MTN South Africa has taken a bold step forward today by introducing MTN Xlerator, an innovative Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme that is set to reshape local supply chains, stimulate economic growth, and champion inclusivity.
MTN said this launch represents a significant milestone in its deliberate journey to support black-owned enterprises, aligning with the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) pillar of its Ambition 2025 strategy. It builds upon the substantial progress the company has already made in the ESD arena.
In 2021 alone, MTN dedicated over R220 million to various initiatives, in addition to nearly R100 million allocated for skills development. Notably, MTN’s Total Measured Procurement Spend (TMPS) has surged from about R26 billion in 2018 to more than R44 billion within just five years. An impressive R17 billion of this expenditure was directed towards entities that are at least 30% Black Women-Owned in the 2022 fiscal year.
MTN said beyond its procurement investments, it was also steadfastly committed to enhancing Supplier Development, Enterprise Development, and Socio-Economic Development initiatives. In 2022, MTN’s commitment in these areas continued to grow, underscoring its dedication to creating lasting positive impacts.
In 2022 MTN SA spent:
- R189 million on Supplier Development;
- R152 million on Enterprise Development; and
- And R81 million on Socio-Economic Development.
“We are exceptionally proud of these achievements, however, we know that if we are to create shared value consistently and sustainably in SA, we must adapt and become more intentional at developing and increasing access to market for SMMEs, given the pivotal role they play in the economy and creation of jobs,” says MTN SA CEO, Charles Molapisi.
The new MTN Xlerator programme sets ambitious new targets to improve procurement spending and the development of local suppliers. Procurement spending on 50 black-owned suppliers (from 13 in 2021) of R50 million, or more is planned. The plan is to have 140 active QSEs in MTN SA’s supply chain, from 70 now, and 120 active EMEs from 66. In a key move to broaden and diversify the supply chain, the aim is to grow from 65 black-owned women suppliers to 120.
Importantly, MTN SA seeks to lower the barriers to entry to the telecommunication and technology sectors, that have been notoriously difficult to break into, due to the often-high cost of capital investment required.
“As an example, this programme is already helping us facilitate more black-owned network operators in SA, which is an important milestone for the industry. Beyond procurement opportunities, we are also reshaping the ownership landscape of our Y’ello stores, with the goal of better mirroring the demographic tapestry of South Africa,” he explains.
MTN’s Xlerator programme will offer support to participants in a number of ways to aid their growth and their ability to meet the programme requirements.
The short-term processes focus on working capital funding and will include early payments and working capital loans. Longer-term processes will include low-interest loans, asset finance and guarantees.
The programme also adopts an ecosystem approach where like-minded partners including:
- Mamor Capital
- Payabill and
- Tysys Capital Group
To drive the various initiatives, including:
- Funding product development
- Direct funding and co-funding
- Loan support through guarantees
- Business plan evaluation
- Credit assessment
- Business development
- Training and development
Training and development will be provided based on the needs of the individual participants and will be structured according to the type and scale of capabilities required to service specific business requirements. The initial focus will be on certified technical, health and safety, and project management training. The participants will also receive business development support and training to assist their commercial growth.
“Through MTN Xlerator we are transitioning our supply chain strategy from transactional to values-driven, with ESD at its epicentre. The programme aims to be a beacon of economic transformation, where budding entrepreneurs and suppliers are nurtured, while fostering competitive markets that catalyse job creation and establish self-reliant communities,” says Molapisi.
MTN remains resolute in its commitment to spearheading South Africa’s transformation journey. Through investments in SMMEs, fostering innovation, and championing inclusivity, we are collectively constructing a prosperous and equitable nation that benefits all.
“MTN Xlerator is a symbol of our unwavering commitment to progress, innovation, and empowerment. We believe in the enormous, unearthed potential within South Africa. At MTN, we believe in the evolution of empowerment and our goal is to transition from a transaction-based supply chain to a values-based one, ensuring everyone enjoys the benefits of a connected world while building a better tomorrow,” concludes Molapisi.