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Encouraging entrepreneurship

Ten Priorities. One Future.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are critical to economic growth: they create jobs quickly, stimulate innovation and support the needs of local communities.

This year, SABMiller – including our foundations – invested US$6.1 million in programmes to foster entrepreneurial activity worldwide. Our programmes have helped thousands of small and micro-scale entrepreneurs to build new businesses and transition from informal business models to self-sustaining, growing companies.

This year we've worked with experts to analyse what makes an entrepreneurship programme successful. Building on our experience around the world we're developing a new best practice approach that focuses on five key areas:

  • Addressing the entrepreneurship ecosystem: to help entrepreneurs address the systemic challenges they face our support needs to be holistic and multifaceted. In South Africa, for instance, KickStart offers a range of services such as grants, access to finance and markets, capacity building, mentoring and monitoring.
  • Leveraging scale: many of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs are the same across the world. By using our global reach to share learning between regions or develop initiatives across regions, we can involve more entrepreneurs and attract other global, multilateral partners to work with us. We will be launching a new programme to help small shopkeepers across six countries in Latin America.
  • Sharing core business expertise: we can use our expertise across the value chain to help small businesses access formal markets – with access to finance, formal contracts and regulated standards – and avoid some of the barriers they may otherwise encounter. And as our small suppliers or retailers become more competitive, our business also benefits: suppliers can provide higher quality products at better prices and retailers will sell more of our products in a safer, more controlled environment. Bavaria, for instance, supports entrepreneurs within its own supply chain in one of the largest such programmes in Colombia: in the last five years 500 small suppliers have benefited from more than 32,000 hours of training in areas such as procurement, strategic planning, financial management, ethics and corporate governance.
  • Catalysing social innovation: entrepreneurship can stimulate creative solutions to social and environmental challenges. In South Africa, for example, the SAB Foundation's Social Innovation Awards recognise innovative new products that improve life for the Foundation's target beneficiaries – low-income women, youth, people with disabilities and those in rural areas.
  • Gathering data and quantifying success: our programmes should offer tangible and measurable benefits and use data to demonstrate success. In Botswana, for instance, 80% of the entrepreneurs supported by our KickStart programme were still trading after three years, while 40% of other new businesses failed in year one.

Find out how we are encouraging entrepreneurship in Botswana

Entrepreneurship World Map

SABMiller invests million of dollars each year to support entrepreneurs. Helping ideas become a reality and small companies in our communities and our value chains strive.


Investing in Social Innovation

29 May 2013

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Nicola Jowell

A boost for small retailers in Latin America

25 April 2013

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Andres Peñate