Entrepreneurs from Pick n Pay’s Enterprise & Supplier Development programme who are participating in the PnP Meet the Maker showcase. From left: Bliqees Essa (co-founder of Comessa Food Services), Gladys Mawoneke (Founder of BREVA), Katie Coetzee (Musgrave Gin), Patrick Langeveldt (Founder of Greenworld Chemical Services and Supplies) and Diana Swales (founder of The Allergen Baker).

CAPE TOWN – South African retailers can give local small businesses a sustainable “pond to fish” in rather than just teach them to fish.

This is according to Pick n Pay’s director of transformation, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, speaking at the launch of the retailer’s Meet the Maker showcase at the Pick n Pay Hypermarket in Brackenfell yesterday morning.

The showcase will be trialled in eight stores across the country over a three-month period including Durban North, Faerieglen, Norwood, Sea Point, Wynberg, Waterfront, Claremont and Brackenfell, where Pick n Pay has introduced dedicated shop space to promote local South African products, produced by small businesses to customers.

Pick n Pay established its Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme last year, when the retailer partnered with more than 100 small businesses and invested R170 million into supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through mentorship and business development.

ESD suppliers participating in the showcase include Itakane Trading t/a Breva, Comessa Food Services, Mojo Me, Musgrave Gin, Khayelitsha Cookies, Allergen Baker, Greenworld Chemicals, Sage Kitchen, Oryx Desert Salt, Berryhill Trading, Goedgedacht and Ebinter t/a Chemfresh.

Ackerman-Berman said the retailer has for years integrated products from small suppliers onto its shelves but believes more can be done to promote these products in-store.

She said the age-old proverb that says, ‘Give a man a fish, and you fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’

Ackerman-Berman said Pick n Pay’s ESD programme is equipping small businesses to fill the requirements of retailers and get their products on a shelf.

“More importantly, we believe retailers need to create a sustainable ‘pond’ for entrepreneurs to ‘fish’ in. Apart from giving small businesses access to the market, we need to ensure they remain long-term, sustainable suppliers to Pick n Pay. We hope this great platform yields further success for these proudly South African small business owners and the people they employ,” said Ackerman-Berman.

She added that  South Africa’s thousands of entrepreneurs gives the country hope and is an entrepreneurs paradise, despite the poor economy and people being retrenched.

“You have a dream, you have an idea, go for it. My father always said, it takes 90 percent guts and 10 percent capital, I actually think, these days, it takes 98 percent guts and 2 percent capital. We will behind you supporting small businesses as best we can,” said Ackerman-Berman.

Adrian Naude, Pick n Pay group executive for Hypermarkets said the retailers want to make it easier for customers to support local small business brands.

“This unique platform for our small suppliers will showcase their products, and tell customers about their business journey too. We want our customers to know that by buying one of these products, they are not just supporting small business, but helping to create employment and uplift local communities,” said Naude.

One of the small businesses participating in the showcase is father and son duo, Patrick and Emile Langeveldt from Greenworld Chemical Services and Suppliers, supplying Pick n Pay with its house brand firelighters.

Patrick Langeveldt said they are excited about the concept.

“This will really stimulate awareness for small suppliers, as well as promote the idea that small suppliers can deliver quality products,” he said.

ESD suppliers participating in the showcase include Itakane Trading t/a Breva, Comessa Food Services, Mojo Me, Musgrave Gin, Khayelitsha Cookies, Allergen Baker, Greenworld Chemicals, Sage Kitchen, Oryx Desert Salt, Berryhill Trading, Goedgedacht and Ebinter t/a Chemfresh.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE