By Sinazo Mkoko
South African entrepreneurs have the opportunity to gain significant support in their entrepreneurship journey with the Class of 2023 of the United People Global (UPG) Biashara initiative.
This is an initiative that aims to support entrepreneurs in their journeys to turn ideas into businesses, growing and strengthening existing businesses.
According to United People Global, South Africa is amongst the top priorities in the selection into the Class of 2023.
This will allow them to also also expand their network and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs from over 50 countries, across all world regions. In addition, South African entrepreneurs also enjoy priority status with the Diamonds do Good Entrepreneurship Grant.
The grant is a catalyst for the positive change that entrepreneurs can make in their communities, with a special emphasis on micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. The beneficiaries will be granted a minimum of more than R80 000 to be invested directly into their businesses and some entrepreneurs will get higher amounts of up to R300 000.
President of the United People Global, Yemi Babington-Ashaye, said South Africa has dynamic entrepreneurs and two of them won cash grants through UPG Biashara in the past year. Yemi added that they are thrilled to welcome South Africa again as a priority country.
Sharing her sentiments, Executive Director of Diamonds Do Good, Nancy Orem Lyman, said they believe that by supporting entrepreneurs, they are helping to shape a sustainable future for all. “In addition to our support for entrepreneurship in natural diamond mining areas in Africa, we are pleased to include South Africa in 2023”, she said.
In 2022, a young South African tech entrepreneur, Pamela Buthelezi, was among the beneficiaries of the grant:
“Winning the Diamonds Do Good Entrepreneurship Grant came at an opportune time to boost my company’s working capital needs, particularly in the area of marketing. This will certainly boost our market reach. I plan to extend my market reach to the semi-rural markets where through feasibility studies, I found that there is a market need. There is a digital gap that exists and my goal is to bridge that gap and uplift our semi-rural communities to embrace online technology.”