Calling all entrepreneurs

DOWN TO BUSINESS: Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa enterprise development manager Akhona Sishuba addresses the youth of Gompo on Monday Picture: SIVENATHI GOSA

The search for potential young business owners across SA started at the Bizniz in a Box programme held in East London, Mdantsane and Gompo, as well as Zwelitsha, on Monday and Tuesday.

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) eEnterprise development manager Akhona Sishuba said the initiative was launched in 2015 by the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA Youth Entrepreneurship Programme.

“The programme is running in selected local townships and villages where CCBSA, together with their partners, run a competitive process where young people compete for the chance to operate and eventually own their own spaza shop.

“The programme involves the selection, training, participation and eventual economic independence of a cross-section of township youth between the ages of 24 and 35,” said Sishuba.

In 2018, 380 youth participated with 46 becoming business owners, employing an estimated 23 people within their communities.

The programme has attracted unemployed youth who have matric but can’t further their studies, as well as youth who are passionate about community development.

A total of 50 Fifty business-minded entrepreneurs were will be selected to be part of the 2019 programme this year and each got refurbished shipping containers from which they will operate their businesses. from.

“The initial aim was to focus on Mdantsane and Gompo, but BCM and the office of the premier requested us to expand the programme to Zwelitsha where unemployment is high. Entrepreneurs can access a loan of up to R80,000 for operational costs,” said Sishuba.

She said successful applicants must reside in the above-mentioned townships.

“We couldn’t do the whole of Mdantsane as it is quite a big area. In the near future we are looking to including other townships in East London.

“This programme is to absorb youth who are innovative thinkers, young people that who have the a passion for business and a vision to change the economic landscape.”

The programme involves training, participation and eventual economic independence. of a cross-section of township.

“A report by The Euromonitor International Africa Rising Megatrend revealed that informal convenience shops, popularly known as spazas, contribute an estimated R7bn billion to South Africa’s economy. and possibly more.

“The research highlights the need to recognise the significant role played by spazas in the retail chain and in communities,” Sishuba concluded. said.

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