SAB Kickstart announces Youth Business finalists for 2016


Entrepreneurs play a vital role in job creation and providing opportunities to young people says SAB.

As unemployment reaches a ten-year high in South Africa, it is evident that companies and business leaders have a clear role to play in nurturing the next generation of wealth and job creators.

The question remains, how do you get the 25 percent unemployed people, and some 15 million people not involved in economic inactive members of South Africa into employment? This is the current scale of the challenge facing our country as we tackle solutions to this seemingly grim problem. True, solving this conundrum will require action across both the public and private sectors, with a two-pronged approach. First, they need create more jobs and give young people the skills and confidence to fill them.

The good news is that the issue of youth unemployment is top of mind for the South African Breweries. In this, the 21st Anniversary of their Kickstart programme, the company has at its heart the goal of contributing to the reduction in unemployment, and encouraging entrepreneurship is core to these efforts; so much so that the company is making available R5  million in business funding to the 9 businesses set to be announced at ceremony in Johannesburg tomorrow. “Entrepreneurs play a vital role in job creation and providing opportunities to young people,” says. Simphiwe Mntambo, Enterprise Development Specialist as SAB.

“Entrepreneurship is not only about allowing young people to follow their dreams and start their own enterprises, it’s about fostering this ambition and giving them the tools to do this,” she imparts. “We believe that through SAB Kickstart we will see a significant change in the youth employment statistics.”  Last year the 18 KickStart Boost national finalists created more than 100 fulltime and part-time jobs in 2015. The 2016 finalists are projected to match this this number.

“Create Enterprises That Thrive, Not Just Survive”

Entrepreneurship in South Africa is not a foreign concept, but the true challenge lies in capacity and the ability to build the dream. “The challenge now is to provide these dynamic young people with the support and the environment they need to turn their ambitions into reality,” says Mntambo. “We have seen that most entrepreneurs struggle with attracting adequate capital into their enterprises and the skill to utilise this capital well due to an inability to strategically operationalise specific financial and business growth requirements and needs of their enterprises for the long term. The key objective of SAB KickStart and its model of business development support is to ensure that the small medium enterprises thrive rather than merely survive.  This support creates an enabling environment in which young entrepreneurs are able to assist others in becoming economically active.”


South Africa, in general, is plagued by poor entrepreneurship and meagre education standards and a weak knowledge economy, which ultimately perpetuates socio-economic inequalities. “Take for example that our country’s quality of Maths and Science education is ranked #144 in world,” shares Mntambo. The Government recognises the SME sector as engine for economic growth and reducing unemployment, and they estimate by 2020 this sector will reduce unemployment by 10%. Furthermore, government and communities are seeking more value from private sector empowerment initiatives, thus placing pressure on corporates to devise bold moves that change the game for economic transformation. SAB Kickstart affords SAB and its entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a genuine contribution towards the national vision, indicated by the National Development Plan, of creating one million jobs by 2030 through involvement of big business and the power of entrepreneurship.

May 5, 2016 Announcement

Ten emerging entrepreneurs went through a rigorous selection process and on May 5, 2016; SAB KickStart will announce the 2016 candidates who will receive mentorship and training to further develop their business ventures.

The annual SAB KickStart, initiative has been empowering young entrepreneurs for over two decades, while the programme is interested in developing and ensuring the sustainability of small enterprises. The SAB KickStart finalists and their enterprises will be conscientiously monitored throughout the year and their mentorship structured to best suit their changing business needs.

Press Release courtesy of SAB