Female entrepreneurs quench their thirst from the SAB well

Thuli Radebe is a Lerumo programme beneficiary.
Thuli Radebe is a Lerumo programme beneficiary.

Women business owners are reaping the rewards of being part of the SA Breweries (SAB) Enterprise Development programme, aimed at giving them experience and exposure.

Besides the enterprise development programme, SAB has several entrepreneurship development programmes focussing on creating trustworthy and reliable black women business suppliers.

Two of the SAB's Enterprise Development programme graduates, Yasmine Kazadi and Thuli Radebe, who are past beneficiaries of the SAB's KickStart and Lerumo programmes respectively, were recently appointed to coordinate national roadshows for the launch of the Entrepreneurship Programme.

Zoleka Lisa, the procurement capabilities and sustainability director for AB InBev, Africa Zone, said Radebe and Kazadi were the backbone of the roadshows and travelled the country ensuring a successful execution of the programme.

"We strive to back entrepreneurs 100%, and it is fantastic to work with suppliers who are just as passionate about supporting our causes."

With six years of experience and expertise in events management and marketing and communications, Kazadi's drive is rooted in providing creative and strategic insight into new market initiatives for entrepreneurs, especially women, from multiple sectors. Kazadi began her journey almost three years ago.

"Over the past three years, I've grown to understand the landscape of the organisation and developed a blueprint for the events I put together for them.

Yasmine Kazadi is a beneficiary of KickStart.
Yasmine Kazadi is a beneficiary of KickStart.

"By listening to their needs I've been able to come up with a service that understands what they need, and positions Mercatique Consulting to other large organisations as a company that can deliver to any large organisation," she said.

Radebe, a certified project manager with a degree in business management, knew she wanted to become a business owner from an early age.

She registered Eyam when she was 20 years old and has been operating in the events industry for an adrenalin-filled decade. She made it to the top three finalists of the KickStart Boost Class of 2016, which grows youth SMEs, and joined SAB Lerumo, the company's recently launched programme that develops black women small business owners. "I can excitedly say Eyam is now an official supplier," she said.

The most significant experience for Kazadi on the Entrepreneurship roadshow was realising the importance of communication.

"Interfacing with suppliers is vital. The supplier in Johannesburg communicated differently to a supplier in Thohoyandou, so understanding how they communicated played an integral role in the success of the roadshow."

For Radebe, the highlight of the roadshow was witnessing business owners doing great things. "For me, Thohoyandou stood out the most. This province [Limpopo] has got the recipe and the true meaning of running a successful business."

Kazadi's dream for her business is to be the most sought-after organisation in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (Mice) Industry.

Radebe's vision for her business is to see Eyam "employing more people, being a turnkey company and to have an international footprint".

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