Experts bring variety to entrepreneur support programmes
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
SAB’s entrepreneur development programmes are intended to promote variety in entrepreneurial endevours in South Africa. The entrepreneurs SAB chooses to support are all selected on their abilities shown as smart, talented entrepreneurs. While these entrepreneurs show promise, the SAB programmes allow them to reach their potential through targeted, holistic support programmes.
Through SAB KickStart, The Tholoana Enterprise Fund and the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards, SAB draws on a diverse network of business coaches, thought leaders and experienced professionals to bring their years of expertise to the young entrepreneurs enrolled in these programmes.
A holistic approach
All SAB’s Enterprise Development (ED) programmes take a holistic approach, working with these entrepreneurs over time. It’s not just about the grant funding, but the way in which the funding will be used, and equipping the entrepreneur with the ability to take their business forward to grow and in turn, create more jobs.
SAB KickStart is SAB’s mentorship and awards programme for entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years old. There are three prongs to SAB KickStart:
1. KickStart Ignite
Partnering with FET colleges, this programme includes a competition aimed at promoting industrial innovation within the youth. The SAB KickStart Ignite competition is about supporting an enabling environment for ‘makers’ to prototype and commercialise their ideas, creating sustainable enterprises that enable consumers to become makers of innovative products, services and industries. SAB KickStart Ignite offers training, mentorship and seed grant funding.
Recent Ignite events at colleges around the country saw young makers pitching ideas to panels of experts in the design and manufacturing industries, and coming out with deeper knowledge, sharper skills and extended networks for their projects.
2. SAB KickStart Boost:
This is the original SAB KickStart Award and includes a mentorship and awards programme. Every year, approximately 60 entrepreneurs from around SA are selected for a development programme, from which usually 18 finalists are selected for a 14 day bootcamp-style business training programme, after which the top entrepreneurs are awarded with non-collateral seed loan capital with grant funding available.
Finalists in the SAB KickStart Boost programme also benefit from a business course at GIBS in Johannesburg, exposing them to cutting edge business thinking.
3. SAB KickStart Elevate
This is a new programme intended to increase the operational capacity of high growth and expansionary youth businesses, affording them the opportunity to achieve the scale required to deliver within large supply chains. The programme will offer mentorship and loan funding.
The Tholoana Fund focuses on small, rural, women-owned and/or youth-owned enterprises, as well as on enterprises owned by and/or employing persons with disabilities. Successful Tholoana participants will receive mentorship, access to skills training workshops and other business support, as well as grant finance which will be disbursed upon the completion of certain milestones.
Recently, the enterprise development experts at Fetola have come on board as partners in the programme, bringing with them years of experience in business development, training and mentorship over many different business sectors.
This awards programme aims to contribute towards nurturing a South African culture of entrepreneurship especially through stimulating and rewarding innovation. It offers a prize for sustainable innovation, either a product or process that addresses a challenge faced by its beneficiary groups. Emphasis is placed on innovations that are scalable and able to be commercialised.
The SAB Social Innovation Awards has to date invested R20 million in 63 innovations.
Benefits of these progammes include:
- Business skills training: Equipping candidates with the tools to plan and manage their business
- Mentorship: Working with experienced people who have in depth knowledge, and experience in specific fields to find solutions and grow entrepreneurs in their personal capacity
- Business Coaching: Working with a experts to solve their business challenges and plan for the future
- Exposure and networking: Through interactions with a diverse set of business experts, candidates on these programmes are exposed to different ways of thinking and challenged to improve their own thinking
- Media exposure: In addition, the networking and media coverage gained through these programmes opens doors to even more opportunities and diverse networking.
The bigger picture
These initiatives are in line with SAB’s broader sustainability goals in which small business’ growth is accelerated, within spinoff benefits for the surrounding communities including job creation and socio-economic stability and growth.
This intensified support for entrepreneurs is also in line with South Africa’s National Development Plan and ensures that the business is working within a broader system to most effectively impact communities around the country.
Find out more about SAB’s ED initiatives on SAB Stories’ Enterprise Development page.