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Biz in Box initiative empowers individuals from informal settlements to start their own businesses

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Yesterday marked a significant milestone in the economic development landscape as the Biz In Box Programme launched an initiative aimed at bringing hope and opportunities to Townships, Informal Settlements and Hostels (TISH).

Initiatives like these are pertinent in South Africa, where 31.9% of the population are unemployed. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) indicates that the number of unemployed persons decreased by 72 000 TO 7,8 million during the same quarter.

The Biz in a Box TISH initiative is designed to foster entrepreneurship and empower individuals within these communities by providing them with the tools and support needed to start and sustain their own businesses.

Coca-Cola Bevarages South Africa is partnering with the government in this initiative, in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship in a strategic effort to invest in the future of the South African economy and the livelihoods of its people.

Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Tasneem Motara,  expressed enthusiasm about the program: “By focusing on TISH communities, we aim to unlock the untapped potential within these communities and drive sustainable economic growth.”

Pertunia Dlamini, the representative for Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, emphasised the significance of collaborative efforts between the private sector and the government, particularly in initiatives like the Biz In Box Programme.”

Several small businesses have already kick-started through the support of this initiative which include several beneficiaries who have opened local food spots. The feedback from shop owners shows the significant impact that the initiative is having at a grassroots level:

  1. Ntombi Khumalo – Khumalo’s Kitchen

Ntombi Khumalo, owner of Khumalo’s Kitchen and a dedicated entrepreneur at Jeppe’s Hostel, expressed her enthusiasm as a beneficiary of the Biz in a Box programme. “The Biz in a Box Mobile Kitchen is a game-changer for my business. It will enable me to extend operating hours, ultimately boosting revenue. This will go a long way in assisting in financially supporting my children.”

  1. Siphesihle Duma – Dumas Mobile Kitchen

“Siphesihle Duma, an entrepreneur from George Goch, is the proud founder of Dumas Mobile Kitchen. He founded his food business in 2017. Expressing his enthusiasm for the Biz in a Box Mobile Kitchen, he said: “This is also not only an opportunity for my business but an opportunity for the unemployed youth of George Goch Hostel, as my business grows, I will be able to employ the youth.

  1. Qiniso Vezi – Vezi’s Tuckshop

Qiniso Vezi, an entrepreneur from George Goch Hostel, owns Vezi’s Tuckshop, which sells essential goods and snacks in the area. Reflecting on his journey, Qiniso expressed his excitement, stating: “It has always been my biggest dream to have a properly equipped container. I am thrilled to now have a safe and clean tuckshop, which will allow me to sell more products and serve the community even better.”

  1. Mpendulo Ngubane – Kwa Thobani’s Tuckshop

Mpendulo Ngubane, from George Goch Hostel, is the proud owner of Kwa Thobani’s Tuckshop. The tuckshop is committed to providing affordable and quality goods to its community.

Mpendulo said the Biz-in-a-Box container is exactly what he needed to modernise his tuckshop. In addition to the physical upgrade, he is also looking at implementing digital solutions, such as acquiring point-of-sale machines.

  1. Sifiso Masuku – Sifiso’s Tuckshop

Sifiso Masuku, an entrepreneur from George Goch Hostel, is the owner of Sifiso’s Tuckshop. Sifiso is eager to use the Biz in a Box Container to improve his tuckshop and introduce new products such as cold drinks. He is very excited about this opportunity, stating:

“This is a great chance for my business to grow. By adding more products, people will not need to travel to town to buy essentials; my tuckshop will provide for them.”

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