Hollard builds on transformative campaign to boost small businesses

A small tomato-products farmer that not only creates jobs in a rural economy, but also empowers local women. An innovative app that helps children learn South African languages through augmented reality, stories and games. An online tutoring tool that matches students of all ages with the best tutors.

These three innovative, home-grown enterprises are the latest batch of small businesses that will benefit from Hollard’s pioneering advertising-sharing campaign to boost small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs). The insurer launched the second phase of its life-changing Big Ads for Small Business initiative this week.

In 2021, 12 small businesses – from a Johannesburg inner-city tailoring outfit, an aunt-and-niece-run landscaping firm and a township chicken restaurant to a small Soweto laundromat venture and a one-woman wine-distribution start-up – reaped phenomenal results from their participation in the campaign, including securing myriad new contracts and partnerships, setting up new franchises, expanding their markets and creating many more jobs in their communities.

Each SMME received its own tailored media package, comprising anything from radio and television ads to billboard and digital advertising space, and the impact of the campaign was so big that Hollard wanted to expand it so more SMMEs could benefit.

Now, the insurer is building on last year’s success with a second six-month phase of the campaign in a slightly different format, adding three more small businesses to the pool in a novel partnership with DStv.

A partnership proposal to Hollard from the satellite service at the end of last year provided the perfect opportunity to run a competition across three of its television channels, Mzansi Magic, kykNET and M-Net, and social media, inviting SMMEs to apply to become part of the 2022 Big Ads for Small Business campaign.

Like last year, criteria for this year’s campaign included whether the small businesses would benefit from the campaign, could handle a potential rapid increase in business and were spread across the country. 

Overall, 248 applications were received, which were narrowed down to 10 with the help of a specialist business consultancy, and then to the final three successful applicants that met all the criteria: Timeless Tomatoes, Ambani Africa and 123tutors. 

From March to August 2022, Hollard will share two months of concurrent commercial airtime worth R1-million with each of these enterprises on DStv channels, plus providing social media exposure on its channels.

As a “human” brand, Hollard’s business purpose is to enable more people to create and secure a better future, explains Hollard Chief Marketing Officer Heidi Brauer. The concept for the campaign was initially drawn up at a time when Hollard was acutely aware of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown – not only on its own business, but particularly on small businesses.

At the time, the idea was to provide 12 SMMEs (chosen from an initial pool of 292) with marketing support and business tools to help them overcome the impact of the pandemic and to create a collective knock-on effect of “better futures”, she adds. 

So, what gives the three successful contenders for 2022 an edge? All have great potential for growth – and for changing lives for the better: “creating better futures”.

Timeless Tomatoes produces a range of top-quality tomato products from a small farm in Bethulie in the Free State. For small-business owner Anja Fourie (pictured top), it’s a labour of love – she originally started Timeless Tomatoes as an additional income stream, but has since grabbed the opportunity to have a real impact on her community, creating jobs and empowering local women.

Mukundi Lambani, founder and CEO of Ambani Africa

Starting out as an idea to offer interactive mother-tongue education for learners, Ambani Africa uses an app with interactive animations, augmented reality and games to make learning eight South African languages fun and engaging. Founder and CEO Mukundi Lambani’s goal is to get more people learning and reading in their mother tongue, through technology in the online space. The app won the 2021 MTN Business App of the Year award (among several other accolades).

Joseph Nyamariwata (CMO) and Aaron Bornmann (CEO) of 123tutors

123tutors was started to address the need for an affordable way to quickly and easily connect parents and primary-school, high-school and university students with vetted tutors, using clever technology to allow users to find the perfect tutor in three steps. Tutors themselves, co-founders Joseph Nyamariwata and Aaron Bornmann also aim to expand into other forms of tutoring, such as driving lessons, coding lessons and music lessons.

Find out more about the Big Ads for Small Business campaign here: https://www.hollard.co.za/bigads