CAPE TOWN - The 21 entrepreneurs selected as finalists in South African Breweries’ (SAB) youth entrepreneurship development programme have created a total of 178 jobs in their respective communities this year, the company said on Thursday. 

“The number of jobs created by this small group of entrepreneurs provides positive evidence that entrepreneurship, if given the appropriate support and guidance to grow, can make a meaningful impact on the challenge of unemployment that South Africa faces,” said Phumzile Chifunyise, enterprise development manager, SAB and AB InBev Africa.

The jobs were created as a result of the support provided by the SAB KickStart Boost programme.

“SAB sees the potential and value that entrepreneurs, in particular, youth entrepreneurs, offer to the country and a large amount of our efforts are directed at channelling them into the direction of success for their businesses,” said Chifunyise.

She said entrepreneurship was one of its top sustainability goals with a target of helping to create 10,000 jobs in South Africa over the next five years. 

Chifunyise said SAB KicKStart Boost, along with other entrepreneurship development focused programmes, were geared towards helping achieve this job creation target.

The 21 finalists operate largely in sectors identified at a national level as being high impact job creators, including manufacturing, agriculture, transport, information technology, and renewable energy.

“The long-term sustainability of SMMEs [Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise] must be supported through giving them opportunities where these entities ordinarily struggle access and the ability to service large corporations. We help develop them to reach a level where they can adequately service these organisations in their own right,” said Chifunyise.

An important focus of the SAB KickStart Boost 2018 programme design was to help entrepreneurs gain access to the market. 

This year, the 21 finalists were assisted with business opportunities in large companies, similar to SAB, and many of them have secured business service contracts with these. 

Businesses are assisted with aligning to big business supply chain requirements and are offered opportunities within targeted market linkages.

Chifunyise said SAB KickStart Boost helps finalists to increase market access and connect with appropriate local stakeholders within their respective communities.

- African News Agency (ANA)