Entrepreneurs across South Africa are being invited to take part in the prestigious SAB Foundation’s Tholoana enterprise programme, an 18-month initiative aimed at empowering entrepreneurs to grow sustainable and successful businesses. Applications close on 5 September 2023.
The programme, regarded as one of the country’s most impactful business growth platforms, is open to businesses from all sectors and places emphasis on inclusivity, targeting entrepreneurs from all nine provinces, including peri-urban and rural areas. It actively encourages participation from women, youth, and people with disabilities.
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With over 555 entrepreneurs supported so far, the Tholoana programme’s achievements are substantial. 50% of the entrepreneurs are women, 57% are youth, and the businesses under the programme have created more than 4 500 jobs, 1395 of them being new since joining.
The success of the programme’s alumni is remarkable, with a long-term sustainability rate nearly nine times higher than the national average, showcasing the enduring positive effect on the local economy.
Head of programmes at the SAB Foundation, Itumeleng Dhlamini, highlights the importance of strategic and personalised support for maintaining business growth. He praises the one-on-one mentorship provided to participants, stating that it’s key to their success.
Past participants have expressed profound gratitude for the programme. Cindy Malaza of Timeless Opulence credits the financial and mentorship support for taking her business “from zero to hero,” even amidst the pandemic. Freddy Sibuyi of Freddy & Sons Engineering saw a stunning 900% growth in turnover and staff numbers increase from 4 to 15.
Preference in the programme will be given to enterprises in peri-urban and rural areas, those that create jobs where opportunities are scarce, businesses run by or benefitting people with disabilities, women and youth-owned businesses, and businesses with high growth potential.
Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:
- The business must be fully operational, trading for at least 12 months.
- The business must be black owned and managed.
- It must be headquartered and registered within South African borders.
- The business must be commercially sustainable and viable.
- The applicant must be involved in daily operations, not employed by any other organisation.
- The applicant must have necessary skills and experience for the business.
- A willingness to learn, grow, and change is required.
- Entrepreneurial and leadership abilities must be demonstrated.
- Applicants must be resilient and driven to succeed.
Entrepreneurs who meet these criteria are encouraged to apply early for a coveted spot in the programme. More details and application instructions can be found on the official website at www.sabfoundation.co.za/tholoana-enterprise-programme.