Mondelez South Africa Enterprise Development
Posted by Daniel Makhura on 23 October 2017 11:25 AM SAST
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We want to help energize young South Africans’ future and we realize we can
contribute to helping entrepreneurship take root at local level,” says Navisha Bechan-Sewkuran, Manager, Corporate and Government Affairs, Southern, Central and Eastern Africa. “ Mondelez International is the world’s pre-eminent maker of snacks, with leading market shares in most categories in which we compete. We want to help young business enjoy that thrill of successful growth and share in their way in our dream of creating delicious moments of joy in everything we do.”
In coming years, the company will invest a significant amount of resources towards a
range of community partnership programmes, promoting nutrition education, active lifestyles and access to fresh foods. In the search for innovative solutions, it plans to leverage its global reach to partner with experts to bring together powerful ideas and help execute them at the local level, says Bechan-Sewkuran.
The company has invested about R4.5 million in its flagship Tembisa Enterprise
Development Project since its launch in October 2011. The project aims to empower
unemployed community members with income-generating skills through small and medium sized enterprise development. Initially, about 30 unemployed community members were identified to participate in the enterprise development project, which comprised skills training in baking, sewing, nappy-making and vegetable gardening enterprises. Funding also helped buy extra equipment, including a motor vehicle for distribution of products; build new administration offices; and install an irrigated vegetable garden.
Participants received skills and business training over a 12-month period and planned
enterprises were monitored and evaluated to ensure viability. They also received psychological support where necessary to build confidence to overcome their backgrounds of hardship and disadvantage. A year after its launch, the participants graduated with certificates of achievement and competence. Certification was based, among other factors, on their level of technical skill, personal development, marketing and sales knowledge, and financial management.
Beaming with excitement, 31-year-old mother of three, Nonhlanhla Maphuthi, who now
runs her own sewing business, explains how the project has changed her life and the lives of those around her.
“I was unemployed for a year when the project started and saw it as a wonderful
opportunity – but I didn't realise just how much it would change my life. I live with my mom and children – her pensioner’s grant would not be enough to sustain our lives. I am so much more confident now with all the skills I have learnt and all the expertise I was exposed to. The income I generate from my sewing business has also funded my younger sister's’ high school and college education as well as provided for our family.”
The project has been designed as a self-perpetuating training cycle that will continue
creating further employment opportunities in the community, with an important aspect being skills training transfer to other community members. Depending on the volume of orders, extra recruits are brought in and trained on the various processes.
“Through ploughing skills back into the lives of many young South Africans, we aim to
make a positive impact on society in general and believe this will ultimately reflect positively on the company’s financial well-being as well,” says Bechan-Sewkuran.