BCX gives back
TO THE COMMUNITY
As the largest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company in South Africa, we at BCX take our responsibility to the economy and wider society seriously. We are proud of our Level 2 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment status and continually work towards creating a genuinely diverse workforce at BCX. But our commitment to South Africa and her citizens goes far beyond simply ticking the boxes on the formal requirements.
Our drive to transform and uplift the citizens of South Africa is multifaceted, and an ethos shared by all employees. We never lose site of the fact that behind every tender, every job application and delivery we receive is a person who, just like us, wants to grow their business and live a purposeful, successful life.
In broad terms, our goal as a company is to inspire social change through impactful innovation. Our social development programmes focus on four areas which are already showing results, and will, over time, be catalysts for change in South Africa:
- Making future skills, especially coding, accessible to the youth, by partnering with several carefully selected organisations and colleges.
- Creating meaningful roles for smaller, newer businesses within our supply chain and those of our partners, through our Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme.
- Empowering tech start-ups to use the power of digital and create their own momentum, through the Innovation Fund.
- Contributing to the upliftment of basic education around the country, through our work with the Telkom Foundation, which includes volunteerism opportunities for our workforce.
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Empowering new SUPPLIERS & INNOVATORS
At BCX, we aim to stimulate meaningful, sustainable job creation for our sector through our active drive to disrupt, grow, and transform our country’s digital economy. We achieve this through two projects: our Subcontractor Programme, and the Innovation Programme, where we partner with our parent company, Telkom.
The Subcontractor Programme makes market opportunities available to Small and Medium Enterprises working in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Whenever we tender for work with our own partners, we set aside 30% of the total contract value for emerging SMEs, particularly those that are black- and women-owned. We provide them with business development services which include diagnostic business gap analysis, industry strategy, mentorship, financial management and back office support.
To date, the BCX Subcontractor Programme has created 40 direct jobs and has a database of 180 approved SMEs. In the 2020 financial year alone, the programme has generated R100 million in revenue for the 22 suppliers that were awarded contracts. The programme represents an R8 million investment for BCX through the IDF FutureFund, which identifies eligible SMEs, and the Business Development Support Programme, run for us by SNG-Grant Thornton.
The Innovation Programme has built an end-to-end ecosystem of support for tech start-ups. It’s a five stage incubator programme that supports tech entrepreneurs to develop, commercialise and scale their innovative solutions, and eventually grow their businesses. The focus is on those areas which are creating the biggest change, and along with that, the biggest challenges in Information Technology (IT): the Internet of Things, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, smart cities, and cyber-security. The goal is for the strongest and most sustainable of these businesses to become strategic suppliers to BCX and Telkom in future.
The Innovation Programme partners with several entrepreneurial development organisations that focus on different areas of innovation which align with Telkom’s and BCX’s offerings. Each hub offers 24/7 access to the facilities and state-of-the-art connectivity, as well as the structured mentoring programme:
Bandwidth Barn, based in Cape Town, provides support and incubation in the financial, health, education, and agricultural sectors.
Based in Bloemfontein, TshiMoloGong specialises in training and mentoring for innovators with solutions for the operations, mining, and government sectors.
Since its inception in 2015, BCX and Telkom have together invested R30 million in the Innovation Programme. A total of 76 enterprises have been incubated, from ideation to commercialisation, and one-third of the enterprises supported with seed funding have been owned by women. We’ve also invested R100 million in the IDF FutureFund and provided seed funding to graduates of the Innovation Programme, whether in early, seed, or growth stages, through I’M IN Accelerator.
Propella’s team in Port Elizabeth works with entrepreneurs who are developing solutions for resource and facilities management, smart cities, and supply chain efficiencies.