Entrepreneurs launch their Bizniz in a Box ventures in Mdantsane

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EAST LONDON – A number of small business owners in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape are ready to take their ventures to the next level after they were selected to be part of the Bizniz in a Box initiative which seeks to empower township and rural entrepreneurs as part of building a more inclusive economy.

The Mdantsane project will see a total of 25 entrepreneurs in and around the Mdantsane taxi rank take ownership of their containers which have been fully customised and fitted out with kitchens to provide fast food options to commuters and the local community.

To date, 20 small business owners have received support from the BiB programme, including:

  • 5 received mobile kitchens
  • 1 received equipment
  • 1 received a renovation of an existing container
  • 13 received containers
  • 5 containers are still to be delivered

The business owners also receive CCBSA provided tables, coolers and start-up stock, as well as dust coats, aprons and Covid-19 PPE.

The Bizniz in a Box (BiB) project is the brainchild of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) which saw it as the ideal platform to support emerging and small businesses, particularly those run by young people and women.

Bizniz in a Box envisages an ecosystem of viable micro-businesses offering complementary products and services in township communities, alongside the local spaza shop. Each business operates out of a custom-designed container, and covers a range of services, from business centres providing internet access, car washes, fast-food shops or mini bakeries.

The Mdantsane project will eventually see 24 Bizniz in a Box containers offering a variety of fast food to the transit community in and around the taxi rank.

CCBSA led a clean-up of the area alongside the Buffalo city municipality solid waste department before placing the BiBs in their location.

The fully fitted containerised kitchens is a new addition to the Bizniz in a Box programme and it is set to be rolled out to other sites around the country.

Sakhumzi Ncapayi, the CCBSA District Manager, said: “We understand how critical the SMME sector is to our economic revival following the Covid-19 pandemic, and the important role small businesses will play in the future growth of South Africa and Africa.

“This is why we are continuing to invest into the Bizniz in a Box initiative to help create employment and stimulate economic growth, particularly among the youth and women.”

Several of the beneficiaries are youth and Ncapayi said that falling within Youth Month, the hope was that the project in Mdantsane will be the catalyst to help transform young lives and the socio-economic landscape in this area.

The BiB programme further offers young entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn business skills to enable them to grow and run their own small and medium-sized businesses.

Bizniz in a Box was first piloted in 2015 in the Free State. By the end of 2020, through Bizniz in a Box, CCBSA and its partners had trained 749 young entrepreneurs and helped 224 of them to take their businesses to the next level, creating 185 additional jobs by employing shop assistants.

 “It is also our hope, that with the support and skills training that we provide, that these business owners will grow into running far larger enterprises in the future, creating further jobs and growth opportunities,” Ncapayi added.

Beneficiary Siyamthanda Soxuza, 26, said of her fast foods take-away business: “It has been five years now, at first it was my mom, then I took over from her. This (Bizniz in a Box) means so much to me because before I was working in a small container. I bought stock every day and ended with minimal profit. With this initiative, everything is convenient and I can see the growth in my business.”

She hopes to grow her business into one day having an established restaurant in a hotel or shopping centre and hopes to one day be in a position to create employment opportunities for young people.

Soxuza added that she was looking forward to the skills development and business support, adding: “It will benefit me because I’ll have sufficient skills to run my business such as customer service, and adequate finance and administration skills to help me manage my business better.”

Fellow BiB beneficiary, 35-year-old Anda Mabamba said: “I have had my fast food business for four years already but this initiative will now guarantee food on the table so that I can support my family properly.”

He described the BiB initiative as truly empowering and said the additional business skills support he has received has “helped me in running my business more efficiently”.

Buffalo City Metro Spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said: “We are delighted that the Bizniz in a Box programme has reached Mdantsane and we believe that through this empowerment initiative to support small businesses, it will lead to the transformation of not only this area, but the lives of our people.

“It gives young business owners the necessary support and platform, and importantly the belief, that they can go on to grow and excel as businesses leaders and so positively impact society.”

CCBSA partners with provincial governments, local municipalities, as well as development finance institutions such as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and mainstream banks like Standard Bank to help ensure the sustainability of the initiative.

Bizniz in a Box is designed to help build and grow township and rural economies by developing black youth-owned businesses that are responsive to the needs of their communities. It also aims to help reduce youth unemployment which is sitting at over 65%, and associated poverty and inequality.

The project commences with a recruitment drive at selected townships or villages, where town hall information sessions are held to register interested youth and other aspiring entrepreneurs. The assessment and selection of candidates incorporates a “Do-Teach” model in which candidates are assessed and given clarity on the rigorous nature of being a successful entrepreneur.

Successful candidates are required to agree to a repayment of a predetermined amount for the set-up costs, after which ownership of a container spaza shop is transferred to successful candidates. The BiB programme is evaluated annually and feedback incorporated into the future roll-out of the programme.

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Rakesh Rajbally

Managing Director: South Africa

Rakesh is C-Suite leader with 26 years of experience in General Management, Sales, Marketing, Logistics and Finance within the FMCG space. He currently leads the South African business for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. He has a strong growth mindset and has successfully led CCBSA’s Commercial business unit. He is a sought after thought leader in developing & implementing revenue growth and route to market strategies in both modern and emerging markets. Under his leadership CCBSA recently completed a R6bn/ $400m investment in an Affordability growth strategy. He has also led CCBSA’s strategic and operational Customer management and recently achieved the #1 ranking across FMCG in the Advantage survey for 2 consecutive years.

Rakesh leads the CCBSA executive team that has been instrumental in successfully leading a large organization across major transformation changes including the merger of six entities to form CCBSA, the Sugar Tax introduction, Talent diversity strategy and other major productivity initiatives. He is a trusted partner and builds trust-based relations with business partners, stakeholders, and authorities.

His purpose statement “We have 2 hands, one to help yourself, one to help others” reflects in the many young leaders he has successfully coached and mentored.

Janett Forbes

Commercial Excellence Director

Janett is a seasoned financial, logistics, and commercial executive who joins us from Vector Logistics previously a division of RCL Foods where she held position of Finance Director.

Prior to this, Janett was part of the Coca-Cola family, having occupied various senior roles of Finance Manager, Category Manager, Revenue Growth Manager and Channel Development Manager within ABI in 2002 and 2016.

Janett is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA(SA), has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown and a higher diploma in Accounting from University of Natal in Durban.

Desilan Pillay

Logistics Director

He joined the Coke system as a Unit Manager Designate at ABI Midrand in 2008. Desilan encompasses 20 years of management experience from companies including Afrox (Linde Group), the South African Breweries (ABI soft drinks and SABMiller – now ABInbev), and Unilever.  

He has a wealth of experience and a vast skillset within South Africa and across the African continent – all at executive levels. This includes, but is not limited to, project management, engineering, production (gases), packaging (FMCG), as well as operations management, financial management, sales and distribution, procurement, and planning (demand, supply, and production). Desilan has managed portfolios across end-to-end Supply Chain (Sourcing, Demand, and Supply Planning), Warehouse Management, Production, and Distribution, including Customer Care, After-sales and reverse logistics. He was also accountable for the delivery of service excellence in order fulfilment, cost of goods sold enhancement via strategic sourcing, and the overall cash optimisation (inventory) across the business. His most recent role before re-joining the CCBSA family is as the Chief Operations Officer at Anchor Holdings, one of the largest privately-owned warehousing companies in South Africa.

Desilan is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and has completed a Management Development Programme from UCT. His areas of expertise include building high performance teams and E2E supply chain and commercial acumen.

Desilan has been happily married for the past 16 years and has a 12-year-old daughter and 18-month-old twins – a boy and a girl. In his spare time, he enjoys seeing new sights locally and abroad. He is always planning his next trip to an exciting destination together with his family.

Nozicelo Ngcobo

Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Director

Nozicelo started her corporate career in 1994 when she was recruited by Sasol into their Management Trainee Programme of the top 16 academic graduates in South Africa – class of 1993. In addition to Sasol, Nozicelo has since worked for listed companies such as Telkom SA, South African Breweries (SAB) as well as multi-national organisations such as Philip Morris International (PMI). In 2020, Nozicelo joined Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) as Director for PACS.

Nozicelo has a demonstrable track record in successfully developing and managing corporate affairs and regulatory strategies for complex industries such as alcohol, tobacco and recently the beverages industry. Nozicelo has strong professional networks spanning more than 25 years in both public and private sectors. Her strategic insights, value creation, solutions orientation, strong business/political acumen, solid networks and ability to mobilise teams to successfully execute towards a common vision are just some of the many attributes she brings into any organisation.

Nozicelo is an advocate of human rights, animal rights and has a passion for youth/women empowerment.

Michael John Wilson

Finance Director

Michael started his working career at KPMG as a Manager and Trainee Accountant from 2002 until 2006. After completing his articles, his highest position held at KPMG was Audit Manager and Office Administration Manager. In 2006 to 2009, he worked at BASF South Africa (previously known as Engelhard South Africa), where he was appointed as Site Controller – Mobile Emissions Catalysts Division. He also served as a Team Leader for Finance when the company changed its ERP from JD Edwards to SAP. In 2009, Michael joined Coca-Cola Fortune (CCF) as Finance Manager – Business Support.

In 2015, he was assigned to the CCBA integration team as a Finance work stream member and later that year, Michael was appointed Finance Manager for Marketing, Sales and Distribution. Michael relocated to Windhoek, Namibia in January 2016 as Financial Director for Coca-Cola Beverages Namibia. In October 2017, Michael returned to Port Elizabeth as Group Financial Controller for CCBA, a position he currently holds. He serves on a number of boards and audit committees within the CCBA Group.

In 2000, Michael graduated with a B.Com (Accountancy) Degree from the University of Port Elizabeth and a year later, he completed his B. Com Honours (Accountancy) at the same university. He was admitted as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2005. In 2010, he completed his Executive Development Programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Moses Lubisi

Manufacturing & Technical Director

Moses has over 20 years of extensive experience spanning various industries such as Sugar, Food and Beverages, and Mineral processing, including 15 years within the Coca-Cola system, Moses brings a wealth of knowledge to this role.

His journey within CCBSA has seen him excel in positions ranging from Plant Manager, Regional Manufacturing Manager (Coastal) in CCBSA to Executive Director for Appletiser (Pty) Ltd. Before returning to CCBA within Group Office, Moses served as an Operations Director at Illovo Sugar (Pty) Ltd. His expertise lies in strategy formulation, governance and execution, with a focus on end-to-end value chain orchestration across manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and supply chain management.

Moses has held senior and executive management roles for over six years, overseeing regional and enterprise-level strategies, assets and resource allocation.

Agatha Masemola

Strategy and Performance Director

Agatha joined CCBSA in April 2020 from Absa Corporate and Investment Bank Africa, where she held various roles in the past nine years, including as Managing Principal for Strategy & Business Transformation and Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Corporate Bank. She was a key figure in the build-out and integration of the Corporate Bank across 13 African markets.

Prior to joining Absa, Agatha was a Senior Management Consultant in Strategy and Innovation at Deloitte Consulting, South Africa. At Deloitte, Agatha worked on several executive-sponsored strategy and innovation projects across various sectors, as well as driving new business development. Prior to Deloitte, she worked in Life Sciences R&D for over ten years, both as a full-time researcher with publications in peer reviewed journals, and as a Portfolio Manager & COO for a biotechnology fund management, focusing on investment in early-stage biotech ventures and commercialisation.

Agatha holds a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town and has completed post-Doctoral research in South Africa and the USA. She obtained her BSc (Biochemistry and Physiology) and MSc (Biochemistry) from the University of the North. She completed a Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School to help her transition from laboratory to business.

Agatha loves to travel and enjoys experiencing different cultures and sampling local cuisine.

Hannes Prinsloo

Country Sales Director

Hannes comes with a wealth of experience and strong commercial operations expertise stretching over 30 years within the Bottling system; truly an example of “home grown timber”.

In his most recent role, of General Manager Commercial, he managed the Revenue Growth, Route to Market, Category management, Channel Development and Knowledge and Insights. His previous experiences include that of General Manager Operations, District Manager and National Account Manager.

Among his career achievements, he counts being inducted as a Grand Master in 2021, which is a true testament to his passion for people, strong work ethic, and unwavering commitment to performance. The Masters are seasoned professionals in our core functions (Commercial, Logistics & Manufacturing) who have consistently delivered exceptional results in their 20-plus years of service in the organisation. CCBSA bestows its highest honour these professionals who have shown exemplary commitment, fortitude, passion, loyalty and most importantly, value-adding leadership.

In May 2023, at the annual Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) General Management Meeting (GMM) Awards, he was honoured to receive the CEO Award, which honours exceptional leadership that sets a clear example of consistently living our values. In his leisure time, Hannes follows a wide variety of debate platforms and sports.

Mkuseli Dlikilili

Human Resources Director

Prior to Mkuseli’s appointment to CCBSA, Mkuseli was Group Executive: Human Resources at Pioneer Foods, he  worked for leading South African organisations, including Eskom, SAB, Dulux and Portnet.

Mkuseli’s extensive experience in the FMCG environment includes playing a leading role in Pioneer Foods’ successful listing on the JSE and the integration of SA Dried Fruit and Ceres Fruit Juices. Mkuseli is passionate about empowering and developing people to realise their full potential, as well as contributing positively to all the spheres of their lives, and the accentuation of human dignity. He describes himself as an authentic, resilient, reliable, courageous, humble, principled and value-based person, and a committed Human Resources professional.