SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme 2021 for South African Entrepreneurs

SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme 2021 for South African Entrepreneurs


This year, the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme will recruit 40-60 entrepreneurs who are keen to learn, determined to take their business to the next level and who want to contribute to the economy.

“Entrepreneurs add value to society and strengthen economies,” says Andiswa Gumede, SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme Specialist. “To succeed and sustain that growth, they need market opportunities, mentorship, business skills and funding.”

Since 2015, the innovative and lifechanging SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme has delivered exceptional results for hundreds of entrepreneurs all over the country, across multiple business sectors. The programme helps small business owners become successful and resilient by giving them the tools they need to succeed.

Entrepreneurs on the programme receive extensive entrepreneurial skills development, mentorship and access to tools and templates. In addition, connection to a strong peer network, as well as access to markets and finance help small business owners achieve exceptional results and become sustainable.

Since inception, Tholoana Enterprise Programme participants have increased their collective turnover by 85%, from R170 million at inception to R315 million as at 2019. They have also created 832 new jobs.

“In 2020, thousands of businesses were forced to cease their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Gumede. “None of our participants had to close their doors despite being unable to trade. In fact, turnover increased by 146% and job creation by 35%.”

Entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply for a coveted spot on the programme. Applications are open from 1 September to 30 September 2021 at midday.

What Type of Scholarship is this?


Who is Eligible?’

  • 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 business is in the early stages of growth.
  • 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.

Entrepreneurs who are living with disabilities are also strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are also welcome from businesses working in new and growing sectors such as export, manufacturing, food processing, water, energy and waste management.

Which Countries are Eligible?

South Africa

How Many Awards will be Given?


What is the Benefit of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme?

We invest in entrepreneurs – with a particular emphasis on women, youth, people in rural areas and entrepreneurs with a disability – who show the potential and commitment to grow a business and create jobs.

This is done through a structured, two-year business support programme, seed-funding and assistance with access to markets.
Applications are open once a year, with the businesses showing the most potential and commitment with about 60 new entrepreneurs being brought onto the programme per annum.

How Long will the Program Last?

2 years

How to Apply for SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme:

There are currently two applications open on the entry platform. Please ensure that you select the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme when applying.




Visit SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme Webpage for Details

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