African Businesses Overcome Funding Issues to Power Growth with Innovative Partnership


In a collaborative effort to bolster the growth of African SMEs, the Shoprite Group, Africa’s largest supermarket retailer, and Demica joined forces at the end of 2022 to provide accessible and affordable funding opportunities.

Over the past year, this partnership has already benefitted 82 suppliers, including Classic Food Brands, Rieses Food Imports, Pretty Bright Girls, and Mighty Meats, offering them a financial tool to not only survive but also accelerate their businesses.

A little over a year ago, Demica collaborated with the Shoprite Group to introduce the technology-led CredX supply chain finance program. Recognising that the sustainability of South Africa’s future hinges on the success of SMEs, the Shoprite Group identified cash flow as the lifeblood of its suppliers.

By leveraging Demica’s platform technology, CredX aids SMEs with easy-to-access cash flow, particularly those who might otherwise have limited access to affordable funding in South Africa.

Prior to the introduction of the CredX program, many of these suppliers faced challenges accessing cost-effective capital, which not only hindered their growth and investments but also posed challenges for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Ashley Fuller, Business Owner of Profile Concepts, one of the suppliers to Shoprite Group using CredX emphasised the critical role played by this partnership during challenging times “Covid-19 placed a severe strain on our cash flow, with the service CredX and Demica offers, we have been able to achieve the desired cash flow level to continue trading.”

Gerrit Kraaij, Accounts Manager at Full Basket, another business benefiting from CredX, highlighted the transformative impact of the program “The product has made a significant difference in our SME’s cash flow and has allowed us the opportunity to grow by ± 50%. It took our business to the next level and gave us the opportunity to launch new products.”

The platform also helps suppliers overcome the peaks and troughs of seasonal cashflow often typical of food production. Willie Pieterse, Managing Director at Berkeley Foods elaborates “By making use of the platform, our cash flow has seen an increase during winter. It would not have been a pleasant winter, if we had not explored this opportunity.”

The success of the CredX program can be attributed, in part, to its user-friendly platform, which enables suppliers to be onboarded and accessing cash within 24 hours without any additional KYC requirements being performed. The Demica Supplier Onboarding Tool offers a quick and intuitive registration process, automating supplier enrolment for Shoprite while enabling suppliers to efficiently navigate the economic landscape.

The platform’s robust analytics engine provides transparent, real-time reporting and transaction visibility, empowering suppliers to make data-driven decisions swiftly. Demica and the Shoprite Group remain committed to expanding the CredX service to more suppliers, further supporting SME development across Africa.

“Demica’s mission has always been to enable more businesses to provide and access supply chain finance, and our partnership with the Shoprite Group exemplifies our commitment to this cause. Witnessing the transformation and resilience of these African entrepreneurs as they navigate challenges and achieve growth is truly inspiring. We are proud to provide the tools and support that enable them to write their own success stories”. comments Johannes Wehrmann, Manging Director, Corporate Solutions at Demica.

“At Shoprite, we’ve always believed in the potential of local businesses to drive economic growth and bring positive change to communities.” explains Dolf Boshoff, Head of Credit Risk and Governance at Shoprite Group. “Our collaboration with Demica is not just about business; it’s about fostering a stronger, more inclusive future for South Africa and the broader African region. It’s heartening to see the impact on our suppliers, their growth, and the opportunities they’re creating. This is the spirit of partnership that keeps us moving forward.”

With a legacy dating back to 1979, the Shoprite Group has garnered over 40 years of experience in leading food retailing across Africa. The company boasts a vast network, comprising more than 2,791 corporate stores, 535 franchise outlets, and a dedicated workforce of over 153,000 employees.

In addition to its core grocery business, the Shoprite Group encompasses various sectors, including furniture, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, ticketing, digital commerce, and financial and cellular services. This conglomerate stands as Africa’s largest fast-moving consumer goods retailer.

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