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SAB wants to kick-start young entrepreneurs

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SAB KickStart Ignite, the South African Breweries’ (SAB) new entrepreneurship programme, is looking to support the development of young innovators who are makers and creators of viable business concepts, ideas or products.

SAB KickStart Ignite is aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 35 years who have a commercially viable product or idea aligned to the Manufacturing or ICT industry and which makes use of one or more of the following materials – 3D printing, leather, wood, metal, laser and vinyl cutting, software design programs including CAD/CAM, and electronics including development of Internet of Things technology with Arduino and Raspberri Pi.

SAB KickStart Ignite is an initiative in partnership with The Makerspace, House 4 Hack, The Innovation Hub, University of Limpopo, Central University of Technology Free State and the Tshwane University of Technology.

The competition format will see eligible participants given just two minutes each to pitch their concept or idea to a panel of industry experts. The pitch must convince the panel that their idea or concept is good enough to develop into a viable start-up business.

Successful pitches will be invited to return for a one-day Bootcamp to assist with the refinement of the concept and business idea. Following this, a select few will be invited to participate in a 6-month incubation, business mentorship and training programme where they will receive a monthly stipend and seed grant capital to launch their start-ups.

SAB KickStart “Igniters” are invited to register their idea by sending an e-mail to kickstart@za.sabmiller.com to and then get themselves to The MakerSpace in Durban on Friday, 21 August 2015.

Successful makers whose ideas are chosen will be invited to a Maker Bootcamp where they will be given an opportunity to model their ideas or concept, use available maker components, and those with a compelling case will be selected to participate in the six-month-long incubation programme.

Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to the process of incubation and a willingness to invest effort into developing their product and starting a business entity with the appropriate infrastructure provided by SAB KickStart Ignite.

During incubation, the selected candidates will have the opportunity of turning their envisioned ideas into commercially viable products through the support of resident engineers and business trainers. They will evolve through technical and business mentorship, peer learning, networking and the use of advanced technology infrastructure.

“SAB hopes to amplify and strengthen the ‘maker’ movement which embodies artisan skills by providing an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to prototype and commercialise their ideas, creating sustainable enterprises that shift the paradigm from consumers to makers of innovative products, services and industries,” says Mpho Sadiki, SAB head of Transformation and Sustainability.

SAB KickStart Ignite is one of three new enterprise development initiatives which are an extension of the 20-year-old youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart.

Along with SAB Kickstart Boost and SAB KickStart Elevate, the three programmes target and support youth-owned businesses at varying stages of operation.

SAB KickStart Ignite targets those young entrepreneurial makers of innovative products or services, and who through support from the programme, including incubation, grant funding and business support, can act as a pipeline for SAB KickStart Boost.

“I think the SAB programmes that help entrepreneurs and start-up companies will do so much good for the economy and society at large. Equipping young people with skills, knowledge and inspiration to literally change the world they live in is why the MakerSpace exists and we are truly excited to be involved with the SAB KickStart Ignite project,” says Steve Gray, founder of the MakerSpace and member of the South African Maker Collective.

Enterprise Development is a key sustainable development priority for SAB. It is one of the underlying imperatives of SAB Prosper, the company’s global sustainable development framework aimed at building strong local communities. Within this imperative, SAB aims to support small enterprises to increase job creation in South Africa.