Bizniz in a Box
Bizniz in a Box
Bizniz in a Box is an innovative Youth & Women Empowerment Programme (YWEP) which helps build township and rural economies by developing black youth-owned businesses that are responsive to the needs of their communities. It aims to help reduce youth unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The programme was adjusted in 2020 to achieve scale & drive greater impact. Bizniz in a Box was piloted in 2015 in the Free State region. From the outset, CCBSA has partnered in its youth empowerment initiatives with provincial governments, local municipalities, development finance institutions such as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and mainstream banks like Standard Bank.
Other corporate partners such as Sishen Iron Ore Company have also been brought on board to ensure the success of the initiative. Bizniz in a Box envisages an ecosystem of viable microbusinesses offering complementary products and services in township communities, using the spaza shop as the anchor. Each business operates out of a custom-designed container, covering various core needs of the local community, including business centres (internet cafés), car washes, fast food shops or mini bakeries.
The programme offers young entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn business skills to enable them to grow and run their own small and medium-sized businesses. It does this by providing youth entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship skills and facilitating basic infrastructure, in the form of a structure and equipment, to enable them to operate their businesses efficiently and profitably.
But starting and then sustaining a small enterprise is not a simple task. Around 70% of SMMEs fail within the first two years, with many entrepreneurs citing lack of funding, proper business skills, as well as access to markets as among the major impediments.
We launched our Bizniz in a Box (BiB) initiative in 2016 with a view to creating a platform to support emerging and small businesses, particularly those run by youth and women, and especially in informal and rural areas.
Bizniz in a Box aims to create an ecosystem of viable micro-businesses offering complementary products and services in a community, using a spaza shop as the anchor. Each business operates out of a custom-designed container. These businesses would help cover various needs of the local community, including a business centre/internet café, a car wash, a fast-food shop or a mini baker.
For the last seven years, CCBSA’s BiB has contributed meaningfully towards reducing youth unemployment by partnering with national and provincial government, local municipalities and development finance institutions. These partnerships have enabled entrepreneurs to develop businesses, improve their skills, access capital, manage supply chains, and provide jobs to others.
The BiB initiative has supported over 700 entrepreneurs across several provinces, including Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. We have provided 758 containers – including 400 for young entrepreneurs – and spent more than R120 million on BiB-related activities.