Barloworld Extends Deadline for Applications to the Mbewu programme

A window of opportunity has been extended for social entrepreneurs to apply to be part of the 2021 cohort of the Barloworld Mbewu programme. The date for round 1 application submission has been extended until Monday, 31 May 2021, from the date of 14 May that was initially communicated.

Barloworld Mbewu 2019 Big Pitch Candidates
Pic: Barloworld Mbewu 2019 Big Pitch Candidates

“We are delighted with the overwhelming response we have received from social entrepreneurs for the 2021/2022 Mbewu programme. The quality of the submissions we have received thus far is world-class and showcases the quality and calibre of entrepreneurship we have in South Africa.

We wish to extend the opportunity to be part of the Mbewu programme to more social entrepreneurs from smaller provinces such as the Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape, hence we have made a considered decision to extend the deadline to give eligible entrepreneurs from these provinces an opportunity to apply,” says Noluvo Vovo Ngcwabe, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Barloworld.

To submit your application, go onto the Barloworld Mbewu website and share a video link from your YouTube or Vimeo account. Alternatively, you can send a video to the Mbewu WhatsApp line on 063 345 6466. All videos submitted, should not exceed 90 seconds.

Shortlisted candidates will receive communication around the details of the round 2 application process. The finalists who will be incubated into the Mbewu programme will join the ranks of past social entrepreneurs who are already blazing a trail in their respective industries. Successful candidates incubated into the Mbewu programme will receive mentorship, funding to scale up their operations and access to markets.

Here is what some of the previous participants have to say about the programme:

Emerging farmer Alice Rabebe, founder of Molam’s Farming in Delpan, North West, had this to say about the Barloworld Mbewu Beneficiary programme. “The leadership tools I acquired on this programme are eye-opening. Professionalism is key and general management tools I learnt from the programme are important and are taking me closer to take my business to the next level and become a real commercial farmer,” said Radebe.

Vuyo Mayesa from Warrenton in Northern Cape has through the Express Culture Academy program developed the Women's Sewing Project aimed at developing women to create garments and school uniform. “The programme has given me the added confidence to give birth to a business idea and actually see it through. It fills one with joy to conceive an idea and see it through to the implementation stages. Thanks to being a beneficiary, I have realised my idea”.

Tauriq Jackson runs a mobile fitment centre called Jaxon Tyres in Cape Town that trains the youth in previously disadvantaged areas to learn the trade. Jackson was equally impressed with the programme: “I have learnt more from the Mbewu program than I did in four years of BCom degree. The information provided was exactly what my business required. The Mbewu program provided me with all the tools I required to make a positive impact not only in my personal capacity but to serve communities as a whole. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Enterprises that are eligible to apply for this prestigious incubation programme must be run by South African citizens and be operational for more than one year. Preference will be given to organisations that are active in marginalised and previously disadvantaged communities and organisations that are active in the education, automotive value chain, agro-processing, agriculture, green economy or ground-breaking social innovation/technology that addresses local challenges.

“We are excited to start a new chapter of the Mbewu programme and continue to this remarkable journey of harnessing the power of our brand and platforms to empower this breed of socially conscious entrepreneurs,” says Ngcwabe.