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Eva Sgroi | 17 October 2023

MTN Xlerator is MTN South Africa’s enterprise supplier development (ESD) programme that plans to increase MTN’s procurement spend by R4 billion over two years with 51% black-owned SMMEs.

The programme plans to double the number of SMMEs on its supplier database and will uplift them through business strategy development, skills development, and improved funding access.

Payabill, the SME financing fintech, has been chosen by MTN as one of the finance partners for its Xlerator programme. Managing cash flow is a real challenge for SMEs across sectors. The founders established Payabill to aid businesses lacking sufficient funds in purchasing stock, assets, or services from suppliers who require upfront cash.

Payabill targets SMEs with annual revenues between R500,000 and R30 million, giving them working and other capital to grow their businesses. It offers various forms of finance including local and international trade finance, as well as asset finance.

Explains Eli Michal, Payabill CEO: “We are excited to have been selected by MTN to partner on its Xlerator programme. Playbill has already paid many suppliers in most sectors chosen by its customers all over the country.”

As part of the arrangement, Payabill will also actively introduce and enhance the opportunities of its qualifying clients to the MTN Xlerator programme.

“Small businesses are neglected by banks and other lenders due to high perceived credit risk, and associated costs of assessment and collection. SMEs see these lenders as having onerous credit requirements to keep them out. Payabill is different. Payabill is welcoming, quick, and easy to deal with and can provide funding in hours due to its bespoke credit methodology,” says Michal.

The MTN ESD program invites SMMEs that operate for a minimum of six months, have over 51% black ownership, generate under R500m annual turnover, and are managed daily by black key staff.

Charles Molapisi, MTN SA CEO adds, “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.”

Michal adds, “We take risk where it matters – at the coalface of SA’s businesses – by helping smaller businesses that have little security and struggle to get funding. We pay suppliers when sales aren’t yet guaranteed and take risks where no one else would consider it. We are intent on helping those businesses locked out of the market at a time when SA businesses need all the support they can get.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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