Celebrating Successful Impact Investment in South Africa
Enterprise Development is at the core of SABMiller’s long-term Sustainable Development strategy, helping create jobs and develop entrepreneurial skills in poor communities around the world. Encouraging Enterprise Development is a key SABMiller sustainable development priority – and well integrated into day-to-day business – for it is enterprise-driven innovation that can act as a change-maker for local communities. By incubating small businesses, large corporations such as SABMiller are empowering communities and galvanizing social change.
A number of support programmes that work to create, grow and sustain small enterprises, one of which is the SAB KickStart Programme, SAB’s youth entrepreneurship programme. SAB KickStart provides grant funding of between R50 000 and R250 000, training and mentorship to young entrepreneurs.
When the programme started in 1995, the objective was tohelp alleviate poverty and to inculcate a culture of entrepreneurship among black youth, particularly the unemployed. While that is still true, the focus is now more on supporting and growing sustainable small businesses which will have a high impact on job creation and become sustainable entities.. SAB KickStart provides training, mentorship and grant funding for compelling business cases that have potential to grow beyond concept stage, allocating funds through a competition model.
Since its launch in May 1995, SAB KickStart has benefitted more than 24,000 young entrepreneurs through a total investment of R82 million in financial and non-financial support.. Over 3,300 small businesses have been established; 64% of grant winners from 2001 to 2005 are still in business and 87% of those who received grants in 2004 and 2005 still operating. No fewer than 83% of SAB KickStart participants have reported that their businesses are growing and the turnover of SAB KickStart businesses has increased by an average of 375%. Many of these enterprises have grown into multi-million Rand organisations, employing a significant amount of people.Almost one third supply goods and services to SAB.
The result of the programme’s targeted investment speaks for itself.
"As one of South Africa's pre-eminent companies, we at SAB understand our role in leading the way in creating a sustainable future for all. Encouraging entrepreneurship is one way in which we are doing this," explains SAB director of Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Vincent Maphai.
Here SABMiller brings you the back stories of SAB KickStart’s 2012 finalists, to demonstrate the power of social entrepreneurship and show the real impact that social innovation can bring.
Brenda Dim; Adalwa Trading
Talented seamstress Brenda Dim was unemployed for three years and had lost hope of finding a job when she spotted a gap in the market for workman’s clothing. Guided by grit, determination and the power of a good idea, she established Adalwa Trading, now one of the best-known manufacturers and suppliers of uniforms and safety gear for businesses in and around East London. She now employs seven people.
SAB KickStart helped Brenda to buy additional sewing machines and furniture for the business. “Other than assets, SAB KickStart equipped me with a number of tools to help my business grow and my mentor was available 24/7 pushing me to bring structure to the business.” Motivated, she plans to expand to a secondary workshop and offer additional services.
Busisiwe Sibande; E’Catering
Busisiwe Sibande is no stranger to hardship, but she never lets it stand in her way. She has cared for her seven siblings after her mother passed away when she was 16. “I have experienced some deep personal challenges but the only way get through them is to never let them get in your way of achieving your dreams,” says Busisiwe. When she had completed her schooling, she decided to take a leap and establish a catering company bringing traditional cuisine to Cape Town’s Southern suburbs.
A bomb-proof work ethic has carried her through. “You have to make it work for yourself and participate fully in the business, and meet the targets you promise – help yourself first and then see doors opening up.” SAB KickStart empowers women like Busisiwe, giving her the confidence to continue business expansion.
Edwin Matymza; Think Branding
Edwin Matymza is a natural social entrepreneur. After graduating in microbiology and chemistry, gaining work experience and running his own brick-making business, he started Think Branding to supply uniforms and clothing to churches and schools in Cape Town. “I felt trapped working for a company and decided to explore opportunities,” he says. “SAB KickStart was a stepping stone into how to run your own business for years to come and has paved the way for me to do this.”
His SAB KickStart grant allowed him to purchase a delivery vehicle and production machines for the business and he says his turnover has increased since participating in the programme. He is now looking to the future of Think Branding, exploring the opportunities in Cape Town’s townships where clothing manufacturers are not easily accessible. “I have the chance to tap into a market that has never been tapped into before.”
Gladstone Mathebe; Gstone Pest Hygiene
There is a lack of knowledge surrounding pest control and its contribution to the spread of disease in Bloemfontein. In 2010, experienced pest control worker, Gladstone Mathebe recognised this shortfall and established a pest control and hygiene business to service restaurants, commercial properties and residential households. Despite initially he expecting little from the SAB KickStart competition, after a rigorous course of business training and mentorship he had a change of heart.
“The programme changes how you look at and conduct your business. It’s improved my businesses systems and processes and its bottom line.” He encourages young people to take up the opportunity and help themselves. “Being a young entrepreneur you need determination and be willing to risk all you have. Understand that it’s a waiting game so be patient, because you won’t immediately see the benefits.”
Kabelo Mopai; BLK Construction
Risk is an essential part of entrepreneurship but brings with it a natural element of fear. Kabelo Mopai, an engineering graduate from Cape Town, co-founded a business in the fuel industry but felt the sharp edge of the entrepreneurial sword when the 2008 recession hit and his business failed. But with the help of SAB KickStart, he learnt from his mistakes and rebuilt a new, more robust business.
“SAB KickStart pointed out critical mistakes being made in the business and helped to map its future,” he says. The programme gave his business more structure and he has become more confident and assertive as a businessman.
“It’s good to fail but good to learn while failing.”
Khotso Mohlaping; Henque Chickens
In 2005, after completing his degree and a diploma in Financial Management, Khotso Mohlaping established his own chicken farming business with just 50 birds. He enlisted the expertise of his brother to help him manage the flock and researched the technicalities of the trade to minimise mortalities. Two years later, he was able to buy land and expand his services, employing seven full-time employees and more than 20 casual labourers. Scarcity of funds and gradual rural development have brought challenges, but Khotso approaches them as growth opportunities.
“I have learnt that the more challenges you have, the more you can recognise growth as you become creative, innovative and resourceful.” SAB KickStart equipped him with skills he did not have previously, including administration and financial management processes. “The SAB KickStart programme has helped me focus on my business and my vision for it.”
Masibonge Mthethwa; Frutee Belliez
Poverty and poor nutrition are endemic problems in rural South Africa. Masibonge Mthethwa witnessed the problems first hand and wanted to contribute a positive social impact through her business.
“My sister and I were fortunate enough to be exposed to environments outside of our community. We witnessed the lack of opportunities available in the township; the poverty and lack of nutrition,” says Masibonge. “We believe we have an obligation to do something in our home community and to keep the economy within that community in order to sustain ourselves. The legacy that you leave one day must not only benefit yourself but impact the community.”
Her company, Frutee Belliez, has started a healthy eating revolution in the township of Umlazi, providing fruit salads to local schools. The SAB KickStart grant empowers women like Masibonge by helping to purchase equipment and a business vehicle. The competition’s training and mentorship offered her a view of real life experiences and how to deal with these everyday situations within her business.
Motlapele Morule; Be for Sunset Trading Projects
Hydroponic vegetable farming is an unusual diversification industry for a hip-hop artist, but Motlapele Morule turned from stardom to his greatest love – farming. Despite being one of the most competitive and challenging industries in the country, Mo has the confidence and business instinct to find success and decided to use hydroponics to grow tomatoes. SAB KickStart provided a grant to help set up the hydroponic system and professional networking opportunities.
“It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am today and it still is a consistent learning process. I’ve gained knowledge from a lot of different people and am always open to criticism and for others to help and direct my dream.” He believes the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur is to measure growth and to have self-belief: “Only I can determine if it fails or succeeds.”
Nonkululeko Tshabangu; CCV Tavern Café
Nonkululeko inherited a café business from her father and used her natural entrepreneurial zest to develop a popular entertainment venue that employs four members of staff. She had identified the accounting side of the business as weak and sought help from the SABMiller programme. “Financial management has always been a challenge for me but since the SAB KickStart training, I’ve been able to manage my cash flow,” says Nonkululeko.
“What makes my tavern different from all the others is how I treat my customers and I give them a clean place that they can responsibly enjoy themselves in.” She believes that running a business brings with it responsibility but that by creating a successful business, she can contribute to a thriving community.