30 April 2024

Over 100 youth to benefit from Dunlop’s Business in a Box in KZN Premier-backed partnership

Submitted by: Jozi
Over 100 youth to benefit from Dunlop’s Business in a Box in KZN Premier-backed partnership

Dunlop Tyres’ entrepreneurship booster programme – Business in a Box (BIBs) – has been selected as a strategic employment initiative by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office under the Youth Development Fund. 17 young entrepreneurs, after a rigorous selection process, have benefited from the partnership to own a Dunlop Business in a Box tyre fitment facility. The partnership aims to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to the youth, equip them with the tools and guidance to sustain a business, and contribute to job creation.

With official unemployment rates pegged at 32,1% in the fourth quarter of 2023, the Memorandum of Understanding between Dunlop Tyres SA, manufactured by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), and the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office, led by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, boosts employment opportunities and skills and development training in communities with little to no access to professional tyre fitment outlets.

The first Dunlop Business in a Box was handed over in Mbumbulu, in a celebratory event with KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube on 25 April 2024.

SRSA CEO Lubin Ozoux said: “Our Dunlop Container project was established in 2012 to drive sustainable township entrepreneurship and promote safety on the road. Today, we have a national footprint of over 80 branded Dunlop Container stores with 80 business owners employing around 400 people. In 2024 Dunlop has reached a new milestone in our BIB programme through a partnership with the KZN Premier’s Office, celebrating the 17 young men and women who applied to be part of this initiative. We have full confidence that as young entrepreneurs, they will take the baton forward and grow as businesspeople, and at the same time, enable access to safety-tested, high quality, and locally produced tyres in the market. They are part of the Dunlop network now and have our full commitment and support.”

The containers are stocked with tyre fitment equipment to undertake repairs, wheel balancing and rotation, as well as tyre stock to kickstart operations. Each entrepreneur will employ tyre fitment technicians, and more than 100 new and permanent jobs are expected to be created in this process.

The recipients had been chosen after a lengthy application and reviewing process by both the KZN Premier’s Office, as well as Dunlop.

Hennel Nkonjela, Key Accounts Manager Enterprise Development at SRSA, said: “After a public call for applications by the KZN Premier’s Office, all submissions were carefully reviewed. Shortlisted applicants had to ensure business plans, and other relevant documentation were in order. Importantly, our teams were looking for candidates who had a willingness to learn and grow in the tyre fitment industry. We look forward to seeing them grow and are committed to supporting them in this journey.”

The BIB partnership comes at a time when KZN youth are eager for business opportunities to shine.

KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube said: “The KZN government is committed to improving the lives of people, especially our youth. This sponsorship of tyre fitment containers by our KZN province is an investment in our youth by creating business opportunities for them. As a province, we are committed to the automotive industry as a whole and the role it plays in increasing job opportunities. This is just the start; we want the young entrepreneurs to grow their sites to add car washing and other services to the site.”

28-year-old Yolanda Mkhize was the first beneficiary of the Dunlop BIB at her site, Nomakhrestu Trading, in Mbumbulu. With a family background in the taxi industry, she is familiar with the role tyres play in the transportation industry.

“I am so excited at this opportunity to run a tyre fitment centre. I am thankful to Dunlop and the KZN Premier’s Office for making this possible for me. It’s going to take hard work, but this is just the start for me, I plan on growing this site so that people can come here and get tyres fitted and enjoy other services. I am employing three people at my site as tyre technicians and hope to grow this number as I grow. I named my container after my late grandmother, and I know she is very proud of what I am achieving as a young woman in the tyre industry,” she said.

The balance of the BIB containers are in the process of being rolled out at their beneficiary sites across KZN.

For more information on Dunlop’s Business in a Box solution, visit: https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/business-in-a-box