Entrepreneurs make an important contribution to job creation and growing the economy – especially in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged in his State of the Nation address that entrepreneurship is a vehicle that could drive economic change, and government now has several plans to be rolled out to improve South Africa’s high unemployment rate, specifically among the youth.
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More than 50 entrepreneurs recently graduated from the SAB Foundation Tholoana Programme. This programme recognises entrepreneurs committed to making a real difference and growing the economy.
Job creation to alleviate our high unemployment rate is the programme’s main objective, and it also has a strong focus on women, the youth and disabled.
Each intake’s entrepreneurs have access to a mentor, business support and peer networks. For real change to happen, it must happen across the country.
Making a dent in unemployment in the Eastern Cape
Tholoana entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape are helping to reduce unemployment and shape South Africa’s future.
Mosa Dikibo of Citrus Green Solutions won the Entrepreneurial Award and was responsible for creating 38 new jobs.
Zintle Apleni of UcocekoWater Projects was able to create eight jobs and Lwando Jafta of Moonlight Glass and Aluminum created seven jobs.
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These numbers might not be enough to solve the Eastern Cape’s large unemployment problem, but can help to make a dent.
Tyy Ford of Concept Fitness was awarded the Rocket Fuel Award and the coveted Tholoana Award for his exceptional work while on the programme.
Ford grew his business by an astounding 2,630% and created 10 new jobs.
His advice to budding entrepreneurs is: “Giving up should never be an option. Pick yourself up and carry on fighting for what you want.”
Investing in entrepreneurs
The SAB Foundation compiled an Impact Report in 2019 on the work it has been doing. The foundation has invested R121-million to support 385 entrepreneurs across South Africa.
It tracked 198 businesses over three years and found their turnover had increased from R133-million to R227-million, and that they had created 431 new jobs – impressive numbers in today’s economy.
SAB Foundation director Bridgit Evans said: “We see the potential in this country and the passion South African entrepreneurs possess.
“Entrepreneurship is INGRAINED in our DNA and watching amazing entrepreneurs succeed is what drives us to constantly push the boundaries.”SAB Foundation director Bridgit Evans
Small Cape Town business development company Fetola has been the implementing partner of the Tholoana Programme since 2015.
The company’s mentors, consultants and team members are all entrepreneurs in their own right, and have put their knowledge and experience to good use on the programme.
Entrepreneurship is part of South Africa’s future, and we should give these brave and enterprising men and women all the support they need.
SAB has extended its deadlines for budding entrepreneurs to enter their programme. Apply in the link below.