While Hollard believes South Africa has made significant strides towards transforming the economy, it believes there is a better way to help black-owned businesses grow.

The company says the transformation of South Africa’s economy has not progressed quickly enough to meet the twin imperatives of broad-based black economic empowerment and consistent economic growth. It aims to contribute to the resolution of these challenges through assisting black entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses within its own supply chain.

“At Hollard, we think that one of the most meaningfully transformative things we can do is to help create and support small black businesses, by assisting them with access to funding, business development support, networking opportunities and training,” said Saks Ntombela, Hollard Group CEO.

“So, in the true spirit of broad-based black economic empowerment, we’ve established an enterprise and supplier development programme that focuses on providing opportunities to black-owned businesses to become suppliers to Hollard.”

He said Hollard’s target was for more than half its total measured procurement spend to be directed at businesses that were more than 50% black-owned.

“We’re off to the best possible start because, among the first 22 such suppliers are a number of our very own Hollardites,” said Ntombela.

Through the ESD programme, small enterprises that meet the qualifying criteria, are able to access:

  • Financial support (in the form of loans at 0% interest, with deferred payment terms, or grants)
  • Business support (such as access to accounting, HR, legal, training resources) as well as mentorship, networking opportunities, and
  • access to markets

To qualify, they must be at least 51% black-owned and must also:

  • be an existing, or potential, supplier to Hollard (with a contract or letter of intent)
  • support Hollard’s overall strategy (as well as a specific business unit or organisational support unit strategy)
  • benefit the overall insurance value chain.

“Of the 22 beneficiaries we’re delighted to have on board, five are maintenance, repair and operations suppliers, six are helping us on the claims side of the business and eleven are part of what we call our “Branch in a Box” programme.  There are plenty more in the pipeline and we’re excited to see where this journey takes us, and them,” said Ntombela.

Preston Moodley is the owner of Blackfly Productions, which is a one-stop audio-visual communications and specialist photographic services shop.  He showed Hollard what he was made of when he worked in the company’s in-house design studio.

Ntombela said it had been a pleasure to watch him transform his creative mojo into his own business. Today he provides Hollard with photography, videography, animation and other audio-visual services.

Other entrepreneurial ex-Hollardites who’ve taken the plunge are: former security guard, Sydney Nkambule, who launched his own security business, Zenzele Clean N Safe; Rhulani Baloyi who ran Hollard’s car wash service for eleven years and now supplies the same ecowash service through his Baloyi Washers & Waxers business; and Lameez Ballim who gave up the corporate world to fulfill a dream of becoming a florist and now keeps Hollard’s reception and executive offices looking fabulous.