The Heineken Green Seeds programme is an entrepreneur development initiative aimed at tactical long-term poverty alleviation developed by the sustainability arm of Heineken South Africa. This unique development programme mirrors Heineken’s own entrepreneurial origins, when in 1873, Gerard Heineken, a young entrepreneur, discovered a passion for brewing and created what then became the world’s most international brewer.
The Green Seeds long-term initiative encourages entrepreneurial projects across a multitude of sectors and is focussed on fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among young people without access to opportunities to grow their businesses. Together with project partner JIKA Communication, Heineken is addressing issues of unemployment by affording young South Africans a platform to start and grow sustainable enterprises.
According to Millicent Maroga, corporate affairs director of Heineken South Africa, “Heineken aims to further entrepreneurial skills and SMME development by providing young individuals from previously disadvantaged groups with the skills and means to establish their own sustainable companies. We are grateful for this opportunity to stimulate the creation and growth of ‘new economy’ businesses. Our aims are to ensure these township businesses can compete in a competitive marketplace.”
Project lead and transformation and sustainability manager at Heineken South Africa, Tutu Malinga, added that “The project team were eager to host the 2022 Entrepreneur Day ahead of Global Entrepreneurship Week”, a global celebration of entrepreneurship from 14-20 November. She added that during the event, Heineken were also pleased to welcome the 2023 consort of newcomers to the programme, while celebrating the graduation of 18 individuals who are concluding their year of mentorship and support.
She enthuses, “It was a day of great excitement and optimism, celebrating the future of these passionate entrepreneurs. We are grateful for the support of our partners, the graduates themselves and the company-wide support of initiatives such as this one.”
The day was an uplifting, encouraging event during which the 2022 graduates had an opportunity to showcase their skills and products in a ‘dragon’s den’ styled pitch session. Industries covered during the event covered everything from tech to finance from agricultural companies to textile development, digital marketing to ice cream, beauty services and products, and publishing. The candidates were encouraged, supported, and critiqued by a panel consisting of industry specialists, mentorship consultants, and both local and global Heineken leadership. The most convincing and promising top five graduates then received their share of R100,000 in prize money.
The winning individuals and companies were:
1st. Mohapi Motaung, a pastry company specialising in muffins and cakes - The Muffineers
2nd. Noluthando Dlamini – Publishing - Sublime Publishing
3rd. Charlotte Hlatshwayo - Manufacturing of organics beauty products - Organic For You
4th. Sibusisiwe Makhubu - Hair, make-up, and beauty services - Selah Beauty Bar
5th. Mpho Chauke - Mobile Spa - Mpho ya Sechaba Mobile Spa