Unearthing Embedded Services in South Africa's Construction Sector : Some Experiences

How to ensure that continuous Embedded Services are provided to micro and small enterprises?
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This presentation discusses the World Education's Ntinga LINK program which aims to mainstream micro and very small businesses into the construction sector via access, value-addition and viable business linkage (BL) services. The main objectives are of the program are to:

  • Stimulate the commercial provision of BL services in the sector - assist business service providers (BSPs) to develop and market such services;
  • Catalyze the access to and the use of such linkage services by small as well as large firms;
  • Demonstrate economic benefits of BL services to all players in the sector.

Further, the presentation provides information on:

  • Micro and small (MSE) status in the sector;
  • Constraints faced by MSEs;
  • The demand and supply gap of business development services (BDS) - from both small contractors and providers perspectives;
  • Initial LINK-BSP activities;
  • The emergence and promotion of relationships being developed between MSEs and materials suppliers resulting in the provision of embedded services along with supply of materials.

Finally, the presentation defines the current and future role of LINK in facilitating provision of relevant embedded services through the material supplier channel and identifies the constraints to facilitator's role:

  • Translation of BDS jargon into supplier-speak;
  • Competition and confidentiality concerns of suppliers;
  • Unwillingness/ inability of suppliers to specify cost-benefit calculations;
  • Difficulty in monitoring, tracking of services and MSE impact.

About this Publication

By Manala, M.