Johannesburg, 24 June 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has partnered with Aurik Enterprise Development (Aurik) to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the metals and engineering sector grow and thrive.
SEIFSA represents the interests of the metals and engineering industries, with its members ranging from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people. Aurik, on the other hand, is headed by Pavlo Phitidis and specializes in developing and implementing supplier and enterprise development programmes.
Commenting on the partnership, SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said Aurik has the necessary expertise and capacity to provide business support services to SMEs, working within the metals and engineering industry through SEIFSA’s Small Business Hub.
“We are very confident that our exciting partnership with Aurik will afford our SME members the opportunity to grow their businesses into profitable, systemized and sustainable corporations,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said small businesses have traditionally struggled to sustain their operations in a challenging economic environment, adding that bigger businesses needed to find the right business partners to become part of their supply chain systems. He said the partnership with Aurik will enable SEIFSA to address these issues.
Aurik CEO Pavlo Phitidis said that in the last 14 years, Aurik has assessed over 18 000 entrepreneurs and assisted over 1500 SMEs across all economic sectors. He said that during 2015/16, when the South African GDP growth rate fell from 1.4% to 0.3%, the average annual turnover rate for the SMEs supported by Aurik grew by 59.8%.
Mr Phitidis said a growing, vibrant metals and engineering sector was crucial in stimulating and growing economic activities in other sectors of the economy. He said it was paramount that the metals and engineering sector attracts talent and encourages competition which generates innovation and attracts investment.
“Making this happen requires, amongst other things, close collaboration between big and small business. With this objective in mind, we are proud to have entered into a strategic partnership with SEIFSA,” Mr Phitidis said.
Mr Nyatsumba said SEIFSA was excited about the strategic partnership with Aurik, with its “extraordinary track record”, and is confident that the partnership would impact positively on the metals and engineering sector and the broader South African economy.
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