Sugarbird Gin: The true spirit of entrepreneurship

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Business Gender IssuesWomen`s Interest

The Sugarbird Gin dream team is burning with passion to sponsor aspiring entrepreneurs with their innovative business ideas.  They joined forces with the KOI Group to enhance entrepreneurs skills to assist them to developed and launch their masterpieces. 

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The goal of Koi is to help people create a better world, especially by growing young entrepreneurs, solving social issues and building inclusive economies across Africa. The Sugarbird Gin team would like to share their pearls of wisdom to grow new successful businesses.


The craft gin trend is on the rise with a staggering R700 million contributed to the collective R19 billion spirits industry in SA in 2015. It has been predicted that gin alone will contribute R1 billion to the economy during the 2017 financial year.


The number of local distilleries has grown from 19 in 2014 to 30 in 2016 in efforts of keeping up with the increasing thirst for juniper juice.

Inspiring change through innovation


Sugarbird was born out of an entrepreneurial wish to bring affordable and delicious tasting gin to all. This gin is also a vehicle for female entrepreneurs and offers bursaries to further their skills and launch their innovations.


“I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurship as a vehicle for creative expression and positive change. The idea of Sugarbird inspiring creativity and entrepreneurship in others fuelled me to help bring this product into the public eye,” says Sugarbird founder, Rob Heyns.


For every 1,000 bottles bought, proceeds will go towards granting bursaries to intrepid entrepreneurs (mostly female and previously disadvantaged) who have an idea that they would like to see bear fruit.


The Koi Group is a platform for people who are passionate about

  • innovating
  • building businesses
  • and impacting the world

Koi supports entrepreneurs through a range of resources including the KoiPath framework.  Many organisations including Microsoft, mLab, the Bandwidth Barn, the Innovation Hub and Launchlab provide fully sponsored Koi workshops for startups .


Female entrepreneurs in South Africa are under represented

While internationally, the number of women in entrepreneurship has doubled in growth compared to their male counterparts, South African female entrepreneurs only form 31% of the entrepreneurial landscape. This is according to a report by SME South Africa.


Sugarbird is hoping to provide leverage for female entrepreneurs through the sales of their female-focused, fynbos-infused craft gin.


Sugarbird plans to put female entrepreneurs through a 2 day ‘Idea Workshop’ which is a fast-paced ‘boot camp style’ workshop that will teach invaluable tips and lessons on how to take an idea from a thought to a reality.


This boot camp will be hosted by Neil Hinrichsen of Koi Strategy, who has successfully started two startups – one of which was acquired by Visa for $110 million.


You can show your support for Sugarbird gin by heading to our Thundafund page. Stand a chance to win prizes such as a private multi-course gin-infused dinner for two with our chef and mixologist or a three day long weekend gin tour of the Western Cape including flights (local), accommodation, all meals and of course multiple bottles of our delicious gin.


There is also a lucky draw prize for all supporters where the lucky winner can win Sugarbird gin for an entire year (24 bottles).

5 reasons to invest in Sugarbird

1. Budget savvy – Sugarbird gin is accessible to a wide audience, making it a drink of choice and available to a wider selection of retailers.

2. Always improving, ever evolving – While Sugarbird will retain floral with fruit and spice notes, the creative process of refining her profile will be an ongoing journey.

3. Ensuring growth for others – This product has the potential to earn global recognition for South Africa and to effectively and sustainably contribute to the entrepreneurial landscape through our exciting partnership with Koi Strategy.

4. Born from entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs – The main goal of Sugarbird is to inspire creativity and fuel entrepreneurship in order to achieve economic growth.

5. Crowdfunding is the new support system - Crowdfunding reflects a risk-free, real time feedback, idea launching platform that quickly validates whether your concept has wings. Beyond that it breaks the perception that capital needs to precede innovation.


Click here to find out more about Sugarbird and the amazing prizes you can win for investing in this proudly South African gin.


You can follow Sugarbird Gin at:





Instagram:                  (@sugarbirdgin)

Twitter:                        (@sugarbirdgin)


Koi Group:                  


Prizes for supporting Sugarbird Gin on Thundafund include (in correlation to funds given):


R75 reward

Social Media shout out; a 10% voucher for gin on Yuppiechef; your name on our wall of fame and on our limited release, wood aged Sugarbird gin.

R270 reward

The first batch of Sugarbird gin. Delivered to your door for free.

R300 reward

A bottle of Sugarbird gin with 4 bottles of Barker and Quin Light at Heart Tonic Water. Delivered to your door for free.

R450 reward

A bottle of Sugarbird gin with 2 Riedel O To Go Stemless Glass.
Delivered to your door for free.

R850 reward

Huge discount and access to the first KOI strategy entrepreneurial bootcamp. Normal price R7000.

R1,700 reward

Private multi-course gin infused dinner for 2 with our chef and gin mixologist. (Bookings can be made for groups of up to 16).

R23,500 reward

3 day long weekend gin tour of the Western Cape. Includes flights from any major airport in SA; accommodation; all meals; a ton of gin; visits to 10 distilleries and 10 gin bars; restaurants; gin-education; ginspiration; and a gin-fuelled jol.

R900,000 reward

You choose between Ryan Gosling and Taylor Swift to hand deliver your hand signed bottled of limited release Sugarbird gin and join you for a G&T.

Lucky draw prize

24 bottles of Sugarbird Gin (gin for a year for most, gin for 3 months for us).

 *In line with international crowd-funding best practices, rewards will change during the campaign - some will fall away and new rewards will appear to keep it interesting for fans.

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