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Township retailers adopt Standard Bank's new digital marketplace offering to thrive

Township retailers adopt Standard Bank's new digital marketplace offering to thrive
12-05-23 / Chris Smit

Johannesburg - Standard Bank is backing an innovative initiative designed to recognise owner-run retail business that are driving the growth of South Africa's township economy.

The recognition initiative was launched amid much fanfare and competitive display of the township's entrepreneurial successes in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail market in Johannesburg today.

Called the thrive_Awards, the programme is inspired by the success of Standard Bank's marketplace digital platform start-up called thrive_ launched in 2020 to connect people and retail brands in the FMCG market.

The thrive_ marketplace start-up venture made its product debut with the launch of the first-to-market Point-of-Sale (PoS) solution built specifically for taverns and spaza shops. This vibrant trader network also includes lifestyle lounges, wholesalers and distributors who are the heartbeat of the FMCG market, and a place of connection for communities, job and wealth creation for many entrepreneurial families, and a stage for DJ's and artists to build audiences.

During 2022, the thrive_ marketplace solution enabled more than R1,5bn in digital payment transactions between shoppers, owner-run retail businesses and FMCG brands across a network of approximately 4500 traders operating in townships.

thrive_ is not just a PoS card machine for formal businesses, but a unique marketplace purposefully created for traders, with no bank account or paperwork required. It enables FMCG brands to receive seamless payments from traders, as well as incentivise shoppers to go cashless through the thrive_ In The Mix App which allows brands and businesses to market their services directly to shoppers.

During its first three years of trading, thrive_ has gathered incredible insights about vibrancy, resilience and potential of township businesses to drive South Africa's economic growth. It has now leveraged these insights to conceptualise the thrive_ Awards to celebrate the achievements of owner-run retail businesses in growing the township economy, and for sustaining livelihoods through job creation and entrepreneurship. The market value of the township economy is estimated to be approximately R340bn.

The CEO of thrive_CEO Khetha Mazibuko said the start-up's purpose is to connect people with brands. "As such, the thrive_Awards enable us to amplify the brands of our business and corporate customers, and foster deeper connections between people and brands".

Crosby Mkwanazi, Standard Bank's Head of Transactional Banking, said the role of Standard Bank's Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) is to support corporate brands and their value chain. "The thrive_Awards aim to showcase a critical part of our FMCG customer's value chain, specifically the many owner-run distributors and retailers who drive FMCG growth".

The awards will be across 11 categories that have been identified to amplify the main market, and entries will be open between May – August

Award categories

  • 2023 Tavern of the Year
  • 2023 Chesa'nyama of the Year
  • 2023 Sports Entertainment Venue of the Year
  • 2023 Lifestyle Lounge of the Year
  • 2023 Venue DJ of the Year
  • 2023 Spaza of the year
  • 2023 Brand Activation of the Year
  • 2023 Cashier of the Year
  • 2023 Digital Store of the Year
  • 2023 Lifetime Achiever of the Year
  • 2023 Wholesaler of the year

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