The Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards, which recognise excellence in supplier development in SA, are inviting organisations to enter their top initiatives.

The awards showcase best practice and acknowledge successful supplier development programmes that are having a lasting impact on the South African economy.

Entries close on March 1 2019.

In 2018, Massmart was awarded overall winner at the inaugural Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards, which attracted more than 400 entries from both private- and public-sector enterprises.

According to the October 2018 Supplier Development Benchmark Report drafted by Fetola (which can be downloaded here at no cost), which jointly conceived the Supplier Development Awards with Cold Press Media and Tiso Blackstar Group, “overall there was a wide spread of industry representation, with professional services comprising 17%; community, social and personal services 10%; and wholesale and retail trade 7%. The largest category was other/unspecified (36%), which is a reflection of the high number of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and intermediary applicants whose industry falls outside the standard demographics.”

Vusi Fele, chief procurement officer at Absa, believes the importance of supplier development, particularly in the current South African context, should not be underestimated. “At Absa 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.”

Six categories will be awarded in 2019:

The Newcomer Award: To acknowledge companies that have recently initiated supplier development and show merit in design thinking, innovation and commitment.

The Nation-builder Award: To acknowledge initiatives that are achieving exceptional results in supporting and growing non-traditional suppliers in one or more of the following areas: youth; black women; rural areas or areas with few alternative opportunities; and scarce skills not readily available in SA.

The Local Manufacturing and Small Supplier Award: To acknowledge companies that have developed local manufacturing suppliers, small suppliers or value-add activities from the local industry.

The Innovation Award: To acknowledge companies whose innovative approach or ground-breaking methods and concepts are changing the game in supplier development and advancing local best practice.

The Impact Award: To acknowledge companies whose supplier development initiatives have affected the value chain substantially and are effective in the return on investment, efficiency of impact and/or scale of impact.

The overall winner: To acknowledge companies that stand out as overall leaders in the supplier development arena.

Entries do not carry any costs for applicants. Simply register on the website before March 1 2019.

Winners of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards will be awarded at an interactive breakfast event hosted by Tiso Blackstar Events on May 22 in Parktown, Johannesburg.