Ricochet News

FNB launches initiative to scale social entrepreneurs

Sep 9, 2019
FNB launches initiative to scale social entrepreneurs

Jeffreys Bay - FNB, in collaboration with Fetola Business Growth Professionals, on Monday announced the launch of the Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab’, a SME development initiative to help grow social entrepreneurs in South Africa.

This two-year programme will empower 25 existing ‘for profit’ businesses who already operate in the social entrepreneurship space and have genuine potential to scale. Entries for the Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab’ officially opened on 02 September 2019.

Heather Lowe, Head of Enterprise Development at FNB, says the launch of this programme forms part of FNB’s broader strategy to provide meaningful support to SMEs as productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa.

Social entrepreneurship is one of our best chances to bring about a positive impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans. As a nation, we face a plethora of struggles every day; we aim through this programme to scale some practical and sustainable solutions to address our most pressing social and environmental issues.

The programme is looking for entrepreneurs operating in the social enterprise space who are passionate about making South Africa better. These should be social entrepreneurs who can solve community-based challenges in areas such as education, food sustainability, healthcare, safety, and environmental sustainability, amongst others.

Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola says, “We are excited to partner with FNB on this journey and cannot wait to interact with phenomenal businesses whose sole purpose is to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Corporates in South Africa have an important role to play in nurturing and growing small businesses through Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programmes, and collaboration with like-minded stakeholders.

"It is only through such initiatives and strategic partnerships that we can truly make an impact in solving some of the major societal issues facing the country.

The prospective businesses should be eager to change the landscape of South Africa, improve lives and create a real impact through the work they do - while still being profitable. The businesses should be further dedicated to tackling the country's problems and finding solutions to pressing social, environmental, and economic issues.

Successful applicants will receive personalised, practical business acceleration support, access to powerful peer networks, market access linkages and access to growth finance to help them reach genuine scale.

Entries for the Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab’ can be submitted online via the website fetola.co.za.

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