The South African Breweries’ (SAB) 20-year old youth entrepreneurship development programme, SAB KickStart, has announced its top 5 winning youth-owned businesses, which receive a share of R1.5-million in business grants.
The winners were announced during 20th Anniversary celebration of SAB KickStart held late last night in Mbombela, Mpumalanga; and during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) which runs until 22 November 2015. SAB is running several initiatives during GEW targeting young entrepreneurs across South Africa and offering business grants of up to R350 000 for eligible participants.
The overall winner of SAB Kickstart 2015 is Clement Pilusa, owner of Pilusa and Mabotja Farming based in Tshwane, Gauteng. His business will be provided with a first place grant fund of R500 000, which adds to the seed capital of R170 000 he received at the start of the programme early this year. Pilusa, 26, established his farming and fresh produce business in 2012 beginning with vegetables and later expanded into broiler chicken production.
Operating within the Agricultural sector, Clement notes that SAB KickStart has helped him to differentiate his business from competitors. Mentorship played a vital role in altering his focus within the business and making better business investment decisions. .
“All businesses need training, commitment, passion, hard work, good marketing skills and financial planning. Through my efforts and the support structure offered by SAB KickStart this year, we were able to take my business a step further in its journey to success,” says Pilusa.
The SAB KickStart finalists and their business were carefully monitored throughout the year and their mentorship structured to best suit their changing business needs. An independent panel of business experts selected the final winners according to their progress throughout the competition.
“Clement was an all-rounder whose progress as an entrepreneur and that of his business impressed the judging panel on every level. He is a true agri-preneur who has shown an incredible amount of personal grit, a strong understanding of the technical aspects of his business and his business is set for positive future growth,” says Octavius Phukubye, SAB Economic Development Manager.
In second place is Ranjan Sewgambar of Private Practicing Audiologist based in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, who won a grant of R400 000. He established his health care practice in 2009 and provides diagnostic audiology and hearing aid services.
Third place winner, Caroline Kgomo of Meqheleng Waste Management based in Ficksburg, Free State, received a business grant of R300 000 and Chantelle Smith of Health View Clinic in Johannesburg, Gauteng, who is in the fourth place received R200 000.
Fifth place, Angelo Maart of EnviroCare from Cape Town, Western Cape, was awarded a business grant of R100 000.
All five winners will receive an additional six-month long programme of business development support and mentorship to assist in efficiently employing the grant investment provided.
The top five winners were selected from a group of 18 SAB KickStart finalists who completed a year-long programme of business development support, which included a business growth strategy designed for their business, grant funding of between R100 000 and R200 000, and individualised business mentorship.
“Our support model is designed to build and strengthen the capabilities of the SMEs so that they become sustainable entities with the ability to achieve one of govern