SAB launches three enterprise development initiatives in SAB KickStart stable

22 Apr 15

SAB KSAB_Kick_Start 2015 finalistsickStart Ignite, Boost and Elevate to take youth to develop sustainable youth-owned businesses.

SAB has evolved its 20-year old youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart, expanding it into three enterprise development initiatives.

SAB KickStart Ignite

SAB KickStart Boost

SAB KickStart Elevate

The three programmes each target youth-owned businesses with different areas of focus and at varying stages of operation.

This three-pronged approach and commitment to enterprise development is aimed at supporting the emergence of strong and sustainable businesses able to make a valuable contribution to the country’s economic transformation. This will be done by providing a combination of support including:

  • Business skills training
  • Business development support
  • Mentorship
  • Grant capital
  • Low interest seed capital loans are also included in the case of SAB KickStart Boost and SAB KickStart Elevate


Alignment with the NDP

“Since its establishment in May 1995, SAB KickStart has evolved into one of South Africa’s leading and most respected youth entrepreneurship development initiatives facilitated within the private sector.

“The new SAB KickStart model, we believe, will move the company’s support of small youth-owned businesses further in alignment with the country’s national objectives and goals to make more jobs available and encourage sustainable entrepreneurship as its driving force, ” says Mpho Sadiki, SAB Head Sustainable Development and Transformation.

Improving on a winning formula

Some of SAB KickStart’s successes over 20 years include supporting, at a total investment of over R90-million, 24 558 entrepreneurs and the creation of 3458 youth-owned businesses  which have each created an average of 6.7 jobs.

The comprehensive support afforded to participants by SAB KickStart has ensured the survival of many start-ups which ordinarily have short lifespans.  According to an independent impact study done in 2013, at least 84% of all businesses which participated in SAB KickStart were still in operation after three years.

The three new programmes are aimed at building onto the strengths and successes of SAB KickStart.

SAB KickStart Ignite will target those young entrepreneurial makers of innovative products or services, and who through support from the programme, including incubation, grant funding and business support, can act as a pipeline for SAB KickStart Boost.

SAB KickStart Boost will support and grow youth businesses within key local industries that have the ability to create high volumes of jobs.

Eligible participants will be exposed to a combination of business training, business development support and mentorship, low-interest loan funding and grant funding.

The core SAB KickStart Boost industries are those identified at a national level by government as having the greatest potential to create jobs at the level required to lower the country’s unemployment rate, include Agriculture and Food Processing, Renewable Energy, Mining and Minerals and Construction.

The third tier in the enterprise development model, SAB KickStart Elevate, is aimed at young established businesses requiring further acceleration in order to become suppliers to big business in South African through a combination of business development support, mentorship, competitive, non-collateral and low interest loans offered by the programme.

SAB Kickstart Boost open for entry

Entries into SAB KickStart Boost have opened and eligible young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to apply.

Participation of businesses in SAB KickStart Boost is dependent on several factors including:

  • Aligned with core industries and sectors (Agriculture and Food Processing, Renewable Energy, Mining and Minerals, Construction, Health, ICT, Science and Electronics, Automotive, Transport, Chemicals, Plastics, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Tourism, Arts and Crafts, Metal Fabrication, Textiles, Clothing and Footwear)
  • Operational for a minimum of 18 months and not more than 5 years
  • Post revenue stage (sales made and concept proven)
  • Generating less than R5 million in revenue per annum
  • Employ a maximum of 15 employees (temporary or fulltime or a combination)
  • At least 50% black owned and managed
  • High growth potential that is scalable, with a sustainable competitive advantage

The top 60 entrants will be shortlisted at regional level and undertake an intensive course of business training to increase technical skills and business knowledge.

The national finalists are selected and each will have a business growth strategy developed for them which their 12-month mentorship will be based on.

The national finalists will be provided with a combination of grant and loan funds which SAB believes will equip businesses with the necessary skills to operate within a larger sphere of capital markets, as well as encourage financial independence amongst entrepreneurs.

“The purpose of loan funding is not to burden the entrepreneur but to assist them to leverage alternative forms of capital to achieve their business objectives.  Furthermore, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to manage loan capital, an important aspect of running a business, ” says Sadiki.

SAB will ensure entrepreneurs are not provided with debt beyond what they can afford.  Their credit risk will be mitigated by realistically matching anticipated cash flow and monthly repayments.  Loans are repayable over the duration of the programme, with extensions granted if deemed necessary.

SAB KickStart Boost finalists would also be eligible to win grant funding for the acquisition of capital assets for the business after demonstrating competence in running their business with the support of the programme.

Entries into SAB KickStart Boost are now open and eligible participants can find more information on

The closing date for applications is 31 May 2015.