Agripreneurs from across the country are hopeful that they too can benefit from a new Clicks portal set to boost black-owned businesses by listing their products on the leading retailer’s shelves.
Through the platform, Clicks will support participating small businesses through marketing, promotions, shared shelf space, and business mentorship.
The group intends to target over R4,5 billion worth of procurement spend with black-owned SMMEs over the next three years.
The Clicks initiative could be a lifeline for her Marice rooibos skincare range, says Marice Mecuur, a 36-year-old agripreneur from Clanwilliam in the Western Cape.
Her rooibos skincare range has captured the agricultural sector’s imagination after she used the local tea as a key ingredient to produce lotions, body butter and shower gels, to name a few.
Despite its initial success, times have been tough since the Covid-19 pandemic and Clicks’ initiative could prove highly beneficial, should she be selected. Mecuur explains that she has been looking for new markets to save her business and retain her workers.
“I am actually looking for new markets,” she says. “I have a permanent worker and contract workers, but I can’t always afford to pay them. I actually wanted to make all my contract workers permanent, but I can’t at this stage. So, if I can get more markets, it will have a ripple effect and create more permanent jobs for my business.”
Growing Mzansi business
Clicks says it is committed to growing local businesses.
“As a leading South African company, it is our responsibility to ensure that as we grow, so does our society. This is why Clicks is driving the focus on supporting our SMME partners to unlock their fullest potential,” says Clicks group managing executive Vikash Singh.
In the past year, Clicks has invested over R500 million in SMME suppliers and is working closely with government to accelerate local procurement.
The Clicks group recognises that SMME development is critical in creating jobs and building a healthier economy,” adds Clicks group corporate affairs director Bertina Engelbrecht.
“We are committed to removing barriers and have worked hard to implement a SMME trading framework that will ease entry into the Clicks eco-system.”
Although the retailer is open to working with all local black-owned businesses, it is focused on “growing our base of black and women-owned SMMEs, and to that end we will provide successful SMME partners who are compliant with South Africa’s B-BBEE legislation with added support.”