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The South African Breweries Limited’s (SAB) Entrepreneurship Development programme, SAB KickStart, this year celebrates 15 years of establishing and growing thousands of small businesses owned by South African youth.
SAB KickStart has, since its launch in May 1995, benefitted more than 22 936 young entrepreneurs through a total investment of R51 million in grant funding by SAB. From this total number of beneficiaries, 3200 small businesses have been established.
SAB established the programme to initially address youth unemployment in South Africa. It later flourished to become one that encourages a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth.
SAB provides young entrepreneurs with monetary grants for business start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses, and also focuses on skills development through training and mentoring.
“It is important to SAB that we help to build sustainable businesses through the SAB KickStart programme, rather than just pumping money into them. We take an interest in how these businesses can contribute meaningfully to the economy of the country and to its people,” says Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB Director Corporate Affairs and Transformation.
Many of the SAB KickStart businesses have gone on to become multi-million rand companies, employing a significant number of people. These companies have contributed to both job creation and the South African economy.
“Entrepreneurship is critical and a key contributor to the country’s economic growth. SAB has for many decades focused on skills development to offer the youth a platform which empowers and improves their lives and many others through business development,” says Dr Maphai.
SAB KickStart has become one of the country’s leading and largest entrepreneurship programmes within the private sector with the programme having become an international benchmark for successful small enterprise development. The SABMiller group has adopted SAB KickStart in four other countries to date – Columbia, North America, Hungary and Botswana.
Each year, SAB KickStart has seen budding and existing entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years enter the competition. The primary intention is that candidates develop sound business ideas into viable and sustainable businesses. Many of these businesses have become suppliers to SAB with the dual effect that new entrepreneurs are assisted to run sustainable businesses.
To commemorate its 15 year history of promoting youth entrepreneurship, SAB has embarked on a nationwide search for the Ultimate SAB KickStarter. This is an existing business owner whose business was either started or expanded by the SAB KickStart programme in the past.
SAB is calling on past winners to showcase their business successes, with the best being celebrated at an awards function in October, this year. The winners will receive an exciting and valuable package geared to further grow their business.
Past SAB KickStart winners will be required to submit an entry and then demonstrate their business growth and success since first participating in the programme. Shortlisted finalists will be subjected to a rigorous independent judging panel which will select the best of the best SAB KickStarter.
Previous SAB KickStart winners include, Neil van Schalkwyk, who first sold and commercialised the now world famous Vuvuzela; Lere Mgayita, whose shoe-shine businesses are now a permanent feature at major airports across South Africa; and Thabang Molefe, whose Roots Health and Beauty Salon has grown from a ‘one-woman’ business to a fully-fledged national operation employing 42 people and generating a multi-million rand annual turnover.
Running concurrently with the search for the Ulimate SAB KickStarter is the annual competition. The 2010 SAB KickStart entrants have already been shortlisted and are currently participating in the mentoring and training phase of the programme. These winners will be celebrated along with the announcement of the Ultimate SAB KickStarter at the 15th Year Anniversary event in October.
Other initiatives launched by SAB in the past to support entrepreneurial development include the Owner Driver programme, which saw former SAB employees starting their own companies to distribute SAB products to the trade; and the Taung Barley Farmers programme in the Northern Cape, which was established in the early 1990s to encourage barley production by local black farmers and reduce reliance on imports.
Business News Sector Tags: Education|