Exxaro, one of South Africa’s largest black-empowered resource companies, entered into a new supplier development partnership with GIBS, using the school’s Enterprise Development Academy (EDA).

The two organisations are launching a new Contractor Development Programme, which aims to promote and support the advancement and empowerment of local Exxaro suppliers by providing business education and mentorship. By the end of 2020, over 30 businesses had enrolled in the course, with the first intake running from November 2020 to November 2021. It is anticipated that a total of 90 participants will be enrolled. The programme will provide a unique intervention that combines selected accredited unit standards with customised mining and Exxaro-specific content to maximise impact and relevance for participants.

Exxaro says it has always been committed to uplifting communities and developing partnerships that create equal opportunity. With the introduction of the new supplier development programme, their objective is to improve local economic development in host communities by empowering suppliers, who in turn impact their families and communities through job creation and poverty alleviation.

“Partnerships and collaborations are empowering both to ourselves and communities to address today’s socio-economic challenges,” said Exxaro CEO, Mxolisi Mgojo. “And by using our industry knowledge and resources to upskill up-and-coming entrepreneurs, we can grow new businesses and communities by providing knowledge and mentorship at a grassroots level.”

The programme was developed in partnership with the GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy, the goal of which is to build an entrepreneurial spirit amidst a culture of innovation and social change. The EDA partners with institutions and organisations to develop entrepreneurs who go on to increase revenue and job creation within their respective industries. The academy has had a profound impact on South African entrepreneurs, generating an estimated R3.2 billion in revenue from the businesses they’ve worked with, resulting in 17,000 new jobs. The EDA designs programmes that benefit participants with no education, right through to those with doctoral degrees. Even more impressive is that participants increased their business revenue, on average, by 45% after completing an EDA programme.

Now, Exxaro’s Contractor Development Programme intends to improve the business management and technical skills of the identified contractors and give these entrepreneurs a better understanding of how to overcome the operational challenges they face.

“We are proud to partner with a large player in the mining industry,” said Miranda Hosking, director of the EDA at GIBS. “Working with Exxaro to develop this programme, which gives such incredible insight into how to optimise supplier relationships, is surely the beginning of many success stories for our participants. It’s inspiring to see how committed Exxaro is to working with local businesses so that they can flourish, create jobs and grow the economy.” 

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