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May
31
2012
 
PPC Cement launches its Express Outlets
 

The community of Soweto will now have access to quality cement at their door step. This is due to the cement manufacturing giant, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) who, today, launched its PPC Cement Express Outlet Pilot Project to 10 local entrepreneurs. The launch took place at one of the entrepreneur’s premises, at the Riverside Hardware in Orlando West, Soweto.

The project, in partnership with Mobile Payment Corporation (MPC) and First National Bank (FNB), is aimed to empower entrepreneurs, using PPC’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) model and will offer beneficiaries the opportunity to start their own cement outlets. These express outlets are mobile business solutions for Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) which are cost effective and secure.

Each beneficiary will receive a start-up package which includes a PPC branded container; a pallet of 40 bags of Surebuild cement; a training programme on PPC cement products, training on supply chain management processes, and methods to sustain their businesses; as well as a toll-free number to ensure ordering and dispatch efficiencies.

All 10 beneficiaries will now liaise directly with PPC with no intermediary, which will become a cost benefit to them.

According to PPC’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Francie Shonhiwa, PPC has identified a gap within the retail sector where emerging SMMEs were struggling to expand their businesses. “Opposed to providing hand-outs to supplement their incomes, PPC opted to empower people and address long-term social needs by starting cement supply outlets, affording emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in the formal economy. Playing an active role in contributing towards job creation and infrastructure development is core to the way we conduct business,” Shonhiwa adds.

The business owners went through an intense screening process and were selected based on the following criteria: they needed to have an existing operating business, their business acumen of operating a SMME, location and space.

Clive Rice, Chairman of MPC and former national cricket captain said, “We at MPC are enthusiastic about this initiative as it provides the necessary sustainable empowerment required in South Africa, during this time when unemployment is at its highest. This initiative will provide the emerging market with first world banking facilities and infrastructure to operate a small business in an optimised fashion, which will lead to job creation.”

FNB will open a bank account in the name of the entrepreneur, which will be used to order and pay for stock via a mobile phone. The solution integrates directly into the PPC systems and provides the entrepreneur with an acknowledgement of the order and payment being made.

Chris Kotze, head of Global Transactional Services at FNB says, “We’re committed to making it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Whether you’re a start-up or your business is well established, FNB offers a variety of innovative products and services. Our innovative retail banking channels combined with real-time receipting provide a sophisticated supply-chain payment solution for clients such as PPC.”

Over the next few months, the project will be closely monitored to consolidate the learnings as PPC plans to roll-out the project nationally.

 
 
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