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The recently completed first phase assisted 80 SMEs that support 420 jobs including the 65 new jobs. In total 3 000 hours (valued at R4 million) of business development support were provided. An independent evaluation process revealed an average increase of 16% revenue growth for the 80 SMEs.

The ground-breaking Sanlam-ASISA ESD programme was launched in July 2013. Sanlam and ASISA believe the programme has been successful because it took a different approach to most enterprise development programmes by combining investment funding and business development into a single package.

“We believe we have achieved our objective to enable the SMEs we assisted to be the best that they can be – in terms of revenue creation, job creation and skills transfer. Initiatives like this prove that our industry is serious about making a difference to the long-term development and strengthening of the socio-economic fabric of our country,” says Dr Johan van Zyl, Sanlam Group Chief Executive and Chairman of ASISA.

ASISA Chief Executive, Mr Leon Campher, says the organisation understands that SMEs require more than just financial support in order to grow. “That is why our programme offers tailored business development support followed by financial support timed according to the specific needs of SMEs. Those that qualify for funding are then provided with a further seven years of SME growth support through the ASISA Enterprise Development Fund.”

Mr Jannie Rossouw, head of Sanlam Business Market, says the success of the Sanlam-ASISA ESD Programme has sparked interest from other corporates in an industry responsible for nearly R6 trillion in savings and investments. “The programme has generated some valuable lessons that others can learn from, in terms of yielding strategic business benefit, mentorship support, alumni networks for SMEs and procurement relationships, for example. Because of the higher failure rate associated with start-up businesses, we have made a conscious decision to focus on existing businesses. This strategy has paid off well by creating more jobs in a sustainable environment,” says Rossouw.

Lydia Anderson-Jardine, who in 2010 co-founded Waste Want with her husband, Anthony Jardine, says the Sanlam-ASISA ESD Programme is “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

“What is great about this programme is that it is not about handouts, but about empowering us to take charge of our own growth and sustainability. We are passionate about what we do, as well as our social responsibility – we strive to grow our business to create a broader social and environmental impact. There are communities out there who need jobs, and because our business is low skilled and high volume, we can employ people from night shelters. We also collaborate with schools to encourage recycling,” she says.

The next phase of the programme will focus on the sustainable development of a further 60 SMEs. It will again be managed by enterprise development specialists Edge Growth and will conclude in July this year.

Says Campher: “Much of the success of the programme can be attributed to the expert management by Edge Growth and we would like to thank the entire team for the passion with which they have approached this initiative.

“We would like to see these enterprises grow from small to larger businesses, and perhaps even be listed on the development capital market as a model. We’d also like to see them eventually repeat the programme with their own suppliers and in their own communities. This is ultimately what real socio-economic transformation means,” Campher concludes.

Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme example: Waste Want

Located in Stikland, Cape Town, Waste Want is a new and growing waste management and recycling company set to make a big impact by combining job creation and recycling into a growing enterprise. The business employs homeless youth and works with local schools to encourage recycling with encouraging results:

Results of the Sanlam-ASISA ESD Programme for Waste Want to date:

  • 75% increase in headcount
  • 27% increase in revenue
  • R2m SME growth investment approved
  • Development of procurement relationship with Sanlam
  • Website developed and new equipment procured
  • New contracts on-boarded through growth support
  • Major skills development achieved
  • Business diagnostic and growth strategy developed.

Waste Want contact details:

Tel: 021 948 4422/33

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