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Nationwide Youth Business Start-Up Truck Marks Call-To-Entry For SAB Kickstart 2016 Competitions

SAB KickStart Boost and Ignite open for entry on 1 June 2016.

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SAB’s flagship enterprise development programme, SAB KickStart will embark on a month-long recruitment campaign this Youth Month, using a new innovative #StartupTruck that will travel across the country on a youth entrepreneurship drive to find South Africa’s promising young entrepreneurs.

The campaign, targeted at entrepreneurs and innovators between the ages of 18 and 35, will call on those with business ideas and existing start-ups to apply for the SAB KickStart Ignite and Boost programmes, respectively.

Entries into the two programmes open on 1 June and close on 15 July 2016. Successful applicants stand the chance of winning a share of R9-million in business development support and incubation.

The #StartupTruck will make its way across 10 identified locations in each province beginning in Tshwane, Gauteng on Friday,6 June 2016 and ending in Phillipi in the Western Cape on Tuesday, 24 June 2016.

Related: Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

SAB KickStart Ignite applicants with innovative business ideas are encouraged to visit the #StartupTruck locations and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Those with existing qualifying businesses and entering SAB KickStart Boost are invited to submit their entry forms at the #StartupTruck and attend a free workshop on how to improve their businesses.

At each stopover, the #StartupTruck will partner with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and start-up development organisations, including The Hookup Dinner and Durban Innovation Hub. Together, all partners will offer business support interventions aimed at assisting with accelerating the growth of start-ups. These interventions include pitching and product ideation; coaching aspiring entrepreneur launch their ideas; master class sessions focusing on business development topics such as start-up compliance and strategic growth planning.

“#StartupTruck is entrepreneurship support on wheels. It is designed to offer and deliver an accessible platform that assists young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and grow their small businesses. We are excited about the opportunity, together with our partners, to offer comprehensive support, resources and more importantly, increase access to the unlimited possibilities that entrepreneurship offers,” says Mpho Sadiki, SAB Head of Sustainability.

Over the past 21 years, SAB KickStart has remained focused on investing and supporting young entrepreneurs in building sustainable and economically viable enterprises which are able to make a high impact contribution towards reducing poverty through job creation.

Related: Embrace The Shift In Professional Training And Skills Development

Entrepreneurs interested in entering either SAB KickStart Boost and SAB KickStart Ignite can direct queries to one of the following channels:

Truck-startup

To Enter SAB KickStart

What We Are Looking For:

Entries must be an idea of a commercially viable product aligned to the Manufacturing or ICT Industry and makes use of one or more of the following materials – 3D printing, leather, wood, metal, laser and vinyl cutting, software design programs including CAD/CAM, and electronics including development of Internet of Things technology with Arduino and Raspberri Pi.

How to Enter:

Aspiring entrepreneurs with ideas must come and pitch their idea live at each of the following locations during the #StartupTruck tour:

  • 06 June – Tswane University of Technology Soshanguwe, Aubrey Matlala & College Road
  • 07 June – University of Limpopo Turfloop Campus, Science Education Centre Building
  • 15 June – University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, Chris Hani Road Soweto
  • 20 June – Central University of Technology, 1 Park Road, Bloemfontein

The competition format will see eligible participants given just two minutes each to pitch their concept or idea to a panel of industry experts. The pitch must convince the panel that their idea or concept is good enough to develop into a viable start-up business.

What is on offer:

Successful pitches will be invited to return for a one-day Bootcamp the following day to assist with the refinement of the business concept/ idea. Following this, a select few will be invited to participate in a 6-month incubation, where they will receive business mentorship, business training, monthly stipend and R1.2million seed grant capital to launch their start-ups.

Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to the process of incubation and a willingness to invest effort into developing their product and starting a business entity with the appropriate infrastructure provided by SAB KickStart Ignite.

During incubation, the selected candidates will have the opportunity of turning their envisioned ideas into commercially viable products through the support of resident engineers and business trainers. They will evolve through technical and business mentorship, peer learning, networking and the use of advanced technology infrastructure.

To Enter SAB KickStart Boost

What We Are Looking For:

The focus of SAB KickStart Boost is on core industries identified at national level by government as having high economic multiplier. The core industries and sectors are Agriculture and Food Processing, Renewable Energy, Mining and Minerals, Construction, Health, ICT, Science and Electronics, Automotive, Transport, Chemicals, Plastics, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Tourism, Arts and Crafts, Metal Fabrication, Textiles, Clothing and Footwear.

Eligible businesses should also align to the following criteria:

  • Operational for a minimum of 12 months and not more than 5 years
  • Post revenue stage (sales made and concept proven)
  • Generating less than R5 million in turnover per annum
  • Employ a maximum of 15 employees (temporary or fulltime or a combination)
  • At least 51% black owned and managed
  • High growth potential that is scalable, with a sustainable competitive advantage.

How to Enter:

Entries into the competition close midnight on the 15 July 2015, and SAB will invite successful candidates to a selection interview in their province.

  • Apply online or download the application form on www.sabkickstart.net
  • Collect a form at any SAB site (located on the website)
  • Come and collect a form at any of the #StartupTruck locations during June.

What is on offer:

The programme offers successful participants a combination of support including intensive business skills training, tailored business development support, mentorship and R5 million shared low interest seed capital loan.

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Inspiring A New Generation Of Learning – Education As A Basic Human Right

Access to education isn’t a privilege, it’s a basic human right – Mzwandile inspires a new generation of learners.

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Raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents passed away at a young age, Mzwandile Harmans attended a poor school in Cala, the heart of the rural Eastern Cape.  It was his matric year; but with limited resources at Masikhuthale Public Secondary school, the pass rate was low and the learning environment less than ideal for conscientious learners.

Then one day a teacher came round to talk about Engen’s Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) programme, and everything changed for this talented young man who was determined to realise his full potential.

“We were given a chance to take a test to qualify for the EMSS Cala programme. The programme offered supplementary classes in maths, science and English, which ran every Saturday morning, but was 25 kilometres away,” remembers Mzwandile. “Fortunately, I took it seriously and I got in.”

Making the long round trip every weekend to attend the programme saw a steady improvement in Mzwandile’s  maths, chemistry, and physics marks, so much so that he was awarded a full Engen scholarship to study Chemical Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Mzwandile later impressed with his tertiary studies and after two-years was offered a one-year internship at the Engen Refinery in Durban, which he passed with distinction. On graduating from CPUT, he landed a two-year employment contract with Engen, as part of the company’s graduate development programme.

Today, Mzwandile is permanently employed as an Environmental Technician at the Engen Refinery.  “I am so grateful to Engen for all of this,” says Mzwandile. “I never thought it could happen to me.”

Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Unathi Magida says access to education is a fundamental human right.  “This resonates particularly with Engen as a company, as we believe in the value of education and know how important it is to ensure that young people have the opportunity to realise their full potential.”

Chwayita Mareka, Engen’s Head of Human Resources, says the company’s investment in young talent has focused on the Maths and Science Saturday Schools because they understand the bigger country agenda.

“As Engen, we try and play our part in helping to develop South African’s talent pool, as there is a scarcity of Science, Maths and Engineering skills. We offer bursaries for students to go to universities in these fields and we look after them, especially if they are from disadvantaged communities,” says Mareka.

“Later, they come into Engen as graduate trainees as part of our graduate development programme wherein we assign them a mentor that exposes them to the real business,” she adds.

Mzwandile’s journey is just one of many inspirational Engen stories that will be shared as part of a new TV series that aims to create a positive narrative around South Africa’s success stories.  The SA INC. TV series which launches on 7 April is a partnership between Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), Brand South Africa and producers, Regency Global.

“At Engen, we strongly believe that a country which is educated is a country that will prosper. We are pleased to play a part in helping to develop South Africa talent, especially our young learners based in rural areas,” says Magida

To watch Mzwandile’s story please visit the website: https://regency.global/engen/ and the following hashtags: #JourneyWithEngen #BusinessBelieves #SAINC #humanrightsday #awesomesouthafrica #sustainability #livesouthafrica #weheartsa.

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Entrepreneur Today

How SMEs Can Stand Out From The Crowd

A recently released SME Landscape Report: An Assessment of South Africa’s SME Landscape: Challenges, Opportunities, Risks & Next Steps’ 2018/2019, revealed that 40 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find that the industry that they operate in is extremely competitive. It also states that considering the low growth environment, this is likely to continue further into the future.

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To assist struggling entrepreneurs, Byron Jeacocks, Regional General Manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that it is imperative for SME owners who find themselves in this predicament to determine and implement tactics to remain competitive in saturated industries. “A good example of how to do this, is Business Partners Limited’s client, Prashun Sharma, owner-manager of glass and aluminium company, Aluminium Doctor, who was faced with an overtraded industry teeming with informal operators when he started his business seven years ago.”

“This was because the glass and aluminium industry suffered a contraction following the Soccer World Cup construction boom in 2010, and as a result, many tradespeople were retrenched and subsequently started up their own informal glass and aluminium installation operations to make ends meet,” Jeacocks adds.

Explaining how he ensured a competitive edge in his business, Sharma, who was also retrenched from his senior management position at a large aluminium company, says that when he started his company he decided to make it formal, compliant and professional. “I wanted to incorporate my corporate and managerial experience to differentiate my business, and to elevate this, I enrolled in a business management degree.”

“My degree covered everything from strategic management, supply management, first-line management to directorship and it touched on everything from listing on the stock exchange down to conflict management and change management. This really prepared me for business and I believe it was a key ingredient to my business’s success,” he points out.

However, Sharma says that when starting their businesses in a saturated industry, entrepreneurs should not feel despondent if the process is slow at the beginning. “At first in my journey, there seemed to be no difference between Aluminium Doctor and the rest of the informal businesses in the industry, but I continued to lay a formal foundation, whilst consulting with my lawyer and accountant to make sure these foundations were sound. I also started to develop professionally made marketing material, a website, formal email addresses and a fixed phone line.”

Aluminium Doctor’s breakthrough came a year and a half into the business, when it won a substantial contract with the building of the Durban ice rink, says Sharma. “This is when I knew that it was time to formalise my business premises and I found a 1000 square metre factory in Brairdene, Durban.”

However, in order to purchase the building, I needed to obtain funding and I believed that it was clear from the financials that the company could afford to buy the building, but the banks were not sure whether our fast growth was sustainable. “I was then introduced to Business Partners Limited which considers finance applications based on the potential of the business, and also on the capabilities of the entrepreneur rather than just on the balance sheet and age of the business.”

Commenting on this, Jeacocks says that Sharma’s management style and his commitment to furthering himself as an entrepreneur by studying business management was also a contributing factor to the approval of his business’s property finance loan,” comments Jeacocks.

“Today, seven years since he started, Sharma’s careful attention to his business’s formal foundations is still paying off. Just in the last twelve months, in an extremely challenging economy, Aluminium Doctor grew by 35 percent, and the business now has a presence in KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng where it will soon establish a permanent sales office in an expansion that is only possible for a formal, well run organisation,” Jeacocks concludes.

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Celebrating The Best Of The Best In Black Business

The 2019 Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards, held at Emperor’s Palace on Friday, 15 March 2019, celebrated the champions of transformation of the South African economy.

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Established in 2002, the BBQ Awards 2019 honoured the best of the best in black business. South Africa’s top black business owners and rising stars arrived to the red carpet for a night full of glitz and glamour. Celebrity TV presenter, socialite, radio personality and Idols SA judge Somizi Mhlongo led the festivities as the evening’s programme director. He was joined on stage by A-list celebrities and prominent politicians.

Jeff Radebe, Minister of the Department of Energy, celebrated 25 years of South Africa’s democracy in his opening keynote address and emphasised the importance of transformation.

“Transformation is well recognised as a change management strategy, which aligns people, which aligns processes and technology initiatives, irrespective of the industry you come from, in order to survive and evolve in this business environment. Changing the structure of the South African economy will result in it being more inclusive, more sustainable… with opportunities for all, integrated value chains, and less barriers to entry. In South Africa, the transformation agenda is very critical in all our endeavours and all our decisions.”

Radebe congratulated the winners of the 15 transformation categories on this recognition of their inspiring dedication:

  • Platinum Award: Dr Nobuhle Judy Dlamini, founding chairman of Mbekani Group, is an entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. Her passion for creating and adding value to society and humanity provided her with the overall platinum award for the evening, as well as the Comair Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.
  • Hennessy XO Businessman of the Year Award: Sthembiso Elton Nkomo, CEO of Abalandi Risk Management, was recognised as a professionally qualified, dedicated, and respected professional in the forensic investigation and security services environment.
  • The Innovation Hub New and Innovative Business Award: AET Africa, a manufacturer and supplier of energy efficient and clean technology products, developed various products targeting the commercial and residential sectors.
  • Emperors Palace Community Builder of the Year Award: Emmanel Bonoko, Founder of EBonoko Holdings and a social entrepreneur. He founded EBonoko at the age of 21 with the aim of serving others and fostering leadership, youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship.
  • Dormehl Phalane Property Group Transformation Champion of the Year Award: ICT-Works, an organisation that provides innovative technology solutions. At its core it also enhances the lives of millions of people.
  • Best Employer of the Year Award: Maredi Technologies CC, an 100% black owned ICT infrastructure solutions provider for the private and public sector.
  • Trade & Investment KZN Young Business Achiever Award: Pravashen Naidoo, Founder and CEO of e-Waste Africa, established Africa’s first light bulb recycling business at the age of 30.
  • Bentley South Africa Public Sector Visionary Award: Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CEO of Lama Marketing and Advertising (Pty) Ltd. He published numerous articles on how to improve services and operations in South Africa. As a seasoned Executive he has expertise in corporate governance, financial management and budgeting, enterprise risk management and strategic development.
  • BET New Entrepreneur Award: Ms Thobile Nyawo, Director of Nyawo Civil construction. The 19-year-old construction entrepreneur founded her company in 2015 with no start-up capital.
  • CSI Ubuntu Award: Vukani-Ubuntu Community Development Projects, a non-profit organisation that is the largest mineral-beneficiation organisation in the jewellery sector in South Africa and a network off grassroots development projects across the country.
  • NHBRC Iqhawe Mentorship Award: Musa Zulu, Creative Director of Valhalla Arts, as well as published author, international artist, celebrated motivational speaker, and prominent disability activist in South Africa.
  • NYDA Outstanding Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Muhammad Simjee, Founder and CEO of A2D24 with a passion for building gadgets and writing software.
  • Nedbank Group Individual Transformation in Leadership Award: Karen Rademeyer, Fundraiser and Communications Manager at Go for Gold, having worked in the non-profit sector for 17 years She is passionate about education: Go for Gold as a dynamic Education-to-Employment programme that recruits school students from some of South Africa’s poorest communities and transforms them into technically qualified graduates.
  • LTE Holdings Best Established Black Business Award: Thata uBeke Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd, which offers turnkey solutions by designing, developing, manufacturing and assembling electronic and electro mechanical components for a variety of applications including aerospace, telecommunications, mining, commercial, and military specifications.

The BBQ Awards continue to be South Africa’s most prestigious transformation awards. For more information on the 2019 BBQ Awards, visit http://www.bbqawards.co.za/ or follow them on Facebook (@BBQAwards) and Twitter (@BBQ_Awards).

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