LC Styles Clothing, Daweti Enterprises, Yeyethu Design Studio
Igugu Le Ntokazi Wines
Marcus Biltong
Steed Hair & Beauty

Impactful SME Training and Growth Intervention


The purpose of the IEDF is to grow and develop every informal and micro business into sustainable entities.

To achieve this, the IEDF partnered with the Wholesale and Retail Seta, e-LearnSA, Brand Boss and ABSA Bank to execute a 5-week development programme aimed at equipping SMEs with the necessary skills to take their businesses to the next level.

IEDF then set off on a journey to recruit 197 businesses to grow and benefit significantly through this programme.  Their growth was the driving force behind everything IEDF designed to implement the programme successfully.


The programme and business challenges

These 5 weeks were insanely impactful for us as the IEDF team, but more importantly for every business who participated.  We could see tangible evidence of growth in their skills and understanding of how to improve their businesses.  In the words of one of the participants, Seeds of Growth, “I completed the Entrepreneurship course. Thought I would encourage all to set time aside it is definitely worth your while, there are some valuable reminders and nuggets that will add much value”.


Training gaps and challenges facing SMEs.

Businesses in the informal economy are known  to have enormous passion, skills and abilities.  Yet they are marginalised from mainstream businesses and have limited access to opportunities.  They have their own basket of challenges, often fuelled by a lack of skills and resources required to survive.

In our analysis, businesses in this sector lack in at least 3 or more of the following areas –

  • Resources – people, equipment and finance
  • Business management skills
  • Financial savvy
  • Legislatory requirements and business compliance
  • Leadership skills
  • Branding and marketing
  • Innovation
  • Digitally savvy
  • Understanding the economic environment
  • Systems and structures

These factors impact upon their ability to build a sustainable business that meets their growth objectives and generate income from the goods and services that they offer to the market.


Coastal Suppliers & Logistics
Ombesa Holdings, Hadizas Fragrances, Sonolizo General Trading,
Roots & Raw, Let Love Lead Us, Phoenix Solar Distributors
PGF Consulting, Gina's World of Love, Dlivr Biz, AWE Works


What did we accomplish?

Let’s zone in on what is on the other side of the growth objective, and what it meant  for  the SMEs. 

The IEDF focused on growing the SMEs  in four main areas

  1. Branding and marketing,
  2. Entrepreneurship Readiness,
  3. Consumer Finance Education
  4. Networking opportunities

At a broader level it impacted on their entrepreneurial skills, technical skills and in particular , marketing and branding skills.


Our approach

  • Face-to-face training
  • Webinars
  • Telephonic monitoring and support
  • Social media support and communication
  • Connected with each business through motivational messages, reminders about the obstacles and provided tips for successful completion and interpretation.
  • Networking opportunities


Impactful learning and practical challenges

For 5 weeks these businesses were stretched, and they stepped up to the plate.  This is particularly true when it came to the completion of the digital marketing challenges.  Businesses who never utilised social media before, are now able to create reels, calendars  and engage the digital platform with confidence.

They fully participated in the programme and thereby enhanced their growth and learning path.  They completed challenges and activities such as –

  • Branding and marketing – opened Instagram business accounts, design adverts, calendars and write news articles about their businesses and their experience with the programme
  • Entrepreneurship Readiness – e-learning course with excellent learning opportunities and engagements
  • Innovation challenges and engagements


We were exceptionally encouraged by their receptive and eagerness to complete and master all the challenges.

We received beautiful messages of appreciation and how this IEDF Intervention has challenged the participants out of their comfort zone into a growth spurt for their businesses.  They grew in self-confidence, technical skills as well as a roadmap of how to apply the newly acquired knowledge and information in their own businesses.


Impact as experienced in the words of our participants:

Blooms for all Seasons:  “Thank you so much for all your time, effort and very hard work to make this possible for us and the opportunity for us to show samples of our work, much appreciated, IEDF.  A special thanks to Yolanda for your enthusiasm, motivation and dedication!!! I was encouraged by everything that was said this evening and I am very excited about all the possibilities for the businesses.  Well done, IEDF!! May you go from strength to strength so that many more businesses may benefit !!!”

 Igugu Le Ntokazi Wines: ”Oh what an amazing experience. Igugu Le Ntokazi Wines would like to take this opportunity to Thank the IEDF family for the recognition, entertainment, food and most importantly food for the soul.  We can’t wait you make you proud and turn the seed into a tree that will produce great fruits that will change our economy”.

Phoenix Solar Distributors: “What an amazing evening and wonderful experience, thank you IEDF, Brand Boss, ABSA, Elearnsa and everyone who assisted in making this program possible, and thank you entrepreneurs for doing your part to make this program successful. The hard work doesn’t end here. We have an opportunity to assist in the uplifting of the economic state of South Africa.  PS, I’m working hard on eliminating Loadshedding for good. Rules, Regulations and political views are the obstacles, but we are the solution to improving the system”