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Boost offered to female, small-scale brewers


South African Breweries is seeking to empower women through its new Women in Beverages Programme, but those wishing to apply only have until the end of the month to do so.

The beverage manufacturer hopes to share some of its award-winning techniques gathered over 124 years with South African women producing both alcoholic and soft drinks as well as juices.

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Regional SAB licensing and stakeholder specialist Tinumzi Lubelwana said while entries for the programme were open from May 6, so far none of the applicants was from the Eastern Cape.

“This is a new programme, the first of its kind, and something we are very excited about. We want to find women we can help and support to grow their business and possibly create more job opportunities.

“We want to create a platform and better access markets for those women who may have been struggling. Who knows, we may even venture into partnerships,” Lubelwana said.

The five-month business development programme offers operational investment opportunities, access to industry insights from internal experts and intense business coaching.

“We’re looking for a business that is at least 51% black female-owned, manufacturing non-alcoholic and/or alcoholic beverages but must be operational for a minimum of a year and must be willing to put skin in the game.

“The business must be an exempt micro enterprise or qualifying small enterprise in one of the categories of South African businesses as per the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.”

East London resident Simone Klaasen, who has been manufacturing Ginger Love, a wellness beverage, since October 2017, said the programme was a much-needed boost for women. “I’m one of a lucky few who have managed to get my business off the ground through word of mouth. It has really been through the grace of God.

“There are so many other people, especially in the villages, who are manufacturing home-made ginger beer, traditional beer, marhewu, whom I would like to see being part of the programme. I hope SAB does their part in spreading information to that level.”

Claire Cheeseman, the woman behind Splash fruit nectar concentrate, said although she bought the company three years ago, the brand was more than 10 years old and still faced challenges. “People prefer buying a brand that they know, that they see frequently. They are very reluctant to try something they don’t know.

“Although the drink is available at Spar and Fruit & Veg, as a small business we struggle with shelf space and logistics with distribution to broader and rural areas which well established brands penetrate.”

Cheeseman also owns Connections, a flavour distributor that supplies flavours to Twizza, Elvin and Dynamic Juices.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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