As unemployment reaches a ten-year high in South Africa, it is evident that companies and business leaders have a clear role to play in nurturing the next generation of wealth and job creators.
The question remains, how do you get the 25 percent unemployed people, and some 15 million people not involved in economic inactive members of South Africa into employment?
This is the current scale of the challenge facing our country as we tackle solutions to this seemingly grim problem. True, solving this conundrum will require action across both the public and private sectors, with a two-pronged approach. First, they need create more jobs and give young people the skills and confidence to fill them.
The good news is that the issue of youth unemployment is top of mind for the South African Breweries. In this, the 21st Anniversary of their Kickstart programme, the company has at its heart the goal of increasing employment, and encouraging entrepreneurship is core to these efforts.
“Entrepreneurs play a vital role in job creation and providing opportunities to young people,” says Simphiwe Mntambo, Enterprise Development Specialist (Youth Business) at SAB Kickstart.
“Entrepreneurship is not only about allowing young people to follow their dreams and start their own businesses, it’s about fostering this ambition an giving them the tools to do this,” she imparts.
“We believe that through SAB Kickstart we will see a significant change in the youth employment statistics.”
“Create Businesses That Thrive, Not Just Survive”
Entrepreneurship in South Africa is not a foreign concept, but the true challenge lies in capacity and the ability to build the dream. “The challenge now is to provide these dynamic young people with the support and the environment they need to turn their ambitions into reality,” says Mntambo.
“We have seen that most entrepreneurs struggle with attracting adequate capital into their enterprises and the skill to utilise this capital well due to an inability to strategically operationalise specific financial and business growth requirements and needs of their enterprises for the long term. The challenge now is to provide these dynamic young people with the support and the environment they need to turn their ambitions into reality,” says Octavius Phukubye, SAB Manager Enterprise Development.
South Africa, in general, is plagued by poor entrepreneurship and meagre education standards and a weak knowledge economy, which ultimately perpetuates socio-economic inequalities.
“Take for example that our country’s quality of Maths and Science education is ranked #144 in world,” shares Mntambo.
The Government recognises the SME sector as engine for economic growth and reducing unemployment, and they estimate by 2020 this sector will reduce unemployment by 10%.
Furthermore, government and communities are seeking more value from private sector empowerment initiatives, thus placing pressure on corporates to devise bold moves that change the game for economic transformation.
SAB Kickstart affords SAB and its entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a genuine contribution towards the national vision, indicated by the National Development Plan, of creating one million jobs by 2030 through involvement of big business and the power of entrepreneurship.
Nine Entrepreneurs Taken Under SAB KickStart’s Wing
Nine emerging entrepreneurs went through a rigorous selection process and on May 5, 2016; SAB KickStart announced the 2016 candidates who received mentorship and training to further develop their business ventures.
The annual SAB KickStart, initiative has been empowering young business minds for over two decades, while the programme is interested in developing and ensuring the sustainability of small businesses.
The SAB KickStart finalists and their business will be conscientiously monitored throughout the year and their mentorship structured to best suit their changing business needs.
The entrepreneurs were:
- Silindile Dube, 31, owner of Duo Glass
- Pravashen Naidoo, 33, owner of eWaste Africa
- Brian Ramufhufhi, 35, owner of Mukhwama Manufacturing
- Thuli Radebe, 29, owner of Eyam Projects
- Philip Ndamase, 30, owner of Ndamase Investments
- Noluthando Buthelezi, 35, owner of Tropical Island
- Donal Valoyi, 30, owner of Zulzi
- Inga Vanga, 33, owner of Inga Vanqa Quantity Surveyors
- Mamorajane Lephoto, 31, owner of Lephotho Farmeries .
Contributing Toward the NDP for 2030
Each of the entrepreneurs selected operate within key industries identified at a national level by government as having the greatest potential to create jobs at the level required to lower the country’s unemployment rate.
The core industries and sectors are:
- Agriculture and Food Processing
- Renewable Energy
- Mining and Minerals
- Science and Electronics
- Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics
- Arts and Crafts
- Metal Fabrication
- Clothing and Footwear.
Eligible business should also be operational for a minimum of 18 months and not more than 5 years, be in the post-revenue stage (sales made and concept proven), generate less than R5 million in revenue per annum, employ a maximum of 15 employees (temporary or full-time or a combination), be at least 50% black owned and managed, and demonstrate high growth potential that is scalable, with a sustainable competitive advantage.
The key objective of SAB KickStart and its model of business development support is to ensure that the small medium enterprises thrive rather than merely survive. This support creates an enabling environment in which young entrepreneurs are able to assist others in becoming economically active.
Related: New Ways SMEs Can Find Funding
SAB Kickstart Boost affords SAB and its entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a genuine contribution towards the national vision, indicated in the National Development Plan, of creating one million jobs by 2030 through involvement of big business and the power of entrepreneurship.
This is aligned to SAB’s targeted approach towards building strong South African communities is outlined in its global sustainable development framework, Prosper.
One of the strategy’s key imperatives is aimed at accelerating growth and social development through its value chains by supporting more than 30,000 small enterprises through it various enterprise development initiatives, including, SAB KickStart.