Phemelo Mpofu from Bloemfontein has been selected as one of the two lucky entrepreneurs in the central region who wil participate in this year’s South African Breweries (SAB) KickStart Programme. Mpofu is a passionate entrepreneur whose passion for business was cultivated nine years ago when he started doing door-to-door sales. His entrepreneurial spirit was further nurtured by first-hand experience gained in working for his older siblings. Today Mpofu is a dynamic engineer whose notable successes include the manufacturing of plastic injection moulds for the mass production of plastic wheels and caps in addition to the refurbishment of lime mixing machines in the Mangaung municipal water treatment facility.
Mpofu’s company AMAMP was established in 2007 and is a professional mining and agricultural tooling company that focuses on delivering premium solutions to the mining and agricultural sector. Mpofu utilises his engineering degree to keep abreast of the needs of the industry in which he specialises. He is currently working on the AMAMP drill bit, ranging from 32mm to 46mm, which will vastly improve the drilling process and in turn translate into more blasting being done and thus more production output.
Both Mphofu and Ricardo Hood from Vereeniging, the other participant from the region, will move onto the next phase of SAB KickStart Programme where they will be taught invaluable skills and be provided with grants that will undoubtedly lend to the success of their respective businesses.
Aimed at 18 to 35-year-olds from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, the KickStart Programme was launched as a poverty alleviation programme in 1995. To date in excess of 22 700 existing and up-and-coming entrepreneurs have benefited from KickStart and more than 3 200 business have been started by KickStart participants. No fewer than 83.3% of SAB KickStarters have reported that their businesses are growing, and the turnover of KickStart businesses have increased by an average of 375%.
KickStart seeks to encourage business awareness through training, supplying grants as start-up capital and offering assistance and mentorship during the setting-up phase of the business. Grants ranging from R30 000 to R250 000 are awarded to winners in a bid to “KickStart” them. In addition the five winners will receive a six to eight month mentorship.