According to Statistics SA, the youth remain the most vulnerable in South Africa’s labour market, with the total number of unemployed youth (15-34 years) increasing by 241 000 to 4.9 million in the first quarter of 2023. These alarming statistics indicate that young people have limited prospects of getting jobs, and their only hope of becoming economically active is to start their own businesses. It is for this reason that Bolt Business, Bolt’s B2B service that offers companies in Europe and Africa affordable and quality mobility services, recently partnered with Walk Fresh, a boutique sneaker cleaning company. Through this partnership, Bolt Business was the official mobility partner at their annual event for Sneaker Cleaners hosted in Braamfontein in September.

The one-day event termed Sole Survivor brought together under one roof sneaker-cleaning entrepreneurs from across the country to motivate, upskill and empower them with tools needed to take their small businesses to the next level. Bolt Business, as the mobility partner, ensured that delegates were able to commute to the venue with ease as many of the attendees were from outside of the Province and by removing the transport barrier, entrepreneurs could focus on the business of the day.

With the many challenges that businesses face in South Africa, such as access to capital, there is also a need for established networks of successful entrepreneurs to impart knowledge and share their insights on how to navigate the many challenges that exist in the small business sector. Much like Bolt, the event organisers believe in creating earning opportunities that are sustainable and offer a solution that adds value to the lives of those in the communities it exists in, as well as making cities better for the people who reside in them.

Bolt Business Country Manager Cyndi Levendale says, “We see small businesses as the lifeline of our economy, and we are committed to supporting them to ensure they succeed. By partnering with Walk Fresh for their Sole Survivor event, we ensured that their attendees from across the country had access to a reliable mode of transport at the tap of a button.”

Lethabo Mokoena, founder of Walk Fresh, adds that “Creating strategic platforms of engagement and networks of small businesses operating in the sneaker cleaning market is a starting point towards driving long-term growth for the industry. We are grateful to partners such as Bolt for believing in our vision of cultivating entrepreneurship among young people who are passionate about creating opportunities for themselves in a country where formal employment is scarce.

Earlier this year, to commemorate Youth Month, Bolt Business partnered with SAPIN, a property academy, to provide over 50 young people with trips for their youth internship programme. To date, Bolt Business has provided over 700 trips to interns on the SAPIN youth accelerator programme who previously struggled to service clients located at a distance. However, with Bolt’s extensive coverage and efficient transport solutions, the young people were able to expand their client base and establish themselves as key players in the property industry.

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