The SA Future Trust partnered with five non-bank financial intermediaries (NBFIs) in 2021 to continue its endeavour to be champions for small business.
Grants have been made available to the following projects designed to accelerate job creation in the SMME-sector:
The A2Pay Foundation provides technology solutions to consumers who live in underserved communities. It will extend a point-of-sale device, capital and training to spaza shop owners operating in the informal economy in Cape Town and areas of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. They will receive a full-fledged business management system for efficient record keeping and improved cash management. The portable vending device also offers a wide range of prepaid products and services like airtime, electricity, lotto and bus tickets.
Funding from the SA Future Trust will cover the identification of 1000 spaza shops, installation of the equipment and training and mentoring the business owners. A minimum of 1000 jobs will be created in these communities.
Riversands I-Hub is a large-scale multi-purpose business incubator operating in the north of Johannesburg. It’s new initiative is the Project Thrive Fund which offers interest free loans to qualifying businesses within the Hub’s growing SME ecosystem. The Fund facilitates debt funding solutions that include asset financing, purchase order financing and working capital. Project Thrive introduced a new and critical dimension to the Hub’s existing set of resources, furthering the Hub’s ambition to build a leading, performance orientated and scaled small business ecosystem.
The SA Future Trust’s investment will test the impact of the Project Thrive Fund on these businesses and its contribution to job creation.
Technoserve is a leading international non-profit organization that plans to provide financial and non-financial support to 240 small businesses in the information, communications, and technology sector. Businesses will be 70% youth- and 60% women-owned and will be sourced from an established network in Gauteng and surrounding areas. The first phase of the program will identify these businesses and implement training over a nine-month period. The second phase will equip the selected top 120 businesses with skills to grow their businesses and create jobs.
The SA Future Trust’s investment will enable the testing of the intervention, measure the impact and determine whether it could be scaled up in the future.
WomHub is a boutique Pan-African incubator with a focus on upskilling and supporting female-founded businesses towards building a better, more sustainable future. WomHub’s Economic Growth Accelerator is a year-long program supporting science, technology, engineering and manufacturing businesses in South Africa to accelerate growth through leadership development and intensive entrepreneurial support.
The Economic Growth Accelerator consists of two (2) tracks:
The SMME Track: an accelerator that will support female founders in small to medium enterprises
The Venture Track: an accelerator to support high growth opportunity businesses
WomHub offers a range of financial and non-financial support to these businesses and runs a talent support program in the form of subsidized internships to female engineering graduates to help startups recruit top talent.
The SA Future Trust’s investment will enable the program to target 25 – 30 businesses per track over a two-year cycle.
Raizcorp focuses on incubation and business acceleration for entrepreneurs by assisting them in scaling their businesses. The SA Future Trust partnered with Raizcorp in November 2021 to launch Scaffold, a pilot programme focused on developing high growth potential small businesses based in Alexandra and Thembisa townships that operate in the manufacturing sector. Over time, the strategy will be to build value chains within a township context.
Scaffold is a year-long, high-intensity business-development programme designed to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses in a sustainable way by offering a broad range of support and learning. It aims to accelerate sustainable scaling so that businesses can become significant suppliers to large corporate clients.