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Coca-Cola Bizniz in a Box programme empowers township business and helps turn tide against youth unemployment

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is helping to turn the tide against youth unemployment by giving young people between the ages of 24 and 35 living in townships the opportunity, skills and funding to set up and run their own successful container shops. 

The programme – Bizniz in a Box – was rolled out in 2016 as part of the company’s Youth Empowerment Programme. It involves the selection of talented young people who are then given training in marketing, sales, stock management and finance as well as access to funding to start their container business – literally a business in a box.

Coca-Cola Bizniz in a Box programme empowers township business and helps turn tide against youth unemployment

Participants attend an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp where they are given the basic business skills they need to manage their Bizniz in a Box. Prospective entrepreneurs complete a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 2 accredited programme and demonstrate that they grasp and understand basic financial principles

They are then allocated a fully stocked container shop and operate the store for a period of two months. During this time they need to use their own initiative to promote the store within the community using direct marketing, promotions and other tools. Once the two-month immersion process is complete, the entrepreneurs who meet predetermined performance criteria graduate and proceed to the next phase, going operational.

At this stage, entrepreneurs begin the exciting task of managing their allocated store. This allows them to gain valuable micro-enterprise-related experience under the guidance and support of CCBSA, business development support consultants and mentors. They must then start making monthly repayments towards the start-up capital outlay of the store and inventory. Once the total repayment process has been completed and the entrepreneur meets the predetermined performance criteria, the store is officially handed over to them.

“Bizniz in a Box works on the basis that the youth repay a portion of the capital cost of the store,” says Akona Sishuba, Enterprise Development project manager. “The money that is repaid is invested in future rollouts of the project, enabling more youth to be supported in their quest to become entrepreneurs.”

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa has also committed to exploring and developing a micro-franchise programme supporting township retail development leveraging Bizniz in a Box, as well as the Owner Driver programme which develops logistics entrepreneurs. These will be used to collaborate with the Tshepo 1 Million township economy programme, a partnership to co-ordinate efforts between government and the private sector to help create opportunities for 1 million youth in the province.

Township retail booms

Forget a sluggish national economy. Township retail is booming as major brands invest amid stalled CBD and suburban growth.

One such case in point is Mdantsane’s biggest retail node, Mdantsane City Shopping Centre, which has established itself as a hotbed of retail activity.

General manager Dean Deary said foot traffic had increased by 4% this year alone and that the 36 000m2 mall had shown consistent year-on-year growth throughout its nine-year history and was now effectively fully tenanted.

“Mdantsane City turned nine years old in April and I am extremely proud to see the investment and buy-in of our local community that has helped the centre reach this milestone. We have one vacancy left, which has been offered to a prospective tenant.”

The success recently prompted Famous Brands to expand its investment by establishing the area’s first Wimpy restaurant, which is scheduled to open in June. The centre already boasts sister brand, Debonairs.

“This new addition will add to the already growing foot traffic and increased turnovers for our tenants while delivering exciting, quality brands for our shoppers,” said Deary.

Mdantsane-born entrepreneur Sakhumzi Klassen is the driving force behind the Wimpy initiative. The 41-year-old franchise, who has various business interests in the former township area, believes the Wimpy franchise is a tangible sign of growing investor confidence by big brands in Mdantsane.

“Mdantsane is a very interesting place, and I would like to see it reach the levels of other similar townships such as Soweto,” he said. “It is currently not at its rightful place socially, economically or from a growth point of view.”

Nestlé SA and Department of Small Business Development sign MOU for Enterprise Development

Nestlé South Africa and the Department of Small Business Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the commitment to source and develop micro-distributors primarily located in townships and rural areas. The signing ceremony which took place at the annual Proudly South African Summit was attended by the Minister of Small Business Development, Honourable Lindiwe Zulu, senior government officials and business representatives.

Through this partnership, Nestlé South Africa and the Department of Small Business Development are committing to creating and recruiting 200 micro-distributors from 2017 to 2020. Each micro-distributor will employ at least three additional permanent employees thus creating 600 jobs over the three years.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Zulu said, “We are proud of this partnership with Nestlé South Africa as it supports our mission of providing a conducive environment for the development and growth of small businesses and cooperatives. We hope that this partnership will encourage other companies to follow suit by unlocking opportunities that can create decent work.”

Nestlé South Africa, together with the Department of Small Business Development and its agencies, will provide financial support to the micro-distributors. They will also be upskilled in the areas of sales and merchandising, warehouse management as well as financial management. Furthermore, the micro-distributors will be provided with vehicles for selling and merchandising.

Nestlé South Africa has been operating in South Africa for 100 years and is a member of the Proudly South African campaign whose members are required to make a meaningful contribution to building South Africa's economy by alleviating unemployment.

Shoprite introduces R5 meals

Hard-pressed consumers in the current difficult economic climate can now buy meals from Shoprite stores countrywide for just R5 or less. These discounted convenient meals have been introduced to help consumers’ money go further, especially amongst students. 

Food scarcity is a serious issue for many students and Shoprite introduced these meals to ensure there are affordable meal options available to them as well as to the retailer’s customers in general.

The new R5 meals include:

  • fried fish - R5
  • potato hashbrown - R2
  • chicken hotdog - R3.50
  • fried egg & tomato sandwich - R4
  • small pap - R2
  • pancake - R3
  • sweetcorn on a stick - R2.50
  • soup and igwinya (vetkoek) - R5
  • boiled egg and igwinya combo - R4

As Africa’s largest retailer, Shoprite continues to present its consumers with innovative and value-added promotions in its unwavering commitment to deliver the lowest prices on food and household essentials every day.