Exxaro’s new partnership with GIBS empowers local entrepreneurs

Exxaro, one of South Africa’s largest black-empowered resource companies, has announced a new supplier development partnership with internationally accredited University of Pretoria’s, Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). 

The two organisations are launching a new Contractor Development Programme. The programme aims to promote and support the advancement and empowerment of local Exxaro suppliers by providing business education and mentorship. Thus far, 31 businesses have been approved to enrol in the course, with the first intake running from November 2020 to November 2021. It is anticipated that a total of 90 participants will be enrolled through three intakes. The programme will provide a unique intervention that combines selected accredited unit standards with customised mining and Exxaro-specific content to maximise impact and relevance for participants.  

Exxaro has always been committed to uplifting communities and developing partnerships that create equal opportunities. With the introduction of the new supplier development programme, their objective is to improve local economic development in host communities by empowering suppliers, who in turn impact their families and communities through job creation and poverty alleviation. 

“Partnerships and collaborations are empowering both to ourselves and communities to address today’s socio-economic challenges,” said Exxaro CEO, Mxolisi Mgojo. “And by using our industry knowledge and resources to upskill up-and-coming entrepreneurs, we can grow new businesses and communities by providing knowledge and mentorship at a grassroots level.” 

The programme was developed in partnership with the GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA), which was launched in 2012. The academy’s goal is to build an entrepreneurial spirit amidst a culture of innovation and social change. The EDA partners with institutions and organisations to develop entrepreneurs who go on to increase revenue and job creation within their respective industries. The academy has had a profound impact on South African entrepreneurs, generating an estimated R3.2 billion in revenue from the businesses that they’ve worked with, resulting in 17 000 new jobs. The EDA designs programmes that benefit participants with no education, right through to those with doctoral degrees. Even more impressive is the fact that participants increased their business revenue on average by 45% after completing an EDA programme. 

Now, Exxaro’s Contractor Development Programme intends to improve the business management and technical skills of the identified contractors and give these entrepreneurs a better understanding of how to overcome the operational challenges that they face. 

“We are proud to partner with a large player in the mining industry,” said Miranda Hosking, Director of the EDA at GIBS. “Working with Exxaro to develop this programme, which gives such incredible insight into how to optimise supplier relationships, is surely the beginning of many success stories for our participants. It’s inspiring to see how committed Exxaro is to working with local businesses so that they can flourish, create jobs and grow the economy.” 

The scope of the programme will cover four primary domains: leadership, entrepreneurship, people management, and business management practices. It is intended to empower participants to acquire the industry knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values required to make their businesses more competitive, and to respond to the challenges of the economic environment. Throughout the course, Exxaro representatives will present case studies, which are relatable and impactful, on technical topics such as procurement and payment processes. 

Active mentorship is an important aspect of the programme. Entrepreneurs are matched with individual mentors based on their unique needs. Throughout the course, participants will work on achieving practical learning outcomes in a setting that combines expert facilitators, relevant content and a blend of face-to-face and online learning. 

Through completing this intensive programme, participants will be well on their way to creating businesses that can grow communities and the economy.