Before falling into the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the South African economy was already facing major headwinds. Starting a business has always been difficult enough, but the challenges of kickstarting an enterprise have been amplified by the impact of the pandemic. We know just how vulnerable new businesses are, and that sometimes, a helping hand is needed. We take our social responsibility seriously, which is why we have developed the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme.
Since 1918, our Mutual Society has not just been in the business of funeral insurance and burial services, but in paying it forward. Our strong commitment to our social responsibility rests on an unwavering pledge to contribute and help build a country that thrives – even in the face of hardship and adversity. The AVBOB Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme was therefore created to partner with local small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and help them realise their potential. We do not accept the notion that economic growth and entrepreneurial opportunities in South Africa are permanently diminished. Rather, we take a stand in recognising perseverance and hard work as well as offering a platform to businesses that helps them become more resilient. This means providing budding entrepreneurs with access to resources such as:
In this way, smaller enterprises have a chance to move past those initial start-up phases where they are susceptible to negative economic conditions.
In a time when bad news is all around us, we celebrate the good news and appreciate every win. For us, this means recognising the three, remarkable business associates that joined our ESD Programme in October 2021. As part of our initiatives in the sphere of social responsibility, we have committed ourselves to helping enterprises overcome the setbacks that often drown new companies, such as a lack of capital. We also offer ongoing support and assistance in navigating these issues with innovative responses to modern business obstacles.
One associate, Sibusiso Sibanyoni, founded and owns Kandee.co. Sibusiso said that his small enterprise in the video production industry presents a major challenge when it comes to establishing rapport with prospective clients. Naturally, clients gravitate towards larger enterprises with more experience, but a partnership with AVBOB offered Kandee.co the exposure it needed. The AVBOB ESD Programme has so far uplifted Sibusiso’s enterprise with equipment valued at just under R300 000, and a preferential procurement allocation of R500 000 (including additional equipment rentals). “Using these additional funds, we can now elevate other aspects of our business that require urgent attention, and which will ensure our business continues to grow and develop,” Sibusiso stated, adding that the support gives his company flexibility in a competitive industry.
Neo Monareng of Gadifele Communications is also a founder and owner of the respective, top-tier enterprises who have benefitted from AVBOB’s social responsibility initiative.
We at AVBOB are excited to welcome our first three business associates into our innovative programme and hope that 2022 presents more opportunities to support, empower, and elevate local enterprises. To find out more about our social responsibility initiatives, feel free to contact us today.