Shoprite to offer capital, marketing support to partnering SMMEs through newly formed division

SOUTH AFRICA – The Shoprite Group has heightened its support towards its suppliers with launch of Shoprite Next Capital, a new business division dedicated to capacitating and growing commercially viable SMMEs.

According to the retailer, Shoprite Next Capital is aimed to give small suppliers access to its consumer market.

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The division will operate as a one-stop shop for the SMME partners by providing marketing opportunities, working capital assistance, packaging and labelling support, data sharing, product range and geographic expansion, as well as possible private label partnerships.

Shoprite has always partnered with SMMEs, but the establishment of the division comes with dedicated staff and resources, focused on their needs.

“The Group has always partnered with small suppliers, but now we are giving them additional focus and allocating dedicated buyers, essentially creating a separate value chain to the bigger supply chain system,” said Maude Modise, GM for Enterprise & Supplier Development at Shoprite Group.

The new division will provide SMMEs with easier entry into the group’s retail market with direct access to buyers that understand their needs combined with personalised growth plans that will assist suppliers to scale up gradually.

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Shoprite Next Capital will provide marketing opportunities, working capital assistance, packaging and labelling support, data sharing, product range and geographic expansion, as well as possible private label partnerships.

“In the last fiscal year, we procured 32% more than in the previous year, from small suppliers, this has facilitated the expansion of a number of these suppliers both geographically and via product extension,” Modise explained.

As drivers of growth, job creation and innovation, SMMEs are crucial to the recovery of the South African economy, and Shoprite Next Capital is the formalisation of the key role the group plays in the success of SMMEs by giving them access to its consumer market.

Present at the launch was Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who lauded Shoprite for the role it is playing in developing small businesses.

The government has gazetted the National Integrated Small Enterprise Development plan as part of its master plans that are driven by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

The government is also bolstering the role it plays in supporting small and medium sized businesses with the launch of a partnership projects team, which will work on cutting red tape.

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The establishment of the division follows exactly a month after the supermarket chain owner and one of the leading employers in South Africa, formed an Employee Trust with 40 million Shoprite Checkers’ shares valued at R8.9 billion (US$599m).

Through the newly formed trust, the supermarket chain owner has effectively increased black empowerment ownership in the subsidiary to 19.2%.

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