The SAB Foundation has put out a call for growth-orientated entrepreneurs committed to achieving new levels of success to apply to its popular Tholoana Enterprise Programme. 

The SAB Foundation’s entrepreneurship development mission is to unlock business development support and investment that helps entrepreneurs to build viable, growing and sustainable businesses that can create jobs. 

This year, the Foundation will recruit up to 60 entrepreneurs across different industry sectors nationally to join the programme. The programme will prioritise applications from businesses that are owned and managed by women, youth, people living in rural areas and people living with disabilities. 

Participants will be supported in refining their growth strategy, setting up business systems and processes, improving their investment readiness and unlocking market access opportunities.

This programme will equip entrepreneurs to build profitable and resilient businesses that contribute meaningfully to the economy, whilst enabling the founders to build a positive legacy for themselves and their communities. 

“Typically, entrepreneurs who participate in the Tholoana Enterprise Programme enter the programme feeling frustrated with their current business performance and seeking solutions to help scale their growth,” says Xoliswa Moraka, SAB Foundation Entrepreneurship Development Programme Manager. 

“To succeed and sustain that growth they require strategic, personalised and comprehensive support to help realise their full potential.” 

Since 2015, the innovative and lifechanging SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme has positively impacted hundreds of small businesses across South Africa. Entrepreneurs who have been through the programme have consistently increased their performance. 

As at 2020, the small businesses supported through the programme collectively employed an estimate of 2 442 people and have a combined turnover of R326 million. In addition, the sustainability of the businesses at the end of the programme is almost nine times higher than the national average, meaning that nine out of ten businesses are anchors in the local economy many years later. 

“There is nothing more rewarding than building a successful business as it brings a sense of empowerment that lasts for generations,” continues Moraka. “Access to proven support of the right kind turns this often stressful journey into one that is enjoyable and financially rewarding.” 

According to Moraka, participants of the programme will receive extensive entrepreneurial skills development, one-on-one mentorship, access to investment and market activation support. 

“The SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme lays the right foundation to support business growth and development, during the course of the programme and beyond,” concludes Moraka. 

“Our aim is to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they will succeed well into the future.” 

Entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply for a coveted spot on the programme. 

Eligibility citeria 

• The business is fully operational and has been trading for at least 12 months. 

• The business is black owned and managed. 

• The business is headquartered and registered (if applicable), within South African borders. 

• The business is a going concern, commercially sustainable and viable. 

• The applicant is involved in the daily operations and management of the business on a full-time basis and is not employed by any other organisation. 

• The applicant has the skills and experience necessary for the type of business they are engaged in. 

• The applicant should show a willingness to learn, grow and change. 

• The applicant should show entrepreneurial and leadership abilities. 

• The applicant should be resilient and driven to succeed. 

 In addition, preference will be given to: 

• Enterprises run by or benefitting people living with disabilities. 

• Women and youth-owned businesses. 

• Peri-urban and rural enterprises. 

• Enterprises that create jobs in areas with few other opportunities. 

Applications are also welcome from businesses working in new and growing sectors such as agriculture, export, manufacturing, food processing, water, energy and waste management. 

To find out more about the programme or apply, visit

Applications open on 1 August and close on 31 August 2022 at midday.