As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), Old Mutual, the South African financial services giant, took part in an education series for entrepreneurs held by the Enterpriseroom in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The series which also features Discovery Health, IBM and Nedbank offers SMEs a chance to network with corporates and to find out what it really takes to do business with each one.
Lebogang Morulane from Old Mutual took a packed room of entrepreneurs through the company’s various interventions and funds and gave practical advice, from what they are looking for and details of their procurement spend, to how to draft the perfect email to their procurement department.
Old Mutual has been actively working to empower SMEs for more than a decade. As part of its various enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes they offer both financial and non-financial support.
According to the company, the desired outcome is an enterprise that leaves an Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programme empowered to survive and thrive in the business world.
Old Mutual has allocated R500 million to a new ring-fenced Enterprise Supplier Development Fund to support small businesses and black-owned businesses. This is over and above the R2 billion it has invested in initiatives aimed at entrepreneurship, SME development and job creation through various vehicles such as the Old Mutual Foundation, Masisizane Fund and Black Distributors’ Trust.
Morulane offers the following advice for SME owners to get their foot in the door with the corporate.
Old Mutual Investment Group – an empowerment fund with a focus on large scale businesses with potential for high impact, for example, businesses in the alternative energy sector.
ESD – Old Mutual’s programme to empower its value chain and suppliers.
Masisizane Fund – provides development funding and business support with a specific focus on black-owned businesses.
Old Mutual Foundation – focuses on the development of SMEs in the following sectors: Agriculture, Manufacturing and Commerce, and offers grants.
Old Mutual offers a range of financial and non-financial support options to SMEs both pre and post investment, this includes financial training, as well as business support in the form of technical mentorship, financial management tools and advice, as well as bespoke accounting services.
What they offer
– Financial education
– Business support
– Access to markets – including between businesses in their value chain and suppliers.
– Access to financial solutions
They work with businesses at all stages, however startups need to have been tested in the market; if you are a seed (company), make sure that you have tested your concept.
– Seed stage
– Growth and expansion
As a financial services company, Morule says they want to partner with SMEs that are aligned to the group’s offerings and strategy.
“We want to work with businesses that are innovative and relevant to what we want to achieve as Old Mutual.”
Morule offers 3 ways SMEs can work with Old Mutual
1. As part of their value chain – Part of their value chain are “businesses that add value to what we sell to the market” this includes intermediaries.
2. As part of their supply chain – Supply services and goods to Old Mutual – from building maintenance to events management and digital marketing.
3. As a technology partner – Businesses with a technology that is relevant to Old Mutual’s core business.
You can say Old Mutual is your biggest client, but it mustn’t be your only one
According to Morule, 75% of their spend is across these 5 areas:
– Building maintenance and facilities
– MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions)
– IT (incl: telecoms and professional fees)
– Professional fees
Morulane says they are looking for SMEs to become suppliers in the following areas:
– Financial intermediaries – this includes brokerages, intermediaries and
– Technology and the Old Mutual IT value chain – this includes business analysis,
application development, architecture design and systems testing.
– Digital – user experience design and cyber security.
– Other – this includes services related to building and maintenance.
To work with Old Mutual your business needs to meet compliance obligations and adhere to the requirements of your particular sector. This includes being registered and tax and labour law compliance.
“If you have a manufacturing business, do you have a manufacturing licence? Does your product require SABS/SANS certification? Have you complied with health and safety regulations, and municipal by laws governing noise levels and hygiene?”
SMEs need to be accredited if they are going to provide training and want to partner with Old Mutual, said Morulane. “We need to establish that you are accredited.” The Old Mutual Foundation can be contacted in regard to a partnership.
The contact email address is: email@example.com or contact Lebogang Morulane on 011 217 1131.
Here is what your email needs to include:
– Your business profile
– Business capabilities and previous experience and projects completed
– What space you are operating in
– All your contact information
– Indicate which division within the Old Mutual Group you want to operate in
Diversity your client base, Morulane advises. “You can say Old Mutual is your biggest client, but it mustn’t be your only one.”