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SAB Invests R200 Million Into Black-Owned SMEs With The Aim To Transform Its Supply Chain

Supplier development programmes to help grow black-owned suppliers and create jobs


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South African Breweries (SAB) announced that it has already helped to create more than 100 jobs through its recently launched supplier development programmes, the SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive. 

This follows SAB's pledge in September to help create 10 000 jobs in South Africa by 2022 through its various initiatives. 

SAB has invested more than R200 million into both programmes which are part of its efforts to create a diversified and inclusive supply chain by supporting the growth of black-owned suppliers through business development, support and funding. 

Job Creators 
The SAB Accelerator has piloted 10 businesses which have created 29 permanent and 79 part-time jobs in a period of just six months. Geared towards fast tracking the participants’ growth, the programme offers both tailored business and deep technical coaching to the participants. 

The programme is currently incubating 24 businesses as part of the official intake following the pilot. According to SAB, the target is to incorporate 100 suppliers every year moving forward.

The SAB Thrive fund is an enterprise and supplier development (E&SD) fund set up and funded by SAB to transform the company’s supplier base. The fund was established in partnership with the Awethu Project, a black-owned private equity fund manager and SME investment company.

The fund has invested R100 million in seven businesses which have created 46 new jobs. In addition, the programme has contributed R140 million in new BBBEE preferential spend. 

Boost To Entrepreneurship
The programmes are two of four entrepreneurship development programmes run by SAB and AB InBev which include the SAB KickStart programme and the SAB Foundation. 

"From rural entrepreneurs to big business, SAB has laid the foundation to support entrepreneurs and to contribute towards government’s efforts to grow the economy and reduce unemployment in the country.

"We recognise that one of the major hurdles for SMMEs in South Africa is the ability to gain entry into big business and form part of their supply chains. This requires a symbiotic relationship with big business working alongside smaller suppliers enabling, nurturing and helping them to grow to become capable and sustainable entities able to serve the organisation well and over the long term," says Ricardo Tadeu, zone president at SAB and AB InBev Africa.

Who Is Eligible?
Both the SAB Accelerator and the Thrive Fund require businesses to be black-owned, black women-owned, or black youth-owned. They should already be servicing the SAB supply chain at the time of application and are looking to grow their businesses, or have the potential to join the supply chain by solving a supply chain problem. This includes manufacturers who can provide a raw material, an ingredient or service that helps SAB make beer, says Sanjay Premraj, Supplier Development director. 

The SAB Thrive fund also gives preference to existing white-owned suppliers in the SAB supply chain that want to transform their BBBEE ownership. The fund provides existing white-owned suppliers with equity capital to support the enhancement of their black-ownership, while facilitating the introduction of black entrepreneurs to gain an ownership stake in their business with the intention of apprenticing this individual to take over the business in the near future.

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