Since receiving R150 000 after entering the 2014 South African Breweries (SAB) KickStart youth entrepreneurship programme, a business owner now not only wants to expand his business, but also use his newly acquired skills and knowledge to secure previously inaccessible clients.
Port Elizabeth’s Siphamandla Javu is one of the top 18 finalists in this year’s competition, and is among those who are already benefiting from the R6 million SAB invests as part of this programme every year. However, the programme is not only about funding, but also about providing a comprehensive package of business development support and customised growth development strategy as well as a 12-month mentorship programme.
Javu, who owns Mzansi Telecoms and Projects, says being chosen as a finalist is exposing his business to new opportunities.
“I am getting more attention from government departments now. Before being part of the programme, it was difficult to approach them with business proposals, but now they are starting to give us attention,” Javu says. He says he has also gained substantial knowledge and experience, especially during an intensive two-week business training session last year as part of the programme.
After submitting their entries, at least 60 candidates from across the country were shortlisted and invited to attend the training programme, which is facilitated by one of South Africa’s leading academic business schools, Pretoria University’s Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Once completed, candidates presented their business plans to an independent adjudication panel, which selected 18 national finalists. SAB enterprise development specialist Octavius Phukubye says a needs analysis is performed on each finalist’s business, and a customised growth development strategy is development for each business.
Their growth development strategy determines their grant funding of between R100 000 and R200 000.
“During the mentorship phase, several critical interventions are made in each business, promoting their sustainability and the job creation impact they are able to make. The top three winners are then selected by an independent panel. The winners receive additional grant funding for the benefit of their business,” says Phukubye.
The winner receives R500 000, the first runner-up R250 000, and the second runner-up R150 000.
Each also receives a fully sponsored one-week international learning business course to the value of R100 000.
Says Javu: “I will be investing it in my company and am gunning for that first prize, because I would like to open other branches and start an internet café coupled with a carwash.”
Since its launch 19 years ago, SAB KickStart has benefited 22 700 entrepreneurs and has helped start more than 3 200 businesses.
An independent impact study showed that 64% of grant winners from 2001 to 2005 are still in business, with 87% of those who received grants in 2004 and 2005 still operating. No fewer than 83% of SAB KickStart’s alumni from 2001 to 2005 have reported that their businesses are growing.
The average turnover of SAB KickStart businesses has increased by 375%. A number of these businesses have transformed into multimillion rand operations employing a significant number of people. The top three winners will be announced during Global Entrepreneurship week later this year.
Applications open on 1 April and close on 30 May.
- Go to www.sabkickstart.net