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SAB announces top 5 young entrepreneurs for 2014

Overall winner from Pretoria walks away with share of R1.5-million in business grant funding

The South African Breweries (SAB) has announced the Top 5 winners in its youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart, each receiving a share of R1.5-million in business grant funding.

The announcement was made at an awards ceremony during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

The overall winner of the SAB KickStart competition this year is Millicent Nyembe of Nyembe Waste Management who walked away with R500 000 grant funding and a 6 months business development support and mentorship.

The runners up were: Chad Petersen, owner of Artisan Research Unit, who received R400, 000; Tsholofelo Majeng, owner of Maiktronic CC, who received R300 000; Reamogetswe Tshabalala, owner of Pfuxaka Enzokuhle, received R200 000; and Jeffrey Mafalo, owner of Falo's Wire and Steel, who received R100 000. They will also receive additional 6 months business development support and mentorship to assist in efficiently employing the grant investment provided.

Millicent Nyembe (31) is the owner of Nyembe Waste Management, based in Pretoria, which specialises in crime scene cleaning and transportation of health care risk waste. The business has been operational since 2012 and provides a service to emergency services and health care facilities across Gauteng.

This year, she has been focusing her efforts on improving customer service, the day to day management of the business, negotiating with existing customers and working on acquiring new customers for long term contracts, as well as improving administrative efficiencies. Millicent says that this year she has gained more confidence in herself as an entrepreneur as a result of the mentorship programme, which she says provided encouragement.

Chad Petersen (32) is from Cape Town and established Artisan Research Unit in 2012, a business specialising in the design and manufacturing of luxury leather goods for the high-end market.

Chad says that since participating in SAB KickStart, the business has grown, from operating from their 1 bedroom flat and offering their product range out of local Cape Town craft and design markets, to recently opening a store at the V&A Waterfront. Artisan Research Unit is now also available in Johannesburg and an international investor will take the brand into Germany early in 2015.

Their product range includes backpacks, card holders, wallets, and leather wine bottle holders for the luxury hospitality industry.

Tsholofelo Majeng's (33) Maiktronic CC is based in Kuruman in the Northern Cape and was established in 2011. It specialises in the fabrication of structural metal products and the supply and installation of electronic and security systems.

 Tsholofelo says that SAB KickStart has helped her develop clear goals to work towards in her business and to identify problem areas which were neglected in the past. This year, the business has moved from home-based production to a spacious industrial work area and DIY tools have been exchanged for industrial machinery.

Reamogetswe Tshabalala (26), a former Mechanical Engineering student, started his tombstone manufacturing and composite material business, Pfuxaka Enzokuhle, in 2012, after identifying a gap in the market for offering a cost effective product. During SAB KickStart he received training in composite material to increase his product range, which now includes logistic pallets and sanitary ware.

Jeffrey Mafalo (35) is the owner of Falo's Wire and Steel situated in Makotse Village, Lebowakgomo, Limpopo. The lack of wire and steel products and service in Limpopo's communities prompted Jeffrey, with his experience in Electrical Engineering and Manufacturing, to start a small business. Falo's Wire and Steel was founded in 2008. The business now does wire and steel engineering work for local municipalities.

According to SAB, The top 5 winners were selected from a group of 17 SAB KickStart finalists who each underwent an intensive programme of business development support over a period of 12 months. This included a business growth strategy designed for their business, grant funding of between R100 000 and R200 000, as well as individualised business mentorship.

This support model is designed to build and strengthen the capabilities of the SMEs so that they become sustainable entities with the ability to create jobs, wealth and make a worthwhile contribution the country's economy.

In selecting the winners, an independent panel of judges considers the overall business performance, business sustainability and its potential, as well as the effective implementation of growth strategies during the SAB KickStart mentorship and business development phase.

The year-long journey of the 17 national SAB KickStart finalists was celebrated during the awards ceremony. SAB paid special recognition to the group who it believes makes a significant contribution towards reducing youth unemployment, which according to official statistics has been on a downward trajectory since 2008.

The top 17 national finalists created a total of 98 fulltime and part-time jobs since the start of their participation in SAB KickStart. This is 34 more jobs than was created in 2013, when SAB KickStart finalist businesses created a total of 64 jobs. Refentse Shinners, SAB Enterprise Development Manager said that the year-on-year increase in job creation by the young SAB KickStart finalists was an encouraging indication that our model of outcomes-based business training, grant funding and comprehensive business development support, has potential to establish strong small business.

SAB KickStart, introduced in 1995, is designed to help address this need to create sustainable jobs through supporting the development of high impact young entrepreneurs.

The programme's efforts are focused on instilling a culture of entrepreneurship amongst young South Africans by providing much needed finance coupled with business development support and intensive mentorship. The beneficiaries should, as a result be empowered to build thriving enterprises and create much needed jobs.


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