CCBSA, Free State government allocate retail business opportunities for youth entrepreneurship

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Welkom, 06 November 2015 – CCBSA Bottling (Pty) Ltd has this week handed over the first of the 66 spaza shops which will be allocated to the youth of Meloding, Thabong and Kutlwanong from November 2015. As part of the immersion phase, the youth will be grouped and will co-run the CCBSA Bizniz In A Box spaza shops as part of an empowerment initiative to help them become active participants in the economy. The announcement comes in the context of the escalating unemployment rate recently announced by Statistics South Africa, which rose by 3.6 percent and stands at 25.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

The opening of the CCBSA Bizniz In a Box spaza shops is a culmination of a recruitment process that started in July this year where almost two thousand youth responded to register for an assessment for entrepreneurship training. Sixty six youth were selected to undergo the intensive entrepreneurship boot camp training to prepare them for the business opportunities now being allocated. An initial 22 spaza shops will be opened by the end November 2015 and the remaining 44 will be rolled out by end March 2016.

Free State Premier, Ace Magashule and CCBSA Managing Director, Velaphi Ratshefola cut the ribbon at the first spaza shop located in Kutlwanong and declared it open to trade, offering house-hold grocery goods and soft drinks.

Selected youth are receiving fully stocked spaza shops in containers to the value of R70 000 each – a capital investment which they’ll have to pay back. Tshidi Ramogase, Corporate Affairs Director at CCBSA says: “The businesses are not intended to be handouts but fully fledged businesses that the participating youth will have to maintain and sustain. The investment paid back will give other youth the opportunity to benefit from this initiative as the plan is to broaden the initiative to other communities in the country.”

The programme is built around the pay-it-forward model. Participating youth understand the importance of further creating opportunities for their peers and are keen to contribute a percentage of their profits towards the programme, so that more businesses and entrepreneurs could be established.

Spaza shops have for many years played an important role as retailers of household grocery items in township communities, and have also served as incubators of entrepreneurship. “This initiative will lay a good foundation for youth to get exposure to the business world and hopefully they can grow into bigger players in the industry and major contributors to our economy while creating employment opportunities,” Ramogase adds. CCBSA (Pty) Ltd has made a R5 million investment in the programme.

“CCBSA is committed to the empowerment and development of communities through partnership initiatives that support entrepreneurs and build viable and sustainable businesses. Small businesses play a critical role in growing our economy. This is why it has become mission-critical for CCBSA to contribute to SMME success by boosting skills and ensuring these businesses do more than survive, but thrive,” concludes Ramogase.

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