Johannesburg. 20 November 2015. The Mpumalanga Government, led by Premier David Mabuza, and the South African Breweries (SAB), through its 20-year old youth entrepreneurship development programme, SAB KickStart, this week announced a partnership investment of R1-million to assist young entrepreneurs to build sustainable small businesses in the Province.

The Mpumalanga Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (MYEP) will target youth-owned SMMEs and cooperatives in three municipal districts of the Province and provide them with training, mentorship and capital funding. The programme will be open to youth between the ages of 18 and 35 with new innovative businesses of not more than 6 months in operation, participating in industries such as tourism, manufacturing, agriculture (mainly agro-processing) and unique services.

The announcement of the Programme was made at the 20th Annual SAB KickStart National Awards held in Mbombela late yesterday evening on Thursday, 19 November 2015. The Awards took place during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week which runs until 22 November 2015.

“We want to encourage the youth of Mpumalanga province to grab this window of opportunity with both hands and to put every effort into proving their worth with the tools that we will provide them to build a better future for themselves and for others within their communities.

“Over the last 20 years, SAB has built its youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart, into one that has helped to create thousands of sustainable and profitable youth-owned businesses through an effective model of business development support. We have a strong structure in place to support the province of Mpumalanga, ” says SAB Executive Director Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Monwabisi Fandeso.

The Mpumalanga Youth Entrepreneurship Programme is an output of the SAB-Mpumalanga partnership that is linked to three areas of cooperation, namely, Enterprise, Rural and Human Capital Development.

Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane, expressed his appreciation of the contribution made by SAB KickStart government’s plan for youth entrepreneurship development in the province.

“I want to thank SAB for this investment and its contribution towards government plans for youth entrepreneur development. We have set a target in the National Development Plan (NDP) – that of creating an inclusive society that builds the capability of its active citizenry by 2030. It is therefore inspiring and fulfilling to realise that the SAB KickStart Programme is at the core of the issues being pursued by our government through the National Youth Policy-2020, ” explained MEC Kholwane.

SAB will aid entrepreneurs who are successful with seed capital to expand their businesses, with an intention that they will act as a pipeline for the annual SAB KickStart national programme.

The MYEP will be rolled out in January 2016 beginning with recruitment across Ehlanzeni District, Gert Sibande District and Nkangala District. Each district will hold a 3 day long boot-camp for 50 youth entrepreneurs who would have been selected from pitching clinics.

The startup boot-camp will be geared towards enabling and capacitating youth entrepreneurs of Mpumalanga with business skills and tools of trade in order to strengthen their products or services.

A final 9 young entrepreneurs will be shortlisted and provided with seed capital, high level mentorship and business development support for a period of 4 months.

In addition, candidate will be provided the opportunity to be considered for participation in the national phase of SAB KickStart’s Class of 2016.

“We believe that this partnership and specifically the investment will help unlock numerous opportunities for the youth of our province, including increasing the skills base of the Province as contemplated in the Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path (MEGDP). This will also contribute to economic growth as more of our youth enter the economic mainstream”, concluded MEC Kholwane.

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