Johannesburg. 27 March 2015. SAB KickStart, the South African Breweries’ (SAB) youth entrepreneurship programme, announced the competition’s Top 18 national finalists for 2015, during a grant allocation ceremony at SAB’s World of Beer in Newtown, Johannesburg, today. Each of the finalists has begun an intensive business development support programme, which will culminate in an award ceremony to celebrate the top 5 entrepreneurs amongst them at the end of this year during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 (GEW), where they stand to win additional grant funding of between R100 000 and R500 000.
SAB is encouraged by the fact that young entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunities that lie within South Africa’s core industries, namely Agriculture, Health, Energy and Sustainability, with a vast majority of the 2015 finalists’ businesses playing in these arenas.
A business development strategy has been crafted for each of the finalist businesses according to a needs-analysis undertaken at the beginning of 2015. This determines the grant funding received by each and the necessary business development support, including individual mentoring over the coming months.
2015 is a significant year for SAB and SAB KickStart. SAB celebrates 120 years of brewing some of the country’s best loved beers, as well as 20 years of SAB KickStart, which has proved to be one of the more respected youth entrepreneurship development programmes in South Africa since its start in May 1995.
“Through much of SAB’s history, empowerment has played a leading role, SAB KickStart being the most visible of these efforts and we are proud of the programme’s achievements and the difference that it has made in the lives of thousands of young South Africans, many of whom are today successful business people.
“SAB KickStart is indicative of SAB’s commitment to developing and supporting high impact youth entrepreneurs whose businesses become sustainable and make a meaningful contribution to society and the economy through the creation of many jobs, ” says Mpho Sadiki, SAB Head Sustainability and Transformation.
In 2014, the previous SAB KickStart finalists created a total of 98 part and full time employment. The Top 18 finalists will need all the support they can get with the majority of them in the early stages of a start-up and operating without core systems and process. The average age of the group is 30 years, proving that many young entrepreneurs are choosing to acquire critical and necessary experience within their business’ industry before venturing out on their own.