Glencore Coal has launched its Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) portal as a key tool to support small, medium-sized and micro-
enterprises (SMMEs) in the communities in which it operates in South Africa in an effort to alleviate some of the socioeconomic challenges faced by the communities.

The Glencore ESD portal enables local businesses to register their business profiles and access procurement opportunities with Glencore Coal.

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.

In addition to the portal, Glencore Coal also launched a business walk-in center for the communities in Ogies, Mpumalanga.

“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,” Glencore Coal CEO Murray Houston said.

He added that the launch of the business center comes at a crucial point in time when the country is trying to rebuild and strengthen its economy.

In establishing the business center, Glencore Coal partnered with Regoapele Capital, a development consultancy that specializes in the design, development and implementation of enterprise development and supplier development solutions.

Together with Regoapele, Glencore Coal intends to connect with local businesses from the communities in which it operates in a “meaningful and lasting way,” stated Glencore Coal.

The services offered by Regoapele, which will be available at the business walk-in center, include free consultations for SMMEs, diagnostic services for established businesses applying for funding and an information hub for local community members.

The services also include assistance for SMMEs preparing applications for asset finance or working capital; providing SMME training — both business skills training and specific technical training, including facilitating SMME attendance of any accredited courses by third-party providers.

The business center also provides mentorship of SMMEs regarding enterprise development.

The business walk-in center will be targeting a variety of small businesses with a special focus on suppliers that are more than 51% black and/or black women-owned and those owned by individuals between the ages of 18 and 35.