Beer lovers all over Gauteng take note: very soon you will be able to find your way to the SAB World of Beer from anywhere in Gauteng using the Connect Me app created by Khulekani Mncube. Mncube was a finalist in the class of 2016 of the South African Breweries (SAB) youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart Ignite.
The SAB KickStart Ignite programme aims to support the development of young (aged between 18 and 35) innovators and creators of commercially viable business concepts, ideas and products in South Africa, aligned to the manufacturing or ICT industry. Young entrepreneurs were invited to put their best business ideas forward for SAB KickStart Ignite 2016 to compete for their share of R1.2-million in grant funding.
Over the past 20 years the SAB KickStart programme has supported 24 558 entrepreneurs and the creation of 3 458 youth-owned businesses, each at a job-creation average of 6.7 jobs – all at a total investment of more than R100-million.
SAB corporate affairs director Nirishi Trikamjee says of the programme, “The comprehensive support afforded to participants by SAB KickStart has ensured the survival of many start-ups, which ordinarily have short lifespans. According to an independent impact study done in 2013, at least 84% of all businesses that participated in SAB KickStart were still in operation after three years.
“SAB KickStart Ignite is assisting in the government objective of economic growth by backing these entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas with potential to create jobs. At this early stage of development, many banks won’t take the risk, but we believe our programme creates future business leaders.”
The prizes were awarded in the form of grant funding – R400 000 for first place, R300 000 for second place, R200 000 for third place and R150 000 for fourth place. Two people in joint fifth position received R75 000 as seed capital to turn their business ideas into reality.
Claiming first place in SAB KickStart Ignite 2016 was Mabuse Sekgothe, who started his gym-fitting and technical service company, Makeishine Technologies, in 2015.
But it isn’t just the winners who benefit from the programme. Mncube of Alpha to Beta Systems is really grateful for the opportunity that SAB Kickstart Ignite afforded him, saying, “It’s been quite the experience, something which I’d recommend to my entrepreneur friends. SAB has really opened my mind to business and how to structure my efforts. I’ve learnt about sales, research and value-based pricing, as opposed to just cost-based pricing.
“It’s enlightened me and changed the way I think as an entrepreneur, the way I approach business and opportunities both now and going forward,” says Mncube.
Mncube developed the Connect Me web app, which aims to help locals and tourists efficiently make use of public transportation. Connect Me is the first of its kind, as Gauteng taxi routes have not yet been plotted on a digital map.
Says Mncube, “The whole idea is to improve the use of public transport. We were looking at the most popular forms of public transport and taxis were it – our app tells you exactly how to catch a taxi. The app directs you to the closest taxi rank and provides you with all travel information needed – from fares and relevant hand signals, to estimated time of arrival, maps of the route and landmarks along the way so you can safely alert the driver when you need to get off.”
In addition, it also provides alternative means of transport where locations are outside public transportation routes – which may be more cost-effective than a metered taxi.
Mncube adds that the app is in MVP (minimum viable product) stage and ready to go to market. However, roll-out of the app will only take place in a couple of months.
When asked if the Connect Me app contains routes to SAB World of Beer, he enthusiastically exclaims that once the app launches it will take just about 30 minutes to add this route.