KZN entrepreneurs in line for big rewards

Four young KwaZulu-Natal entrepreneurs will earn a healthy boost for their businesses soon thanks to the South African Breweries Limited (SAB) KickStart Entrepreneurial Development Programme.

About R380 000 in grants, mentorship and training is up for grabs in the KZN contest. Nationally the amount tops the R3-million mark. More than 1 500 entries have been received from candidates throughout the country.

Thirteen finalists have been chosen in KZN and they recently completed a business skills training course funded by SAB.

A panel of six judges, all captains of industry in Durban, have scrutinised the business plans and interviewed each of the finalists, assessing their achievements.

The wait to hear who the four winners are will come to an end in November at a prize-giving function in Durban. The four then go through to the national competition next year where they compete for further grants and mentoring.

This year’s candidates offer services across a wide range of businesses including beauty, corporate gift manufacturing, pig farming, furniture making and job opportunities for the disabled.

The programme is the largest of its kind undertaken by a private sector company in South Africa.

Launched by SAB in 1995 as a poverty alleviation venture, the programme – the largest of its kind undertaken by a private sector company in South Africa – has become a platform to stimulate sustainable enterprise development.

KickStart promotes business awareness through training, supplying grants as start-up capital and providing post-training mentorship and assistance during the setting-up phase of businesses.

It is aimed at 18 – to 35-year-olds from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. More than 22 800 entrepreneurs have benefited from KickStart and close to 3 200 businesses have been started by KickStart participants.

Over 80% of our all grant recipients are still in business three years after our intervention – solid evidence that the programme contributes positively towards increasing business sustainability,” said SAB’s East Coast regional corporate social investment controller, Regina Nalu-Kyegereka.

Through the competition SAB aims to create and grow sustainable businesses owned by young black people and thus contribute positively to entrepreneurship and economic growth in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of South Africa”, she said.

More than 83% of SAB KickStarters have reported that their businesses are growing, and the turnover of KickStart enterprises has increased by an average of 375%. Over one-third supply goods and services to SAB, while some have grown into multi-million-rand organisations.

SAB says the programme delivers first-class results year after year, and makes a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of people all over South Africa, from the entrepreneurs themselves to the people they employ and the customers they serve – not to mention the families of those who work for the sustainable businesses.

In the picture above are:

Back row, from left: Langelihle Lukele, Vully Shange, Thulisile Heshu, Sifiso Dlamini, Mzamo Mhlongo, Sifiso Mthembu, Thulasiwe Shabalala, Lindukuthula Mkhize and Adesh Naidoo.

Front row, from left: Ntokozo Ntuli, Ntsoaki Phali, Regina Nalu-Kyegereka (SA Breweries, East Coast Region CSI Co-ordinator), Asheka Sivnath (CWT Trainers), Masibonge Mthethwa and Lungile Shange.

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