It is well known that South Africa has one of the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in the world with entrepreneurs contributing around 35 percent of GDP compared with 60 percent in countries like India and Brazil.
For those who do manage to start their own business, fewer than 20 percent survive past the first two years.
Yet SMMEs comprise 97.50 percent of the businesses in South Africa and remain one of the largest providers of formal and informal employment in the country.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas was a project first conceived as Black Umbrellas by Cape Town social entrepreneurs Charles Maisel and Mark Frankel and proved to be highly effective in supporting SMMEs. The model has now been adopted by the Shanduka Foundation with the intention of growing the project and taking it countrywide.
In 2009 the Shanduka Foundation partnered with Black Umbrellas and committed R5.2m to set up and operate a Gauteng office.
Cyril Ramaphosa, chairman of Shanduka Group, sees Shanduka Black Umbrellas as a catalyst in the development of business skills and entrepreneurship, a sector he believes is one of the most critical ingredients in ensuring the economic empowerment of historically disadvantaged people in South Africa.
When setting up Shanduka Group, Ramaphosa set aside five percent of its shareholding to two trusts – Fundani Education Trust and Mabindu Business Development Trust. Shanduka Black Umbrellas is supported through The Mabindu Trust.*
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