Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) officially began their annual hunt for South Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs. The Gauteng leg of the Youth Entrepreneurial Programme (YEP), aimed at youth between 24 and 35 years was launched recently at Mogale City Centenary Hall in Kagiso.
Unemployed youth stand a chance to change their lives by participating in CCBSA’s Bizniz in a Box, an initiative launched in 2015. CCBSA, together with their partners Mogale City Municipality, Gauteng Economic Development, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Youth Entrepreneurial Empowerment Programme (Y.E.E.P), run a competitive process, where young people compete for the chance to operate and eventually own their own spaza shop valued at R80,000.00.
A report by The Euromonitor International Africa Rising Megatrend revealed that informal convenience shops, popularly known as spazas, contribute an estimated R7 billion to South Africa’s economy and possibly more. The research highlighted the need to recognise the significant role played by spazas in the retail chain and in communities.
“South Africa’s youth unemployment is at a staggering 54.7%, a crisis we cannot ignore so we have to find solutions that will work and uplift communities. This programme is one of the many ways in which we are heeding the president’s call to grow our economy by establishing and sustaining small businesses within our immediate communities, says Pirtunia Dlamini, CCBSA Regional Public Affairs and Communications Manager.
The programme will train young entrepreneurs with the much-needed skills to run spazas from scratch and sustain their businesses, while at the same time creating more jobs for their communities”, adds Dlamini.
Upon successfully completing the “tight race”, entrepreneurs are given a head start with allocated fully-fledged containers to operate as spazas.
The successful entrepreneurs are allocated:
- Their preferred structure, such as containers or revamping of an existing shop and monitoring for a period of six (6) months.
- During the incubation period, they need to use their own initiative to promote their store within the community—using direct marketing, promotions and other tools (at this point, liability for the inventory and container lies with the entrepreneur.)