Enterprise Development

Enterprise development is defined as the act of investing time and capital in helping people establish, expand or improve businesses. Enterprise development helps people to earn a living; it helps them out of poverty; and it leads to long-term economic growth for themselves, their families and their communities. [Source]

eskom infographic


What constitutes Enterprise Development?

Enterprise development involves investing time, knowledge and capital to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) establish, expand or improve businessincluding empowering modest income-generating informal activities to grow and contribute to the local economy. [Enterprise Development Made Easy, Raizcorp].

It can also involve:

  • Support: preferential credit terms, preferential pricing structures, mentorship and business skills training by large companies to emerging black-owned business
  • Grants and loans, investment in beneficiary entities, guarantees/ security, providing seed capital

Read some examples of enterprise development initiatives


A discussion on Enterprise Development at the 2017 Trialogue Business in Society Conference.

Benefits of Enterprise Development to the contributor

  • BBBEE score card. Enterprise development, were big companies offer operational assistance to small, black-owned enterprises, is a core component of the South African government's BBBEE strategy and globally recognised as an effective way to reduce poverty. [Source: DBSA working paper series]
  • Accountability for sustainable SME development, job creationn and poverty alleviation
  • Return on investment 
    [Source: Neda services: How do organisations benefit from Enterprise Development]

Apart from the benefits to the contributor, enterprise development is an integral tool for alleviating poverty and unemployment.  

Read more about the benefits of Enterprise Development

Youth and entrepreneurship

In May 2017, the Department of Basic Education formalised a 13-year blueprint to embed practical Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship and Employability Training into the National School Curriculum, from grades R to 11 (grade 12 learners will focus only on their matric exams). Furthermore, the Department is eager to work with non-profits that are currently supporting youth entrepreneurship to roll out this plan.

Once they have matriculated, a very small percentage of South African school leavers will find jobs. An even smaller percentage of these graduates will go on to complete tertiary studies. As such, the development of entrepreneurial competence and getting young people to believe in themselves is of upmost importance.

Read more about Youth and Entrepreneurship