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Shanduka Black Umbrellas is a non-profit enterprise development incubation organisation partnering with the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black owned emerging businesses in South Africa.

The programme focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable economic path, and nurturing 100% black-owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence through the provision of nationwide incubators.

The advancement of black entrepreneurs and small business development is at the heart of the Shanduka Black Umbrellas programme. It is a multi-stakeholder collaboration with the common purpose of achieving economic and social change through action, inspiration and support. In order to create a sustainable programme to harness and strengthen South Africa’s black entrepreneurs, Shanduka Black Umbrellas works through a platform of co-operation between civil society, the private sector and government so that the correct resources, skills development, mentoring and access to markets are in place to support development at all levels.

By providing a structured and subsidised programme, using a national footprint of business incubation offices, our clients are afforded the expertise, office infrastructure and resources over a 3 year period to create the important foundations to achieve sustainable businesses. It requires commitment and hard work on the part of our clients, over and above their passion for their service or product, to graduate from the programme to become owners of independent and viable businesses. This is a vital initiative to transform the South African economy by linking big business to smaller suppliers and increasing the economic opportunities that arise out of enterprise development.

The work that Shanduka Black Umbrellas are doing is seminal in terms of the future of the country.

Francois Adriaan, Donor, Head of Group Corporate Affairs Portfolio at Sanlam

How It Works

The Shanduka Black Umbrellas model is aimed at supporting emerging black businesses through the incubation programme so that they are able to emerge as independent, viable businesses.

Fundamental to the success of the model is a tiered intervention, where applicants/clients transition and bolster their business through successive levels of activation.

The programme activation begins with a pre-incubation phase (3 months), followed by full incubation (3 years) through to graduation.

The SBU model uses its national reach to enable clients to benefit from guided mentorship, through which clients receive the transfer of business skills, knowledge and network linkages.

The businesses are assessed for their credit risk and an advisory committee offers their technical experience to assess the weaknesses and strengths of the businesses.
Ongoing support through the incubation centres and the office infrastructure linked to these include:

  • Bookkeeping services at standard rates;
  • Access to networking & marketing events;
  • Ongoing mentoring;
  • Assistance with finance access;
  • Workshops aimed at business & personal development.

Currently incubators are fully operational in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Mooinooi, Lephalale, Pretoria, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas allows small companies to dream. They dream big – they dream small – but they dream. And if you dream, and you’ve got plans to get there, the success rate is normally high, and that’s what we love.

Charl Klopper, Mentor, Lonmin

Shanduka Black Umbrellas are helping us to get to the next level where we are actually working on our business now instead of running around and working in our business, so we are very grateful that they’re helping us to equip ourselves for that next step in business.

Glenda Pieters, Client, MD of Naturally Good

Our Vision

As part of its long-term strategy to harness the talents of South Africa’s black entrepreneurs, Shanduka Black Umbrellas aims to:

  • Establish 10 operational incubators throughout South Africa in 10 years;
  • Support an average of 50 clients per incubator;
  • Ensure that 50% of clients become sustainable through the 3-year programme;
  • Support clients that generate a R2.5 billion turnover.

Innovation is key, differentiating yourself and your business from your competitors is critical to be able to succeed.

My message to aspiring black entrepreneurs would be to seek all the support that you can in developing and growing your business and making it sustainable.
In order to play the game you have to operate on the same level as all the other businesses out there.

The message would be really to seek the opportunities, operate your business at the highest level and gain all the support that you can.
Seek the opportunities out there and look for organisations, like Shanduka Black Umbrellas, which can help you with the development and growth of your business.

Mark Frankel, Founder, Shanduka Black Umbrellas