A Look at How 3 of SA’s Biggest Hotel Groups are Supporting Local SMEs

Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs takes on 30 new businesses
Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs takes on 30 new businesses

The Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs Class of 2018.

Hotels are central to the success of the tourism sector as they cater for the large business travel market as well as leisure travellers.

Many of the country’s hotel groups have come to recognise the importance of supporting local SMEs as part of their business models, and are looking to local entrepreneurs and business owners to form the backbone of their supply chains.

This is also in line with the principles of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Framework which works to ensure South African black-owned small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) become suppliers to local and international companies.

Here is how these 3 hotel chains are empowering local SMEs. 

Tsogo Sun 

The hotel chain runs the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme. This year they inducted 42 new beneficiaries from 30 different SMEs for a year of intense training, coaching, mentorship and support – to assist them to professionalise and grow their businesses. This brings to 242 the total number of entrepreneurs supported by the programme.

The SMES are from a diverse range of market sectors that include: tourism, ICT, cleaning, professional services, manufacturing, retail, health and beauty, agriculture and secretarial and administrative services.

As part of its efforts to uplift and support businesses in all industries within tourism and hospitality, Tsogo Sun also hosts an annual Supplier Showcase, offering suppliers an opportunity to showcase their products and services nationwide.

The products and services range from accommodation and cleaning services to arts and crafts, as well as catering, spa treatments and gardening services, according to Business Events Africa.

Sun International 

The Sun International Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programme focuses on black-owned SMMEs within their tourism supply chain, including food and beverages, casino and gaming to logistics and marketing.

According to their website, to apply for the programme, business are required to have been trading for a minimum of two years, and should provide a product or service directly related to the Sun International supply chain.

Sun International’s ESD Programme contributes by:

  • supporting the introduction and development of black-owned Small Medium Micro Enterprise (SMME) businesses in our supply chain
  • offering business opportunities to qualifying E&SD beneficiaries where possible
  • focusing on the sustainability of the beneficiaries within the programme
  • supporting the objective of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030
  • supporting strategic category management plans
  • using ESD funds to achieve meaningful value within the communities within which we operate

Protea Hotels by Marriot

The goal of Protea Hotel by Marriot’s Enterprise Supplier Development Programme, according to their website, is to empower local entrepreneurs who have the potential to create further employment opportunities.

Enterprise and Supplier Development is a major focus of the group, according to the organisation’s Group Procurement Manager, Andrew Towns.

The focus of their initiatives has largely been on beverages.

In 2017 they announced that as part of the Protea Hotels’ Enterprise and Supplier Development Plan, the organisation was implementing a contract for a new supplier of coffee for all the hotels managed by Protea Hotels by Marriott.

Protea Hotels by Marriott partnered with Puréau (a proudly Bidvest company) for the supply of 100% Arabica coffee beans and filter coffee roasted by 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters.

As part of this supply, Protea Hotels by Marriott and Puréau have secured the skill and passion of Monty Biyela to train all of the baristas at the various hotels.

Biyela is the founder of Monty’s Academia, a coffee training business. The company is involved in the training of baristas in order to deliver the highest standard of coffee available in the country, while at the same time ensuring the transfer of skills to baristas working in all Protea Hotels by Marriott.

She has already trained at 16 hotels, situated in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager, Protea Hotels by Marriot said in an interview with SME South Africa that they were also sourcing gin from local distilleries who are producing innovative craft gin varieties to offer at their Fire & Ice! properties.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3