Coca-Cola Beverages SA (CCBSA) sees the youth as the key to driving economic recovery in SA.
Since 2016, CCBSA has invested more than R105m in its youth development programmes, including its Bizniz in a Box initiative and, most recently, its Study Buddy Fund.
The company launched Bizniz in a Box in 2016, a programme aimed primarily at transforming aspiring entrepreneurs into fully-fledged business owners who can create a livelihood for themselves and others. To date, CCBSA has financially supported and provided training to more than 700 entrepreneurs across the country.
The Study Buddy Fund was launched in 2021 and has enabled 55 young people from 14 host communities where CCBSA operates to access tertiary education. The fund pays for full tuition, accommodation fees and a monthly stipend. This is over and above the bursaries the company pays for employees’ children and young people in the organisation.
These programmes are some of the company’s investments to support the government’s efforts in tackling the country’s youth unemployment challenges.
“Our youth are resilient and innovative and have shown that they can start their own businesses to create a livelihood for themselves. But disillusionment remains high and now, more than ever, we need a focused approach to tackle some of the challenges we face as a country. There is a need for all stakeholders to collaborate and co-facilitate solutions that will bring hope to our young people, be it providing access to education or helping them build businesses,” says Nozicelo Ngcobo, CCBSA’s public affairs, communication and sustainability director.
CCBSA believes that when companies grow their businesses the right way, not just the easy way, they can help to create inclusive growth opportunities for communities and all their stakeholders, for a better shared future.