Smart Procurement World at Gallagher

Sabelo Sibanda


The Smart Procurement World Conference in Midrand was the biggest gathering of procurement and supply chain professionals in South Africa.

The conference was endorsed by the professional body, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, and was aimed at procurement professionals active in all sectors of commerce and industry in the private sector and all tiers of government, including state-owned enterprises.

Included in the conference was the Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo which has grown into SA’s largest linkage event and programme between buyers and black-owned businesses.

The conference provided a platform for entrepreneurs to network, explore possible business opportunities and engage more than a thousand corporate buyers and other procurement officials from the public and private sectors.

Smart Procurement World also launched its first annual ESD Expo Grow competition in July. The competition encouraged SMMEs to share their stories on how the exposure provided by this platform has empowered and transformed their businesses.

The competition, with prizes with a combined value of more than R10 000, provided insight into the positive impact the expo had on SMMEs. The prizes included facilitated meetings with more than 10 procurement buyers and complimentary procurement training among other benefits.

The winner, Sabelo Sibanda, co-founder and CEO of Millbug has been running his electronics manufacturing company, from Port Elizabeth since 2012. Together with co-founder and COO, Thulisile Volwana, they were not deterred by challenges they endured while growing their business.

Some of their highlights included developing Africa’s first solar-powered tablet PC in 2013 and this year they were the first African company to exhibit at the 2016 Gartner Symposium.

Sibanda is also the founder and CEO of Tuse, a company that developed a technology that allows people in places with no signal to communicate. Tuse was the first African start-up to be selected to be part of the Founders Space Accelerator in San Francisco – the number one tech accelerator in Silicon Valley for foreign-based start-ups according to Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines.

Tuse was selected as one of the 10 most disruptive start-ups in the world at the Global Technology Symposium in San Francisco and is currently working with the Technology and Innovation Agency on some exciting developments.

“The Smart Procurement World Conference and ESD Expo continue to empower SMMEs who have now become meaningful contributors to South Africa’s economy, offer employment opportunities and grow their businesses,” said Debbie Tagg, COO of Smart Procurement World.

Share which expo you most look forward to by tweeting @MidrandReporter

Al Karaki

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