Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) has emerged as a powerful tool for transforming the economy and Nedbank stands out as one of the leaders in this space. Driving Nedbank’s award-winning ESD programmes is Nirmala Reddy, an award winner herself, who is the organisation’s strategy specialist, with a passion for entrepreneurship. 

In the latest Top Empowerment Masterclass, Nirmala shares her expertise, taking us through the approaches that make ESD programmes a success – from the perspective of both corporations and suppliers looking to benefit from such programmes – and shares examples of the success Nedbank has had in their own programmes.

Key takeaways to listen out for in this Masterclass:

  1. Entrepreneurs need to understand the values and mission of the businesses they’re looking to engage with
  2. Knowledge and understanding of your industry is more important than funding
  3. Collaboration in enterprise development is key. All the different stakeholders have a role to play and need to be working together
  4. “Starting with the end in mind allows you the opportunity to create scenarios and then to decide which is the best one that’s going to be a win-won for all.”
  5. “It’s not just about doing your programme and ‘exiting’, it’s about what happens thereafter.”
  6. The stakeholders are as important as the selection criteria for ESD programmes
  7. The approach needs to be flexible, adapting to the different businesses which are in different stages of their development
  8. Businesses implementing ESD strategies need to focus as much on the development of the entrepreneurs as much they do on the development of the business
  9. For a meaningful impact, with mentorship and business development, ESD programmes need to run for longer than six months
  10. When ESD is viewed from a transformational perspective, outcomes such as turnover aren’t as important as outcomes like job creation