Impala Rustenburg has invested R8,6 million into developing an Economic Inclusion Centre (EIC) that will serve as a small business hub for mine-community small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). From this multi-functional venue, Impala Rustenburg will provide SMMEs with services including enterprise and supplier development, assistance with market access and funding facilitation, as well as various shared business facilities.
The initiative forms part of Impala Rustenburg’s ongoing commitment to work with stakeholders and communities to ensure the growth of mine-community SMMEs. “Through the EIC and other initiatives, such as our Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme, Impala Rustenburg aims to assist mine-community SMMEs to formalise their businesses and grow them into sustainable enterprises. The EIC was built to provide SMMEs with a hub from which they can access information and guidance, as well as essential business services,” says Mark Munroe, CE of Impala Rustenburg.
The EIC services will be launched in a phased approach over the coming months, and will include:
Enterprise development: The EIC will provide SMMEs with business advice and support, as well as information on request for information (RFI) documents and upcoming tender opportunities. The centre will host short courses on tendering and pricing, providing small business owners with information to assist them to tender more competitively. It will also be used to host Impala’s formal ESD programme workshops, designed to equip SMMEs with an understanding of the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, compliance and governance, financial management and marketing.
Supplier development: Suppliers to Impala will have access to mentoring, as well as and technical and business support at the business centre, to enable them to deliver on their contractual obligations. They will be provided with formal supplier development programmes at the EIC, as well as access to information on RFIs and upcoming tender opportunities.
Market access: The EIC will provide SMMEs with a hub from which to access assistance and guidance on the vendor application process, as well as accessing the market at Impala Rustenburg.
Funding mechanisms: Through Impala Rustenburg’s relationships with financial institutions such as Absa and CEFA, assistance will be offered to suppliers who meet the lending requirements to access funding.
Shared facilities: SMMEs located in Impala Rustenburg’s mine communities will have access to business facilities at the hub, including shared office space, boardrooms, computer workstations with internet access, and printing and scanning facilities.
The process of constructing the EIC also benefited local mine communities, with 34 local contract workers employed for six months. The project was headed by Tumilid Trading Enterprise, a 100% black- and women-owned business operated by Lydia Sekano, who is a graduate of Impala Rustenburg’s 12-month ESD programme.
Impala Rustenburg encourages those who would like to use the facility and the services available at the EIC to book an appointment, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.