Leading 24-hour convenience store brand, Freshstop, has entered into a partnership with the Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) to support previously disadvantaged businessmen and women who are interested in opening Freshstop convenience stores.

Since the launch of the Freshstop brand in 2009, holding company Fruit&Veg City has viewed the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals as a key focus for their c-store platform. Currently, there are 20 Freshstop stores owned by previously disadvantaged businessmen and women.
"We have worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for nearly a year to facilitate the process of providing assistance to franchise businesses. Existing and potentially new franchisees that are previously disadvantaged will now be eligible for the grant. This heralds a new movement, which will increase the number of c-stores owned by previously disadvantaged individuals in South Africa," says Joe Boyle, director for Freshstop.
"Freshstop's association with the DTI and the empowerment scheme will ensure that small businesses with potential are given the necessary assistance to grow their enterprises and join the competitive c-store sector."
Commenting on the partnership, Gabriel Makhonxa, BBSDP director, says: "The main objective of the BBSDP scheme is to provide assistance to SMMEs that exhibit potential for growth and sustainability. Previously disadvantaged SMMEs experience financial constraints which prohibit them from taking advantage of business opportunities that are created by both the public and the private sectors.
"The exclusive partnership with Freshstop and Caltex is a workable solution to the creation of real job opportunities in line with national policy. Thus far, the DTI has approved two projects from the Western Cape, which have created 13 additional jobs."