Samsung South Africa has recently handed over three branded vehicles to new business owners to mark the first stage of a pilot platform which is turning former employees into entrepreneurs. This aligns with the company’s commitment to invest resources in tackling key issues and improving the lives of local businesses and communities.
The new Samsung Khulanathi Enterprise and Supplier Development Program, which will be launched officially in July this year, is an innovative initiative designed to empower former employees by providing them with the tools and support they need to start their own businesses.
Pitso Kekana, Head of Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship: Africa RHQ at Samsung Electronics SA, explains that the project is in line with one of Samsung’s objectives, which include supporting enterprise development in South Africa.
The program will initially benefit six new businesses owned by thirteen former Samsung Electronics SA employees. These newly created enterprises will be provided with the necessary tools of the trade and guided through their first three years of operation by New Generation Mindset (NGM), a supplier development and incubation company. While these operators remain outsourced service providers to Samsung, they will now have the opportunity to grow their organisations and source additional clients for good measure.
The first beneficiaries – MMT Logistics and Rec-Pro admin services – will be given the vehicles to enable them to manage driving and administration services to Samsung. MMT Logistics will receive a 64-seater bus and a 32-seater minibus, which will be utilised to transport Samsung executives and students of the Samsung Engineering Academy. Rec-Pro will be granted a Toyota Etios to support its delivery of administrative services.
Four other businesses - which comprise a refrigeration and air-conditioning provider, training business, an events management firm and an E-Waste Collection company - are in the process of being introduced to the Program and will be unveiled on the launch day, with further candidates being identified for a 2016 intake.
Kekana says Samsung’s Khulanathi Enterprise and Supplier Development Program is a first for the company in Africa and is off to a promising start: “We already see the drivers bringing innovative ideas to the table and employing additional staff to support their business. This is also an indication that they had the potential to be businessmen – but unfortunately lacked the necessary resources.” Thanks to the three-year business training and mentorship, along with a significant investment from Samsung, the new enterprises will be afforded an opportunity to grow under the protective wing of Samsung.
Zaid Mohidin, CEO of NGM, says that his organisation is honoured to be a partner of the Samsung Khulanathi Supplier Development Program. “The initiative has gone the extra mile by providing their black-owned suppliers with critical tools of the trade. This will leapfrog these SMMEs, in order to provide services at the highest standard as expected by Samsung and the broader market.”
Kekana adds, “For Samsung, the benefits of this activity include delivering on our goal to develop local enterprises, as well as possibly receiving even better service delivery. At Samsung, we are proud to be associated with this initiative and the responsibility we, as an organisation, have towards it. The beneficiaries have shown great pride and commitment to their new businesses and we are encouraged by the positive reception of this agenda,” he concludes.
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