Shoprite’s Hustle competition aims to acknowledge and develop entrepreneurs by helping them grow their small businesses, says Shoprite brand publicity manager Angelique Wagner. Entrepreneurs played a critical role in growing South Africa’s economy and the Shoprite Group was doing all it could to give SMMEs access to markets, she told Vutivi News.
“The group supports more than 2200 SMME suppliers by giving them access to new consumer markets, and 1500 of these SMMEs are micro-enterprises whose turnover with the group is up to R1 million per annum,” Wagner said. Since the competition’s inception in 2018, there have been more than 50 winners.
Some of the past winners included Toys with Roots, which now supplied an African range of dolls exclusively to Shoprite and Checkers, Gologo Spirits, a producer of premium spirits such as vodka, gin and rum owned by Mzwandile Xaba, and Winston & Julia, which was a small artisanal chocolate producer.
Toys with Roots was established in 2015 by couple Thabo and Mpumi Motshabi. They were inspired by the need to expose their daughters to dolls they could relate to. “I wanted our daughters, who were seven and four years old at the time, to know that they are beautiful just as they are,” Mpumi Motshabi said when the couple won the competition in 2019. “When I was growing up there was nothing that celebrated me as a child. I wanted a different reality for my daughters.”
Their hard work resulted in the Rainbow Kids doll range, which included Khana, Pula and Nandi. Each doll sold at R99.99 at Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets across the country. Wagner said that more than R1 million had been set aside for prizes this year. The 20 winners would receive R50,000 in cash, a laptop, digital and social media support and access to the Startup Circles’ Ignition programme.
“Anyone with an established small business, aged 18 or over and a South African citizen or permanent resident are eligible to enter. Entries can be submitted online by 19 September 2021,” she said.