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Tips on preparing small businesses to become suppliers to large firms

By Jul 10, 2020Jul 14th, 2020No Comments

Hleku Maluleke lost many sales for his photography business, Flashing Lites. It was rather frustrating because he would have a ready client but could not access the equipment he needed to deliver what the clients required. The business was locked into small projects and serving individual clients.

But this changed completely when his business, Flashing Lites Photography, joined the Exxaro Resources Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme. As a result, he received a grant of R1.5 million for buying operational equipment. And now the equipment frustrations are a thing of the past.

Flashing Lites provides a range of visual content production services such as photography, corporate film production, animation, and live streaming.

Maluleke will be a guest on the upcoming episode in the IBASA & EPI Webinar Series. This episode focuses on how small businesses, like Flashing Lites, may prepare themselves to meet the requirements of corporate ESD programmes and how they may position themselves to be suitable suppliers for large firms.



“How to help your clients to become suppliers to large firms and take part in ESD programmes”

With Lusapho Njenge, Enterprise and Supplier Development Manager at Exxaro Resources and Hleku Maluleke, owner of Flashing Lites Photography

Thursday 16 July 2020 from 11h30 to 12h45

<<CLICK HERE >> to book your place


Also, on the webinar will be Exxaro Resources ESD Manager, Lusapho Njenge. He will share important tips on how business support practitioners may help their small business clients to prepare themselves as suitable enterprise or supplier development beneficiaries.

“It is very important to understand the company objectives of the targeted ESD programme and their strategy so that you can match the potential small business beneficiary with what the company is aiming to achieve,” he says.

This will require the business support practitioner to get a sense of areas where the transformation of their supply chain is difficult. “Typically, a large corporate will not battle to transform its supply chain in non-core areas, but there are other areas where they are battling to meet objectives and are considering unbundling large contracts to be able to engage smaller suppliers,” says Njenge.

During the upcoming webinar, Njenge will explain how to understand ESD opportunities in industries procurement opportunities lean towards capital intensive projects, requiring fairly large suppliers. This, however, does not imply that there will not be opportunities for sub-contracting or entering as a non-supplier ESD beneficiary.

Since small businesses can prepare themselves to be attractive candidates as ESD beneficiaries, advisors and other supporting practitioners need to understand what the corporate requirements are.

“An important step to take in being prepared for supplying to a large business like Exxaro is to build systems in your business, says Maluleke. “You can get access to many tools online nowadays, so it is not too difficult to improve your systems,” he concludes.


  • To join the CPD webinar, you can << REGISTER HERE >>. 
  • Christoff Oosthuysen is the webinar host and Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute