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The Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program: Supporting ICT start-ups to thrive in a generic enterprise environment

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Mint Group prides itself in not only being Microsoft’s leading partner, but also inspiring its employees, partners and clients to reach their full potential, through innovative technology solutions. With the predominant notion of a “people first” approach, the company has built an inclusive culture, which is key to driving diversity and empowerment. 

A great affirmation of this is the Mint Group Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program, a transformation initiative dedicated to solving human problems in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. 

The Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program provides investment, training and advisory services for South African start-ups, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Exempt Micro Enterprises (EME).  The program seeks to embrace transformation and empowerment opportunities to develop and grow our inclusive economy. To become a Mint partner, a company must be 100% black-owned or 51% female-owned. 

“We partner with these companies on deals to help them gain experience and build their competencies. As partners, they are included in business development, learn deal development, key account strategies, and are upskilled on Microsoft products,” says Ronelle Naidoo, Mint’s Head of Sales.

Since its establishment in January 2021, the program has on-boarded 16 partners, each set to ultimately advance into a Generic Enterprise environment.

“I am thankful to be associated with a company that drives execution excellence, is forward looking and is creating a tomorrow that everyone dreams about. Mint is a company that is changing the world with technology. It is passionate, driven, disruptive and definitely a company that is driving innovation through transformation,” says Partner Development Manager of Naliji Consulting, Deon Chinasamy. 

“I can attest that Mint is robust and deeply invested in the community through its Corporate Social Responsibility program — it is passionate about placing people at the centre of everything they do,” he adds. 

The significance of the Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program has come during a critical period in which businesses are challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Through these partnerships, the ICT sectors have a greater chance of confidently thriving and creating more opportunities, employment and impact. The program has truly been valuable to all partners organisations and the people they serve,” says Mint Group CFO, Yvonne Dias.

The Sekolo sa Dinaledi Trust (School of Little Stars) is an initiative of the Mint Group. The Trust seeks to provide resources for its sole beneficiary, the Ekukhanyeni Relief Project. Ekukhanyeni is an NPO that partners with fledgling creches in informal settlements and underprivileged communities and turns them into early childhood development (ECD) centres. These centres provide early childhood development services for toddlers and young children. Through the Trust, Mint also invests in “Growing a Mintie”. Little “stars” are identified and supported throughout school in the hope that they will one day work at Mint.

As part of the Ubuntu program,  there is the theme of “continue to pay it forward” that allows the partners to become part of supporting the Ekukhanyeni Relief Project.  For each project that the partners are involved in, a percentage goes towards the Project.

TAM Business Solution, which specialises in IT infrastructure services, has partnered with Mint across the Education and Public sectors. TAM Director Tebogo Motsaapheko values the education, knowledge and level of services that they have provided.  

“Learning has been an integral part within our partnership engagement model with Mint. We continue to learn new technologies and solutions. The products, services and solutions that we offer in our partnerships are of high-quality standard and achieved through a proper selection of quality suppliers. TAM and Mint strive for total customer satisfaction. We are looking forward to the continuation of this partnership,” he says. 

The goal is to have 500 000 toddlers from disadvantaged communities attend early ECD centres in South Africa by 2030 to get them school-ready.

To qualify for the 2022 Ubuntu EmpowerMint program, relevant enterprises are required to have one-to-two-year trading history and financials, should be 100% black-owned or 51% women-owned and must be operating in the ICT sector. Project references in the Microsoft Cloud software area are also important.  For more information, visit Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program

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