Building Business Links in South Africa's Construction Sector, World Education, Jan 2005

    For What's New visitors, a new version of the "win win" case study has been posted which includes additional information on World Education's implementation and plans.

    The goal of Ntinga LINK is to mainstream micro and very small contracting businesses into the construction sector by linking them with suppliers, financiers, and related businesses. A primary strategy the program uses involves partnering with existing business service providers (BSPs) to increase the scale and outreach of their services to SMEs. Through these partnerships, Ntinga facilitates the development of skills, information-sharing, collaboration, and improved services for contractors. Ntinga LINK stimulates the commercial provision of business links by: helping BSPs develop and market their services; catalyzing access to and use of such services by both small and large firms; and demonstrating their ability to economically benefit all players in sector.

    Sector mapping and a relationship matrix helped Ntinga LINK management understand the range and strength of the relationships between large and medium firms and SMEs. They found that both tools indicated similar patterns and quality with the small enterprises less likely to benefit equally from the relationship wtih the the main reasons for this disjuncture being historical factors, capacity constraints, and market distortions.

    Summary of results
    Once it had established a broad picture of the many relationships affecting small contractors and those that should be strengthened, Ntinga LINK devised a facilitative strategy to promote sectoral links and, ultimately, win-win relationships. The project built on the strong relationships the SMEs had with business service providers and public sector clients by improving the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of the BSPs' services and by helping to establish informational and working relationships with government departments that required low-tech construction services and products and had an inclination and/or mandate to undertake and enforce "affirmative" procurement favouring "emerging enterprises" via tendering and quotation processes.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Market Assessment
    »World Education Ntinga South Africa, USAID, 2002