Woolworths celebrates youth month with R2 million investment

Image sourced from Woolworths.co.za

In a powerful move to support South Africa’s future, Woolworths has announced a R2 million investment in 15 young entrepreneurs through its Youth Makers competition. This initiative, launched in celebration of Youth Month, aims to empower young people and unlock their potential in the business world.

Hundreds of aspiring young entrepreneurs submitted their applications, showcasing their passion and innovative ideas. After a rigorous selection process, 30 finalists were flown to Johannesburg to pitch their businesses to a panel of industry experts. Ultimately, 15 exceptional individuals were chosen to receive a life-changing opportunity:

One-year mentorship from Woolworths experts: This invaluable guidance will provide the winners with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the retail sector and build strong foundations for their businesses.

Exclusive insider information on the South African retail landscape: Gaining access to this knowledge will equip the winners with a strategic advantage, allowing them to make informed decisions and optimize their business strategies.

Direct access to Woolworths’ customer base: This incredible opportunity opens doors for the winners to showcase their products to a vast audience of potential customers, significantly increasing their brand awareness and sales potential.

R130,000 grant: This financial boost will provide the winners with the resources they need to invest in their businesses, expand their reach, and achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

The 15 winning businesses represent a diverse range of industries, showcasing the talent and creativity of South Africa’s youth. From fashion and food to art and homeware, these young entrepreneurs are making a positive impact and shaping the future of the country’s economy.

Meet the 2024 Youth Makers Competition Winners:

Balini Naidoo Engelbrecht: Founder of Balini ™️ Braille Clothing, creating beautiful garments that empower visually impaired individuals to express their unique style.

Helen-Jean Stubbs & Sim Cele: Creators of Enzo’s Mighty Bites, offering nutritious and delicious snacks for busy families.

Isabel Bothma: Founder of Isa B Jewellery Designs, crafting bold and beautiful pieces that add a touch of personality to any outfit.

Kabelo Moraloki: Artist behind Kabelo Moraloki Arts pty Ltd, bringing vibrant artwork to everyday items like mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags.

Khaya Burwana: Award-winning agricultural entrepreneur, leading the way with his innovative farming business, Agrikey Farming.

Makomborero Mutezo: Founder of The Hungry Mute, offering delicious brownies made with carefully sourced and researched ingredients.

Michael Ludwig Hittinger: Championing gender expression and inclusivity through their cutting-edge fashion brand, Michael Ludwig Studios.

Neo Dulaze & Katleho Mchalla: Brother-sister duo behind Berry Homeware, expressing their creativity through art, décor, and home scenting products.

Hlubi Hewu: Owner of Planned Gifts, curating thoughtful and unique gifts for every occasion.
Nompumelelo Nhlapo: Driving sustainable and intentional fashion with her innovative brand, Gadat House.

Sibusiso Mokhachane: Founder of SOULART FOUNDATION, creating recycled and upcycled luggage, textiles, and clothing with a focus on environmental responsibility.

Tenele Zwane: Crochet genius behind Subtle-T Designs, crafting beautiful and intricate pieces with dedication and skill.

Tshegofatso Ramothibe & Oageng Manana: Proud founders of Meetlo by CityBirds, offering stunning furniture with a modern African twist.

Unathi Mgolombane: Sustainable fashion advocate with doba.upcycle, creating vibrant and eco-conscious clothing that sparks conversations about recycling.

Xolile Mabuza: Owner of Tendalo Trading, offering ethically sourced bags crafted from recycled and upcycled rubber tubes.

These young entrepreneurs are not just building successful businesses; they are inspiring a generation and paving the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Shop the Youth Makers Brands:

Woolworths is committed to providing the winners with a platform to showcase their products and connect with customers. In the coming months, customers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban will have the opportunity to:

Shop the winning brands in-store: Visit Woolworths V&A Waterfront (Cape Town), Sandton City (Johannesburg), and Gateway (Durban) to discover and purchase the innovative products created by the Youth Makers.

Meet the founders in person: Engage with the young entrepreneurs, learn about their stories, and experience their passion firsthand at special events held in each city throughout June, July, and August.

This initiative is part of Woolworths’ Inclusive Justice Initiative, a commitment to fostering inclusive growth and empowering marginalized communities. By supporting young entrepreneurs, Woolworths is investing in the future of South Africa and contributing to a more equitable and prosperous society.

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