Sasol Enterprise and Supplier Development launched their first-ever SME webinar series, titled Built to Last. The series, which will unfold over four chapters, kicked off with Chapter One: The Power to Survive on Tuesday, 4 May 2021. The two-day virtual event featured various speakers from diverse backgrounds who covered a range of curated topics aimed at sharing insights with SMEs on navigating the current economic climate and enabling business continuity through the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Built to Last opened with an address from Sasol Chief Procurement Officer Lebelo Lukhele, who shared the vision behind the web series. Day one included a presentation and panel discussion led by Mzoxolo Gulwa (Purplegrowth) with panellists, Phumzile Chifunyise (GreenNatives) and Kgomotso Lekola (BT Industrial) showcasing different strategic approaches and tools that SMEs can employ to respond to uncertainty. The second half of the day focused on topics relating to how SMEs can effectively position themselves to access opportunities and operate competitively in a digital era, with presentations from Mpopi Khupe, from Sasol’s strategic sourcing partner, Zevoli Growth Partners and renowned TV and Radio show host, Rams Mabote. A panel discussion on Digitally Enabling Small Businesses which featured MJ Khan (Sasol), Zamani Ngidi (AON), Loyiso Boyce (Clyrofor) and Shukri Cornelius, Blink Digital Technologies, closed off the programme of the day.
The second and final day of the event opened with a keynote address by transitioning banking executive and newly appointed CEO of Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc., Lincoln Mali. Mali shared several valuable insights on Leadership in Transition, which included a personal perspective on navigating this period of unprecedented change and uncertainty as a business leader. Brian Simelane then presented several Business Modelling tools SMEs can utilize in their business planning process, particularly in the “new normal” context.
Throughout the event, SMEs were encouraged to participate. The webinar received an overwhelmingly positive response relating to the relevant and helpful topics shared had been by the different speakers.
The webinar series continues in July 2021, with Chapter Two: Opportunity to Improve. This insightful series forms part of the ongoing Sasol ESD transformation journey to bring about meaningful change in our communities through small business development and continually inspiring SMEs to think beyond their current environment to build lasting and sustainable businesses.