30 entrepreneurs being welcomed on stage at Orange Corners 2019 launch.
The Orange Corners initiative was established by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa in 2016 to support Dutch-origin companies operating in South Africa in assisting local entrepreneurs with tools to enable the entrepreneurs to be successful and help their businesses to thrive.
Thus far, Orange Corners SA has assisted more than 135 entrepreneurs, and provided over 540 training hours and business development support while doing so. Moreover, the initiative has facilitated 12 masterclasses for participating local entrepreneurs.
The 2019 intake of 30 entrepreneurs (aged between 18 and 35 years) were selected from the 390 applications received. The group includes 11 entrepreneurs and micro enterprise founders from Diepsloot, operating in a variety of business interests from poultry farming to catering, car washes, and construction to clothing branding services. The subsequent 19 comprise of high growth startup and SME founders based in Johannesburg, who also operate within a large variety of industries including gardening and landscaping services, IT, architecture, construction, digital marketing, and the manufacturing of cleaning products.
Excited 2019 Orange Corners entrepreneurs taking selfies at the launch event.
Millicent Maroga, Corporate Affairs Director for Heineken South Africa, believes the programme aligns with Heineken’s focus on ‘growing with communities’ and is key to enabling small businesses to become the project partners of the future. “Heineken is a proud co-founder of the Orange Corners initiative, which directly correlates to the company’s global sustainability programme Brewing A Better World, through which the company has made a global commitment to contribute positively and invest in communities,” Maroga explained following the announcement of 2019’s participants.
This is vital within an economy in which small, medium and micro enterprise businesses increasingly come under pressure, with more than 70% of new businesses closing down within two years of opening their doors.
Vanitha Engelbrecht Orange Corner's co-ordinator with guest at launch of 2019 Incubator.
The approach regarding the 2019 Orange Corners intake, included a more bespoke programme for each business. This means that it has been tailored to fit the entrepreneurs’ needs within their respective businesses, moving away from the more standardised approach of previous years. In order to achieve this, the team completed in-depth assessments for each of the entrepreneurs, to identify their business gaps, which assisted us in ensuring each entrepreneur gets the specific support they require in the business area in which they need it
“The key focus for this year is on helping these entrepreneurs gain more self-confidence, along with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to leverage their business ideas. Thereafter, we connect them to a network of entrepreneurs, the market and new opportunities, to help make their business grow faster, perform at an optimal level and ultimately achieve even greater levels of success,” Maroga concludes.