From merely baking at home to targeting R15m confectionery business turnover
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Njabulo Sithole started his bakery purely out of a passion for baking. He then identified a gap in the market in his home town, Inanda, and started baking part-time to create baked goods for family and friends.
As the popularity of his baked goods grew, so did the business and its vision. Bakers Creationz, founded in 2014, now employs a total of 22 full-time members of staff, with an annual turnover of more than R3 million.
The business currently supplies a number of South Africa’s leading supermarkets with baked goods, including Pick n Pay Express, BP and Engen garages, as well as select Spar Supermarkets in KwaZulu-Natal. They have recently signed a national contract with Pick n Pay which will see them starting to supply their stores nationwide.
Njabulo’s vision for his business is to become South Africa’s leading confectionery supplier.
“We want to open branches across South Africa. Our business is poised for further expansion, with a national rollout strategy firmly in sight,” he concludes. We also aim to increase our turnover to over R15 million,’’ says Njabulo.
Njabulo’s major breakthrough came in 2012 when he decided to use his home kitchen as his baking space, selling to local schools. At this point orders started streaming in, and a few months later he was ready to move to a proper business facility to accommodate his growing business.
Njabulo is a past participant of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme. Through the programme, he was granted R250 000 in funding to support his business. To date, he has used the funding to upgrade his power facility and security system at the bakery and has also installed ventilation.
Prior to joining the programme, Njabulo employed 15 people and had a turnover of R1.6 million.
Njabulo strongly encourages other entrepreneurs to participate in the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme.
“The SAB Foundation is by far the best organisation that supports and grows small businesses. I have benefited so much through the technical assistance, mentorship and financial support that has enabled me to grow my business,” he said.
“Participating in the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme has been an exciting journey of learning and personal growth for me. Tackling new challenges all the time, witnessing the growth of my business, creating job opportunities and changing the lives of others are all part of the journey,” he says.
Applications for the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme are now open. Entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply for a coveted spot on the programme.
Applications are open until 30 September, 2021 at midday. The eligibility criteria are:
- The business is fully operational and has been trading for at least 12 months.
- The business is black-owned and managed.
- The business is headquartered and registered (if applicable), within South African borders.
- The business is a going concern, commercially sustainable and viable.
- The business is in the early stages of growth.
- The applicant is involved in the daily operations and management of the business on a full-time basis and is not employed by any other organisation.
- The applicant has the skills and experience necessary for the type of business they are engaged in.
- The applicant should show a willingness to learn, grow and change.
- The applicant should show entrepreneurial and leadership abilities.The applicant should be resilient and driven to succeed.
In addition, preference will be given to:
- Enterprises run by or benefiting people living with disabilities.
- Women and youth-owned businesses.
- Peri-urban and rural enterprises.
- Enterprises that create jobs in areas with few other opportunities.