Empowering SMEs: Standard Bank's collaboration with Kion Consulting

Empowering SMEs: Standard Bank's collaboration with Kion Consulting

Kion Consulting's dealings with Standard Bank’s SBG Securities proved to be a lifesaver.

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Photo of woman waving during an online business call/Pexels
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Standard Bank

Kion Consulting, a 100 percent black-owned enterprise, is one of only two Murex exclusive partners in Africa, offering niche software trading support to the financial services industry.

Seemingly, it had secured the proverbial golden goose. Yet, with the business poised for expansion, it encountered several challenges that were seemingly beyond the scope of the fledgling business.

It was during this crucial phase that Standard Bank intervened.

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With the Murex software originating from France, Kion lends its expertise in implementation enhancements and critical support to major banks, including Standard Bank, RMB, and Sanlam. Moreover, their holistic approach also encapsulates training modules, making up 5% of their services.

The specialised nature of the service necessitates costly training for staff, which put a dampener over the business's expansion aspirations.

However, their dealings with Standard Bank’s SBG Securities proved to be a lifesaver.

Leveraging the platform provided by SBG Securities Supplier Development Programme, Kion Consulting was awarded a generous grant of R2,320,800. This funding aimed to facilitate the training of 12 fresh recruits, focusing on augmenting both their technological and business acumen.

In February 2023, 10 learners were inducted, with another round taking place in July 2023. Notably, these learners exemplify the diverse talent pool South Africa possesses, with 100% being Black, 80% being Black Women, and all of them representing the youth.

Keobokile Ratshefola, Director at Kion Consulting, says: “Standard Bank's support was a game-changer for us. Their generous grant not only enabled us to train new talent but also provided us with valuable guidance and a growth strategy that has allowed us to expand our services and reach.

"It's not just about the financial assistance; it's about the partnership and shared commitment to empowering black-owned SMEs. Standard Bank has been instrumental in turning our possibilities into opportunities.”

READ: Standard Bank activates low interest solar loans

The fruits of this collaboration are evident. Kion Consulting has since embarked on a new partnership with Standard Bank, and the grant has translated into job opportunities for the 10 new inductees. These recruits, primarily new graduates, are poised for placement in projects following their training, ensuring sustained employment.

Perhaps the most heart-warming aspect of this alliance is the introduction of the Extended Programme by Kion Consulting. Featuring a three-month bridging course, this initiative has opened doors for two young women who might have otherwise missed this golden opportunity.

Kholofelo Shaai, Head Supplier Development at Standard Bank South Africa, emphasises the bank's commitment, stating: “As we navigate the shifting socioeconomic landscape, our focus on preferential procurement and supplier development has never been more vital. By harnessing our considerable procurement power, we're not just doing business – we're creating shared value, ensuring that black-owned SMEs have access to markets, development services, and crucial funding.”

Standard Bank's Supplier Development programme, exemplified by its partnership with Kion Consulting, serves as a beacon of hope. It's a testament to the transformative power of collaboration, where economic growth and societal betterment go hand in hand.

Together, we’re turning possibilities into opportunities for South Africa’s SME sector.

READ: SA may be facing 'perfect economic storm'

Sponsored by Standard Bank

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