Our SAB KickStart initiative has helped more than 3,500 new businesses to start up and create jobs
“They helped me to move the company out of my home and into a central business district location, as well as teaching me how to delegate things and create a system for the business.”
That testimonial comes from Ayabulela Stwayi, one of thousands of young black business people who have been supported by SAB KickStart, the youth entrepreneurship initiative launched by our business in South Africa, The South African Breweries (SAB). Ayabulela’s branding and signage company, Now U Know, was a SAB KickStart finalist in 2009, receiving a R90,000 (US$8,500) grant which it invested in machinery and office equipment.
SAB KickStart, launched in 1995, is one of the longest-running schemes of its kind in the country. It works as a competition, with successful entrants participating in an 18-month programme of business support, with access to skills training, a tailored business development strategy and grant funding.
It begins each year with a call-to-entry, after which 60 of the best potential candidates are selected to participate in an intensive two-week training programme. During training each participant is assisted with developing an effective business plan, which they present to a panel of independent judges. Entrepreneurs with the best business plans are selected to move into the regional phase of the programme and 18 of those are then chosen as national finalists. Each national finalist’s business undergoes an intensive assessment, which determines their grant funding and business development strategy, as well as customised mentorship over a period of 12 months.
Thabang Molefe’s company, The Roots Healthcare Centre, has gone from strength to strength since it won the national prize in 2004, giving it the funding it needed to open a second health and beauty centre to join its original business in Soweto. Now the company enjoys a multi-million rand turnover and has created more than 40 jobs for women.
Thabang, who is a qualified medical practitioner and professional beauty therapist, is a firm advocate for SAB KickStart.