FS entrepreneurs gain from programme

2015-11-25 06:22
SOME of the emerging entrepreneurs who recently attended a workshop in Bloemfontein.

SOME of the emerging entrepreneurs who recently attended a workshop in Bloemfontein.

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BLOEMFONTEIN. - The selection of 15 emerging entrepreneurs from the Free State, for participation in the 2015 South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation’s Tholoana Enterprise Programme, signals a welcome opportunity for the growth and consolidation of the province’s most dynamic small businesses.

At a workshop held at Bloemfontein’s Lion’s Lodge, the 15 top-entrants in the Free State that showed the most potential and suitability were selected.

They are Lentha’s Lodge, Indulge Fragrances, Welkom Info, Emerge Business Consultants, Richy’s Computer Shop, Tehilaa Golden Bag, Olebogeng Barolong Manufacturing, Goldfields Poultry Farm, Blue Dot Treats, Enim Tutors, Evolution Future Builders, Nolos Dairyland, Senkatane, Roots African Food & Shisa-Nyama and Sechache Auto Electrical.

“The programme provides funding, training, mentorship and business support to black-owned businesses over a period of two years, with a special focus on youth and rural development,” said Catherine Wijnberg of Fetola, who are the implementing partners for Tholoana.

She noted that youth unemployment is at an all-time high, with around 50% of South African youth out of work. “This figure is rising and so we simply must look to develop entrepreneurship as the answer to the unemployment challenge,” she said. “Starting a business is not easy. Entrepreneurs battle the pending recession, lack of funding, big corporate competitors, as well as stringent requirements and policies. The Tholoana programme seeks to provide expert support and assistance to those facing these obstacles.”

“The quality of the applicants from the Free State was outstanding. We are so eager to engage with them further and I extend congratulations to them all,” said Bridgit Evans, the manager of SAB Foundation. “Successful applicants can look forward to an intensive two year programme of workshops and training, e-learning, mentorship, brand development, media and marketing assistance, access to funds as well as a wide network of like-minded peers.”

The successful applicants were understandably encouraged and inspired at their selection. Moeketsi Sidney Mokitimi of the Goldfields Poultry Farm in Virginia said: “The Tholoana programme is a one-of-a-kind project that came at the right time of my life.

“I am very blessed to have attended and feel privileged that I was selected.”

The Tholoana Enterprise Programme is funded by the SAB Foundation, and aims at the empowerment of promising black-, women- and youth-owned businesses in certain regions. Additionally, the programme aims to provide disabled entrepreneurs and rural communities with the tools to uplift themselves, by identifying businesses with potential and offering them assistance.

The enterprises include clothing and textile manufacturers, food and hospitality professionals, communication and education service providers as well as farming and automotive businesses.

Applications for the next intake of the SAB Foundation Tholoana programme will open in January 2016. For more details, visit the SAB Foundation website on www.sabfoundation.co.za.

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