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Assistance for new franchisees

Having worked closely with the dti for nearly a year to facilitate the process of providing assistance to franchise businesses, Freshstop has entered into a partnership with The Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP), which will support previously disadvantaged businesspeople who are interested in opening Freshstop convenience stores.

Since the launch of the brand in 2009, holding company Fruit & Veg City has viewed the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals as a key focus for its c-store platform. Currently, there are 20 Freshstop stores owned by previously disadvantaged businesspeople.

"Existing and potentially new franchisees that are previously disadvantaged will now be eligible for the grant. This heralds a new movement, which will increase the number of c-stores owned by previously disadvantaged individuals in South Africa," said Joe Boyle, director for Freshstop. "The company's association with the dti and the empowerment scheme will ensure that small businesses with potential are given the necessary assistance to grow their enterprises and join the competitive c-store sector."

Commenting on the partnership, Gabriel Makhonxa, BBDSP director said, "The main objective of the scheme is to provide assistance to SMMEs that exhibit potential for growth and sustainability. Previously disadvantaged SMMEs experience financial constraints, which prohibit them from taking advantage of business opportunities that are created by both the public and the private sectors. The exclusive partnership with Freshstop and Caltex is a workable solution to the creation of real job opportunities in line with national policy. Thus far, the dti has approved two projects from the Western Cape which have created 13 additional jobs."

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