Old Mutual Empowers Entrepreneurs to Drive Economic Growth

11 May 2018
Old Mutual’s participation in the Smart Procurement World Conference and Exhibition being held at GrandWest Entertainment World, Cape Town, on 15 and 16 May 2018 demonstrates the financial giant is once again going beyond compliance.

In support of the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) and Enterprise Development (ED) sector, the company will be sponsoring 10 of its SMEs to showcase their businesses at this prestigious annual event.

The annual conference is a procurement and inbound supply chain conference, where participants get to meet sourcing, procurement, purchasing and buying professionals from both government and the private sector. The exhibition offers easy access to procurement professionals, ensuring that attendees and exhibitors can learn more about their need to grow their business.

Old Mutual’s Entrepreneurship and Job Creation Ecosystem will be showcased at this event, through the presence of their 10 sponsored SMEs. Khanya Okumu, SME Development Manager, will be discussing Old Mutual’s important role as an active leader in the holistic support of SMEs through the provision of funding, business advice and financial advice.

“Our participation at this event is yet another example of how we give these new SME businesses the chance to engage with and learn from a variety of business support platforms that can ultimately assist them in gaining access to markets, which is key to our sustainable economic future,” stated Okumu.

Old Mutual is no stranger to the entrepreneurial revolution which is central to the growth of South Africa’s economy. On 10 January 2018, the Competition Tribunal approved the acquisition of Old Mutual plc by the newly incorporated Old Mutual Limited, as was recommended by the Competition Commission. This approval came with conditions agreed to between Old Mutual and the Economic Development Department (EDD) to address Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD), Employment and Empowerment.

According to the Banking Association of South Africa, SMEs have been identified as productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa as well as globally. Some researchers have estimated that SMEs in South Africa make up 91% of formalised businesses. They provide employment to about 60% of the labour force and account for about 34% of GDP in total economic output.

Old Mutual’s 2018 interventions today already reflect the level of investment and impact being made in this important sector, as reflected below.

  • R366 million already invested in SME development through Masisizane, Black Distributors Trust (BDT) and the Old Mutual Foundation.
  • 76 SME clients currently across Masisizane, BDT and Old Mutual Foundation.

“Corporates like Old Mutual have the business experience, funding and expertise to empower entrepreneurs and address the national issues that hinder economic growth. Supporting SMEs will enable an inclusive and shared growth strategy for our country, which will lead to improved employment, job creation and socioeconomic development on a number of fronts. We are proud to be able to provide the platform to our SMEs to get access to the mainstream economy and become part of society’s solution,” concluded Okumu.