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SABMiller boosts small businesses in Colombia

5 July 2010

Bavaria, the Colombian subsidiary of world leading brewer SABMiller, is addressing the problems faced by small entrepreneurs as they try to grow their businesses.

The new initiative builds on Bavaria's Destapa Futuro entrepreneurship programme, which has already been running for four years. Destapa Futuro has supported the creation of 220 businesses and invested over US$8 million in training, mentoring and assessing business plans for more than 1,200 entrepreneurs.
 
However, in Colombia the principle challenge for high potential start ups is the difficulty in resourcing private capital to grow further once they have exhausted their seed funding. In response to this need, Destapa Futuro has launched a social networking website - http://www.redemprendedoresbavaria.net/ - to connect business people and entrepreneurs across the country.

The site helps small entrepreneurs build connections with individual investors who offer information, advice, contacts and, in many cases, investment. It has already attracted over 18,000 registered users from more than 500 towns and cities, 12% of whom have engaged in business deals with other users.

Barry Smith, MD of SABMiller Latin America said: "Destapa Futuro has provided training, seed capital and support to entrepreneurs. But beyond this there has been a significant gap between start-up businesses and the formal providers of capital. We hope that our new entrepreneur network will result in many stories of new businesses bridging this gap and becoming significant, thriving and established."


SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie.  SABMiller is also one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, the group reported US$3,803 million adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$26,350 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Ten Priorities. One Future. Through our Ten Priorities for sustainable development, SABMiller will make a difference both locally and globally to enhance the One Future that we all share. A robust approach to sustainable development underpins our ability to grow and our licence to operate. Furthermore a well-managed growing business is good for wider economic development, leading to greater employment and  investment in local economies and communities.

Contact
Bianca Shevlin
Corporate media relations manager
SABMiller plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 0172

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