Brewing a bright future

South African Breweries aims to create 10 000 jobs by 2021


By Tina Soetzenberg

With an increasing number of unemployed citizens within South Africa, businesses are looking to create viable jobs to help alleviate the burden of finding a sustainable career within an economy that doesn’t favour the ordinary man in the street. This new approach and solid commitment by the private sector, is helping to assure those looking for a job are not alone.

Recently, the South African Breweries (SAB) announced it is aiming to create thousands of jobs in South Africa, in an effort to help combat the unemployment rate within the country. Their new venture is set to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs to become part of its supply chain through its entrepreneurship programmes.

SAB has laid the foundation to create a total of 10 000 jobs in South Africa by the year 2021. Welcoming both rural entrepreneurs and big business, their various programmes will play a vital part for the success of their future plans. These include SAB KickStart, SAB Foundation, SAB Thrive and SAB Accelerator, as well as its agriculture programmes to grow emerging farmers.

The top South African brewery company, established in 1895, offers an inclusive and holistic set of entrepreneurship support to develop small businesses from ideation to growth, altering the supply chain, as well as investing in the potential of entrepreneurs in the larger community.

Ricardo Tadeu, Zone President for AB InBev Africa and SAB, says: “We are committed to making a substantial contribution towards South Africa’s national agenda of growing the economy through creating jobs and reducing unemployment, particularly amongst our youth. As a business that started out as an entrepreneur itself, we strongly believe that entrepreneurship is the most appropriate response to this issue and will help to galvanise the economy.

 This new commitment to create 10 000 jobs is far beyond the Public Interest Commitments (PIC) that SAB agreed to last year with government after the merger between AB InBev and SABMiller. The importance of job creation is a top priority for the company, as it is embedded within their business strategy, which focuses on fostering a better world where everyone has an opportunity to improve their livelihoods. Beside job creation, other key elements of their strategy also include promoting nutrition and health; and reducing harm caused by the misuse of alcohol.

“We recognise that job creation is top of mind amongst South Africans. As one of the country’s leading corporates with a deep sense of pride, and a belief in the future of our country, we have not only a responsibility to help, but a duty to improve the lives of people in communities. We will do this through a range of initiatives, including providing real, authentic and sustainable jobs that we can measure going forward,” says Tadeu.

The company’s continued commitment to bettering lives of South Africans has been commended by various organisations, state officials and business leaders. These include Edith Vries, Director General for National Department of Small Business, Gauteng MEC for Finance, Edith Vries and Tanya Cohen, Business Unity South Africa CEO. All of which have congratulated the brewery on their new venture.

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, also commended SAB’s efforts in bringing change to communities, saying SAB’s efforts  are an important investment in the country’s economy and society.

Driving this ambition to create 10 000 jobs is a call to action to all entrepreneurs through a mass media Entrepreneurship Campaign, around a central concept of how ‘One Idea’ can ignite and spark a nation to follow the call to try its hand at entrepreneurship in order to build a better South Africa for all.

“We believe in the power of one idea which is sparked within each entrepreneur and we are committed to supporting these businesses and the potential they hold to bring positive change in people’s lives. We back entrepreneurs 100%,” says Doreen Kosi, Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at AB InBev Africa and SAB.

SAB hopes for the future is to encourage other corporates in South Africa to expand opportunities for real job creation.

‘We hope that our campaign and efforts in the entrepreneurship space will inspire others to support the creation of more jobs in South Africa,” says Kosi.

The SAB Entrepreneurship Programmes will visit six cities across South Africa during a roadshow in the month of October. The various details for the roadshow will be made available on SAB’s social media platforms.

If you’re interested to learn more about the innovative entrepreneurship programmes up for offer, browse through the list below and find your calling.

SAB Entrepreneurship Programmes:

SAB KickStart

The programme has been running since 1995 and focuses on youth owned businesses. It is focused on investing in youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35. The programme supports black entrepreneurs with existing, emerging businesses in key industries that are aligned to supply chains.

There are two programmes within the SAB KickStart offering – SAB KickStart Boost and SAB KickStart Ignite.

SAB KickStart Boost is a supply chain readiness programme that’s built around a key objective: Enabling high potential youth owned business to become suppliers of various organisations in the private and public sector, thereby fast-tracking the transformation of the economy. They back entrepreneurs with existing, emerging businesses in key industries to be ready for and to access supply chains, and as a result grow into sustainable businesses that create jobs.

SAB KickStart Ignite supports disruptive innovators that have innovative businesses and products that have high potential to grow into viable businesses that can solve our business challenges and can grow to be future creators of employment. Eligible entrepreneurs receive technical product and business development support which includes one on one mentoring, prototyping, commercialisation, and financial support where required. SAB KickStart Ignite acts as a pipeline of entrepreneurs for more advanced programmes such as SAB KickStart Boost.

SAB Foundation

The SAB Foundation is an independent trust founded to benefit historically disadvantaged individuals and communities, primarily but not exclusively, through entrepreneurial development in South Africa. It is one of three beneficiaries of SAB’s BBBEE transaction, SAB Zenzele, established in 2010. Key beneficiary groups include women, youth, people in rural areas and people with disabilities.

The long-term vision underpinning the SAB Foundation is to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship and social innovation in South Africa as a source of economic growth and a primary source of innovation and job creation. The foundations focus is on investing in entrepreneurs outside of the value chain and across the country with a particular emphasis on businesses outside major metropolitan areas.

There are two offerings for entrepreneurs within the SAB Foundation – the Social Innovation Awards and Tholoana Enterprise Programme.

The Social Innovation Awards invest in innovative business ideas that can solve social problems. This includes, but is not limited to energy, water, health, education, housing and food security. The Disability Empowerment Awards is a special category for innovation that benefits people with disabilities.

The Tholoana Enterprise Programme is a two-year business support and capital grant programme to assist micro and small enterprises to grow and create jobs.

SAB Thrive

The SAB Thrive Fund is an Enterprise & Supplier Development (E&SD) Fund set up and funded by SAB to transform the company’s supplier base. The Fund has been established in partnership with the Awethu Project, a Black Private Equity Fund Manager and SMME investment company. The SAB Thrive Fund’s mandate is to invest in and transform SAB suppliers such that they become more representative of our country’s demographics. SAB Thrive Fund Investees benefit from 100% Black equity capital and business support.

SAB Accelerator

The key objective of SAB Accelerator is to grow SAB’s supply chain to be inclusive of black-owned, especially black women-owned businesses. To achieve this an incubator consisting of 10 business coaches and 10 engineers, who are dedicated to growing these suppliers, has been created.  SAB Accelerator will partner with the company’s suppliers and provide coaching and technical expertise, which in turn will help them understand the SAB landscape, its value chain and integrate them into our business. Simply put, SAB Accelerator is a team of people who are dedicated to help black-owned suppliers improve and grow their businesses and in doing so, create much needed jobs.

SAB’s agriculture initiatives

SAB and AB InBev Africa have committed to establishing thriving barley, hops, maize and malt industries in South Africa that strengthen rural employment and job creation, accelerate the development of emerging farmers and enable SA to become a net exporter of hops and malt by 2021. In addition, SA’s technological and innovation base will be strengthened to improve the productivity of emerging and commercial farmers and create new business opportunities. The company will invest R610-million during this period in developing the capacity of new emerging and commercial farmers and increase the amount of local barley that is malted. The strategic intent is to create at least 2 600 new farming jobs in SA.

SAB’s unrelenting objective to create a prosperous future for South Africans has proven that those battling to obtain a job are not alone. There is help out there and although this new commitment won’t eradicate unemployment within South Africa entirely, it still proves that the future is bright with potential and if we work together, we can accomplish anything.

Visit the SAB website to learn more: