hub to empower local businesses

Glencore Coal launches business hub to empower local businesses

Glencore Coal seeks to contribute to activities and programmes designed to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Recognising the major contribution small businesses can make to local economies and their potential of alleviating some of the socio-economic challenges faced by communities, Glencore Coal launched their Enterprise Supplier Development Portal as a key tool to support SMMEs in their communities.

The Glencore ESD Portal allows local businesses to register their business profiles and access procurement opportunities through Glencore. Those who register on the ESD portal will obtain information about procurement opportunities and may qualify for business support and advice so as to create employment and business opportunities to help build their capacity, skills and expertise. Glencore Coal has now launched a business walk-in centre for the eMalahleni communities in Ogies, Mpumalanga.

“At Glencore one of our core values is Entrepreneurialism where our aim is to foster an entrepreneurship spirit within our communities by supporting local, black-owned businesses. The launch of the business centre in the community of Ogies comes at a very crucial point in our country where we are desperately trying to rebuild and strengthen our economy after the year that has been. This project and many others form part of our Progress Together initiatives which are designed to show communities the positive ripple effects of investing in the growth of our people,” said Glencore Coal CEO, Murray Houston.

In establishing the business centres, Glencore partnered with Regoapele Capital, a development consultancy that specialises in the design, development and implementation of enterprise development and supplier development solutions. Together with Regoapele Capital, Glencore intends to connect with local businesses from their communities in a meaningful and lasting way.

The Services offered by Regoapele which will be available at the business walk-in centre are:

  • Free consultations for SMMEs
  • Diagnostic services for established businesses applying for funding
  • Information hub for local community members
  • Assisting SMMEs in preparing applications for asset finance or working capital
  • Providing SMME training, both business skills training and specific technical training
  • Facilitating SMME attendance of any accredited courses by third party providers.
  • Mentoring SMMEs with regards to Enterprise Development
  • Offering targeted programs and initiatives to equip SMMEs with the required managerial, technical & financial skills

Omphile Mathole, the centre Manager, says the success of programmes like these lies in leveraging on the power of big business to grow the business sector through empowering SMMEs.

“The ESD programme is built on the ideals of fostering sustainable growth for small businesses, this is why what Glencore is doing for their communities is so important. With these walk-in centres we will be empowering SMMEs and creating a diverse and competitive local business environment where everyone has an equal and fair opportunity to grow their business” he said.

The business walk-in centre will be targeting a variety of small businesses with a special focus on +51% black-owned suppliers, +51% black women-owned suppliers and 18-35-year-old black youth-owned companies.

Innocent Mdlalosi, local business owner of Investability, said they are excited to have the centre in the community, “Today is a really special day not just for us as business owners but the whole community at large. I want to thank Glencore for their continued efforts to support our community. The Glencore ESD hub is a source of hope to us as growing business owners and those who are considering starting their own businesses” he concluded.

In addition, Glencore Coal has also rolled out the Supplier Development Training Programme as part of the offering of the ESD program. The new offering is a one year long training programme to ensure that small businesses are fully equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to grow their businesses.

The programme will cover various modules such as; Strategic Planning and the use of strategic tools in business, an introduction to Glencore Coal Procurement, Acquiring New Business and a step-by-step guide to the tendering process, Financial Management, Managerial Skills & Leadership to name a few.

To date, Glencore Coal has enrolled 15 local businesses from the Nkangala area in the training academy who have all began the training in June and should be completing within a year.

“We are excited about the business centre and the training academy because they are going deep into the roots of what hinders the growth of small businesses and capacitating entrepreneurs with the tools to overcome challenges so they can thrive. We also want to encourage other businesses in these areas to make opportunities available so we can all work together to help grow the local economy” Glencore Coal CEO, Murray Houston concluded.