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Zinto is making job creation its business

On 3 March 2015, the fourth annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo took place at the Sandton Convention Centre. As part of Proudly South African's drive to promote local manufacturing and local businesses the expo, held alongside the summit, encouraged an increase in the uptake of locally produced products and services to stimulate the local economy and create jobs.
Zinto's brand activators create brand excitement via the arts. A performer is photographed at the Proudly South African Expo & Summit in Sandton last week.
Zinto's brand activators create brand excitement via the arts. A performer is photographed at the Proudly South African Expo & Summit in Sandton last week.

Anchoring the event was master of ceremonies and radio personality Bruce Whitfield of The Money Show, and host Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African. He said: "Proudly South African is not only a Buy Local Activism Campaign but also a social movement at the core of what every South African can do to reduce the unacceptably high levels of poverty in our country and contribute to the socio-economic welfare of our people."

The gathering of multi-nationals, government, enterprise development agencies, private businesses and SME exhibitors showcased their products and services, with a view to create networks and link state organs and corporate business to local suppliers and entrepreneurs.

Among the estimated 150 exhibitors was Zinto Marketing Group (Zinto), which is living up to the "Buy Local" ethos to "Make it your business to create jobs."

It began as a small promotions company offering in-store and eKasi activations at grassroots level, and in just over 15 years, the established brand activation, events and entertainment company has developed into a fully-fledged below-the-line (BTL) agency specialising in branded entertainment, main market activations, school roadshows, CSI campaigns, talent management, sound and video production as well as staging and set design.

They offer their services to a host of well-known brands across the telecommunications, FMCG, motor and banking industries.

At the helm is CEO and founder Michelle Combrinck, a multilingual businesswoman, who has a passion for the youth and the ability to understand South Africa's diverse markets. She believes in putting people first, then business and no longer talks about marketing but sees "a bigger picture" that carries a far larger concern for the future of this country and how corporates can play a role in developing the unemployed youth and get them off the streets and into jobs.

Combrinck said: "Our mission at the summit and expo was to demonstrate how private-public partnerships can assist aspiring entrepreneurs and create jobs while alleviating poverty, inequality and unemployment among the youth. Budding entrepreneurs need more support from corporate initiatives that can give of their time and resources and guide, train and mentor start-ups by offering financial and marketing support."

Zinto employs many individuals who hail from 'new suburbs' (townships) and are key contributors to the growth and success of the company. A creative team of activation specialists boasts a diverse combination of skills and talent that you would not expect to find in a BTL agency, including singers, dancers, choreographers, scriptwriters and hip hop performers. These individuals are at the coalface laying down foundations while driving the industry forward.

She added: "Meaningful opportunity-creating will go a long way to solve much frustration among South African youth who need to earn a living. Rather than job creation we should focus on creating and seeking opportunities and gaps in the market."

The company uplifts and develops these talented youngsters through in-house training and on-the-ground work experience via its 'You are the Job' initiative which offers financial and educational support to talented but inexperienced youngsters so that they can become independent entrepreneurs and performers.

In line with this strategy, the head of business banking at ABSA, Happy Ralinala and CEO of Nestlé, Ian Donald provided insight and analysis of the different roles the banking and FMCG sectors play in developing South Africa's emerging markets. ABSA's Small Business Loans provide institutional support and funding and Nestlé's corporate responsibility initiative sources milk from local farmers and is also a means to create much-needed jobs and assist with local economic growth.

As for the future, Zinto aims to take its successful business model of 'intrapreneurship' throughout the African continent, ensuring significant opportunities for its clients' brands and the youth alike.

For more information about Zinto's 'You are the Job' campaign or to enquire about Zinto's service offerings contact Michelle Combrinck on 011 706 9600 or visit

11 Mar 2015 10:27