Siemens holds the view that it will be necessary to be pro-active in developing new types of skills required to support our business and customers in an environment where new disruptive digital business models will become standard. In Africa, it is also a priority for many governments to strengthen their economies by developing local businesses.

Exploring opportunities for cooperation with regional and local business initiatives to support new employment opportunities and ultimately strengthen economic growth is a core part of our business-to-society approach.


Private sector procurement from small companies has been identified as a key strategic intervention by e.g. the Department of Trade in Industry of the South African Government. Siemens South Africa, for example, spends more than 30% of its procurement budget with Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSE) and Emerging Medium-sized Enterprises (EME).

In order to address this, there is a Siemens Supplier Development Program in place that is aimed at strengthening the QSE and EME business supplier base. In order to prepare for the disruptions as a result of digitalization, Siemens is looking at building these types of skills through a digital academy that can act as incubator for future entrepreneurs.

Within the region, Siemens has experience in developing and supporting small businesses as part of the Supplier Development Program.


In 2016, Siemens set up a unit to foster disruptive ideas and to accelerate the development of new technologies based on more than 20 years of experience in Venture Capital. The unit’s name, “next47,” plays on the fact that Siemens was founded in 1847. At next47, the company pools its existing start-up activities. An initial funding of €1 billion has been made available for the first five years. Offices are based in Silicon Valley, Boston, Beijing, Shanghai, Munich, Israel and cover all regions of the world. The new unit is open to employees as well as to founders, external start-ups and established companies if they want to pursue business ideas in the company’s strategic innovation fields.

Next47 partners with innovative start-ups disrupt the norm and develop the next big thing. Next 47 empowers start-ups with the energy and resources provided by the dynamic Siemens ecosystem. Through next47, the goal is to find future opportunities in Electrification, Automation and Digitalization as these fields of innovation will pave the way to next-generation intelligence.

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