The WCBDC adds value through business to business linkages.
The business linkage programme assists in the economic participation of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through linkages to business opportunities, networking opportunities and trade leads.
This entails the identification and distribution of business opportunities, the selection and development of SMEs as well as the creation of networking opportunities.
Business opportunities are sourced from local corporate companies as well as loca-l and regional government and distributed to accredited SMEs in the relevant field of business. This is achieved through the participation of local government and corporate companies throught the Corporate Procurement Forum (CPF) as well as the use of effective internal distribution and tracking systems.
The accreditation programme was developed in conjunction with development partners, in order to bridge the gap between legal and corporate requirements and the capability of SMEs. A pilot accreditation programme was launched early 2003 and assisted Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises in the region with legal registration and the implementation of basic management systems. The final phase was an audit process which identified further specific areas of development. Last named were addressed through intensive specialised mentoring assistance.
The accreditation programme has since been cultivated to become the SME development Programme. Last named focuses on existing Small and Medium Enterprises in the Saldanha Bay Municipal Area who are already registered as legal entities. The SMEs are selected according to specific criteria, analysed to determine their specific development needs and linked to focussed, practical training courses. The acquired knowledge is made applicable to each individual business through the development and implementation of specific outcomes with the assistance of specialised mentors. The SME is then audited to evaluate the impact of the interventions and to determine the level of excellence achieved by the SME. Successful SMEs are accredited by the WCBDC after which relevant business opportunities will be forwarded to them. This process ensures that local SMEs are developed to a level of competence that will assist in ensuring sustainable enterprises and quality service providers in the Saldanha Bay area.
The WCBDC facilitates networking amongst businesses through forums and regular functions. This offers emerging and existing businesses the opportunity to mingle with other small enterprises, buyers and executive officers of corporate companies. Other business leads include development opportunities, linkage to the oil and gas developments, award nominations and various other opportunities.
The following institutions have committed themselves as partners in the development of SMMEs:
- Duferco Steel processing
- ArcelorMittal, Saldanha Works
- Namakwa Sands
- PPC Saldanha
- Sea Harvest Corporation
- Saldanha Bay Municipality
- West Coast District Municipality
- Transnet ( National Ports Authority)
- Spoornet / OREX
The process starts when an existing small or medium business entrepreneur approaches the WCBDC for assistance, advice or help. The Receptionist, the WCBDC front line operator, is the first official to communicate with the client, either per telephone or in person. After a short interview the client will be referred to the appropriate Business Advisor who will direct the client through the process as illustrated in the diagram.
More than 40 local SMMEs have been rated and accredited thus far; several are preparing for the rating and accreditation process. Activities or outcomes through the SME Development and Business Linkage Programmes for 2006/7 are::
- SMMEs attended specialized training workshops: 208
- Contracts to the value of R32,141,011 awarded to SMMEs
- The Center's relationship with financial institutions providing loans to SMEs in the approval of loans to SMMEs to the amount of R200,000 during the 2006/7 financial year
Abacus Micro Systems, Ajiet Transport, Barth Engineering CC, Bertram General Engineering Services, Cape Columbine Coatings, Cape Global Personnel Services, Clearmind Construction, Corrie's Construction, Dagbreek Engineering, ER Recruitment Services, Full Output, Hansing Engineering CC, HBH Engineering, High Profile Inspection Authority, Ikoloni Development Projects, Ivor Lee and Associates, M & B Fire Appliance, Medsafe, Menel Project Services/Ithemba, MNM Personnel Services, CC National Rigging Services, Patand Engineering, Phuthuma Projects cc, Prinro Building & Steel (Pty) Ltd, Saldanha Engineering, SCL Construction, Silver Solutions, Saldanha Industrial Services, SHE Security Services, Spring Kleen Chemicals, SSVES (Pty) Ltd, Stop Fire, Vredenburg Marketing Services, WC Marine and Industrial, Weskaap Delta, West Coast Labour Hire, West Coast Medical, Westarcor Engineering (Pty)Ltd, Zest Werke.