Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Empowers Youth-Owned Brands: Announces Partnership with Top 16 Awards

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Johannesburg, 08 June 2023 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is stepping up its commitment to youth empowerment even further through an exciting partnership with the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs).

CCBSA will be sponsoring the ‘beverages’ category at the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards on the 15th of June at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

Regarded as the gold standard of youth excellence, the Top 16 YOBAs serve as an initiative to empower and celebrate outstanding youth across various industries in South Africa. The awards provide a platform where young innovators are recognised for their contributions, not only to the economy, but also to the overall image of the country.

“We are thrilled to have CCBSA as our partner in this exciting venture, as their brand aligns perfectly with ours. CCBSA’s focus on enriching the youth makes them an ideal sponsor for the ‘beverages’ category,” said Pat Mahlangu, CEO and founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards.

The beverages category encompasses both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages industries, and aims to celebrate beverage manufacturers, drink establishments, and personnel such as mixologists and bartenders.

CCBSA has a number of initiatives which focus on youth empowerment as part of the company’s economic inclusion strategy, particularly for empowering youth, women and rural communities. 

Nozicelo Ngcobo, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Director at CCBCSA, says as part of this approach, CCBSA has adopted the three pillars of education, employability, and entrepreneurship as a framework for its economic inclusion strategy. 

This strategy encompasses a number of initiatives such as our Study Buddy Fund Bursaries, the Mintirho Foundation which supports agri businesses, and the company’s hugely successful Bizniz-in-a-Box programme which assists township and rural entrepreneurs to grow their small businesses.

CCBSA has invested in multiple skills development and entrepreneurship as well as supplier development incubation programmes to boost income, provide sustainable earning potential and improve skills and business knowledge for youth, resulting in them accessing other opportunities and growing their businesses.

“We are committed to playing our part to co-creating solutions for youth and women development and supporting their dreams and aspirations in South Africa, and in doing so, contributing to reducing unemployment and eradicating poverty and inequality,” Ngcobo said.

“Young people are resilient and are innovative. But we need to meet them at their most need and support them so that they can realise their hopes and dreams, be it through accessing tertiary education, recruiting them in our organisations or helping them start and grow their businesses. By meaningfully enabling their growth, they can contribute to their communities, and create a positive impact in society”.

Ngcobo added that by championing these values, CCBSA, together with the Top 16 YOBAs, was looking to foster a culture of responsible entrepreneurship and pave the way for a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.

“We are grateful for CCBSA’s support in our mission to recognise, uplift, and celebrate young entrepreneurs. Establishing strong partnerships like this will not only fuel the growth of these remarkable brands but also inspire other entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial goals,” added Pat.

Beyond celebrating the achievements of young entrepreneurs, the partnership between the Top 16 YOBAs and CCBSA aims to promote sustainable business practices and social responsibility, as both entities recognise the significance of sustainability and community engagement. 

“This collaboration is in line with our mission of making a difference and empowering local brands. It is a testament to our commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and providing opportunities for the next generation of business leaders in South Africa,” Ngcobo concluded.

BiB is now in its seventh year and has supported over 700 entrepreneurs across several provinces including Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It has provided 758 containers, including 400 for young entrepreneurs, and has spent more than R120 million towards BiB-related initiatives. 

This year, the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards celebrations will span two days during the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands, taking place from 9am to 5pm on the 14th and 15th of June 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event will culminate in an award ceremony on the evening of the 15th.

ENDS.

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