The South African Breweries’ (SAB) youth entrepreneurship development programme, SAB KickStart, has opened its 2013/2014 competition entries to youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years who manage and run their own existing small businesses.
Successful entrants selected to participate in the 18 month-long programme stand the chance of winning a share of R6-million worth of business support. The funding and additional support will go towards growing their business into a sustainable and successful entity, a barrier many small to medium enterprises (SME’s) in South Africa come up against. In turn, SAB believes that these businesses will have the ability to drive much needed job creation in the country.
The challenges faced by SMEs in South Africa were taken into account during the recent restructuring of the programme’s format. The restructured programme now incorporates four key areas – business skills training and grant funding as short-term interventions; and Business Development Support, tailored mentorship and access to markets as long-term interventions.
SAB KickStart’s comprehensive support package is designed to help drive SAB’s response to the challenges of poverty, inequality and job creation in South Africa, which can have a considerable impact on the country’s success as a nation.
The restructured programme therefore helps SAB develop sustainable and high impact youth-owned business that will drive strong job creation in SA.
“Many young entrepreneurs have difficulty in taking their businesses from survivalist or micro-level, to high impact and sustainable, owing to a number of challenges, from lack of access to funding, training and experience. SAB KickStart addresses all of these aspects,” says Hepsy Mkhungo, SAB Head Enterprise Development and Community Partnerships.
Entries into the competition close at noon on Friday, 14th June 2013, and SAB will invite successful candidates to a selection interview. A total of 60 entrepreneurs will be shortlisted from these interviews to participate in a 2-week Business Skills Training Workshop to take place in August 2013.
During the workshop, candidates are schooled on, amongst other things, how to develop an effective business plan, which they present to an independent adjudication panel. The top 15 to 18 finalists are then promoted to the SAB KickStart Nationals. Each of these businesses is individually evaluated and a growth strategy and 6-month mentorship programme developed for each. They also receive grant funding of between R100 000 and R200 000 for assets after a thorough needs analysis of their business is conducted.
At the final National Championship stage, the top three are selected, each receiving additional grant funding for their business – R500 000 (1st place winner), R250 000 (2nd place) and R150 000 (3rd place). Each will also receive a week-long all-expense paid trip to an international country to learn about their products, services and industry. For more information on how to enter the SAB KickStart competition, go to www.sabkickstart.co.za or contact +27 11 881 8493 and email firstname.lastname@example.org