Octavius Phukubye

Enterprise Development Specialist

Octavius Phukubye is a man who helps make entrepreneurs’ dreams come true. This is by virtue of his position as enterprise development specialist at South African Breweries responsible for the SAB KickStart programme.

It is a relatively new role for him, having joined the company in 2011 before taking on the responsibility for the youth entrepreneurship programme a year later. In this time he has re-engineered the programme to focus more on business development and a solid support ecosystem.

His strong understanding of the needs of startups in the context of larger corporations stems from his early career as a management consultant at Accenture South Africa.

He says there is a symbiotic relationship between large and small organisations as the former stand to benefit from the agility and innovation that smaller companies can achieve. The advantage for entrepreneurs is that they become acquisition targets of large enterprises that have reached stagnation or market saturation.

He expresses concern, however, over South Africa’s comparative inability to entrepreneurially innovate to the same extent as other emerging markets.

He therefore sees it as his responsibility through the medium of the SAB KickStart programme and his personal endeavours to instill a more competitive mindset in South Africa’s youth and young entrepreneurs.

“It is quite clear to me that a number of economies are ahead of us. And that government and large enterprises play a critical role that can be foundational to allow young and old entrepreneurs to start a business. This is crucial to secure our country’s future,” he says.

Phukubye says that he wants to be influential in reshaping the country’s entrepreneurial landscape and culture. This, he believes, he can achieve by one day taking on the role of minister of entrepreneurship to “change the narrative and psyche of young people in South Africa”. — Johann Barnard