“Believe it or not, HeinekenN is still a family-run business, started by a humble entrepreneur with a dream in 1873. Heineken is still run with an entrepreneurial behaviour at our heart and we understand the challenges that are continuously facing small businesses. As a business we have committed ourselves to supporting the local small businesses to unlock our country’s economic potential. Our involvement in developing small businesses forms part of our sustainability programme – Brewing a Better World – which is Heineken’s global commitment to contributing positively, and investing in the communities that we serve and operate in,” says Millicent Maroga, Corporate Affairs Director, Heineken South Africa.
Heineken is involved multiple entrepreneur support programmes, one of which is a Johannesburg-based incubator programme, Orange Corners South Africa, which is an initiative supported by Dutch companies, providing young entrepreneurs across the country with the necessary training, mentorship, network, funding and facilities to start and grow their businesses.
The brewer also runs the Green Seeds Programme, an enterprise development initiative that supports SMMEs in the Gauteng province. Heineken is proud to showcase a few diverse South African entrepreneur stories from those who have participated in the Heineken Green Seeds Programme and Orange Corners programme:
Faize IT Solutions
At the time when the country’s economy was dealt a great blow by the Covid-19 pandemic, entrepreneur Vuyisile Mramba managed to significantly increase the turnover of his Information Communication Technology (ICT) company, Faize IT Solutions.
Mramba says: “We had just under R1 million at the beginning of the programme that we received from work we did with one client. Through the mentorship and guidance of the Green Seeds Programme, we have been able to diversify our revenue stream and now have five clients with a total turnover of more than 20 times our initial turnover. The programme has taught me to get things done properly, and has given me the tools to grow my business.”
Ziningi Imbali Enterprises
One of the most innovative entrepreneurs that the Green Seeds Programme has seen, Ziningi Malinga is passionate about science and innovation. Ziningi developed the product, DecantAir in her kitchen when she needed an alternative and discreet way to eliminate odours emanating from bathroom use. The product is an environmentally friendly alternative to air fresheners.
“Before joining the programme, my business was not profitable. The programme has opened doors for me, and I now have access to markets which I previously had no access to. I have also been able to market my business in the media and have gone on to represent South Africa in the Swiss-SA Pitch Battle, which took place at the SA Innovation Summit. Out of the top 20 entrepreneurs, I was selected as one of 10 representatives from South Africa and will be traveling to Switzerland in early 2021 to represent South Africa in another pitch battle competition,” says Ziningi.
Modise Ramoji has been one of the most dedicated and committed entrepreneurs in the programme. He is the owner of SERMRAM, which is a multipurpose company that focuses on transport logistics. Through his commitment and dedication, SERMRAM has been able to grow at a time where many businesses in that industry were closing doors.
According to Modise: “When I started with the Heineken South Africa Green Seeds programme earlier this year, SERMRAM was not a registered vendor with any of our customers. We had to service our customers through arrangements with other companies on their vendor list. Since then, our aim was to get on the vendor list of our clients and with the help of the mentorship programme, we were able to acquire vendor registrations. SERMRAM has gone on to become a registered vendor for SERITI Coal, CAPE Gate and Anglo Platinum, and have acquired contracts with all three during the course of the year. The mentorship programme assisted us in introducing new financial and accounting policies which have made managing the company a lot easier.”
Maleke Motaung has shown adaptability in growing Maleke Brands, a company that specialises in the manufacturing of cleaning supplies and equipment. When he joined the programme, his business was relatively small and now Motaung Brands runs a bigger manufacturing detergent firm and supplies customers in over three provinces.
Information Technology entrepreneur and owner of Ginini Consulting, Tshidi Morabi, developed an application, LocTransie, which allows parents to track their children in real time while they are being transported to and from school by service providers, and sends push notifications to parents during different stages of the trip.
Morabi was inspired to create LocTransie after having to rush to her child’s school in a panic when the driver contracted to transport the child failed to answer his phone.
In alignment with Covid-19, LocTransie has since been enhanced to allow scholar transport drivers and school administrators to input the temperature of the child on arrivals and pick-ups. The parents then receive push notification of the child’s temperature readings.
LocTransie scooped two awards at the MTN app of the year competition of 2019 Namely Best Women in STEM solution and Best Incubated Solution. LocTransie was also the runner-up for MTN app of the year 2020 competition for Best Women in STEM solution.
“Entrepreneurship is the life-blood of our economy, and Heineken would like to congratulate these passionate and successful entrepreneurs for creating these unique businesses. We understand that running a business is not easy, particularly during these challenging times, and we believe that they will continue to grow from strength to strength,” concludes Millicent Maroga.
About Heineken South Africa:
Heineken South Africa is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including Heineken®, Sol, Desperados, Windhoek, Miller Genuine Draft, Amstel, Strongbow, Fox, Soweto Gold, and Tafel. HEINEKEN South Africa is a joint venture between HEINEKEN N.V. and Namibia Breweries. Visit www.heinekensouthafrica.co.za.