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ESS is a private Enterprise Development company that was established in 2002 to address the challenges facing small business. The company has consistently been at the forefront of Enterprise Development and has developed and implemented numerous Enterprise Development programmes. ESS is 26% black owned.

Our strategy was initially influenced by a recommendation that Clem Sunter made in his book “Never mind the Millennium. What about the next 24 Hours”, namely that: “In every community in every rural and urban area there should be an entrepreneurial training centre which can provide business skills to the young and old alike including all those retrenched from the public and private sectors. These centres should be run by private enterprise, with the financing coming from Government and business. In particular, the centres should be staffed by the old foxes.”

What we do
We assist corporate clients in achieving their B-BBEE targets by managing their Enterprise Development programmes. We offer outsourced training programmes for clients seeking assistance with B-BBEE Skills Development points. Our FET College presents two Services Seta Learnerships – the New Venture Creation and Business Administration Learnerships.

We develop and train entrepreneurs.
We assist both start-up and existing business owners. We understand that entrepreneurs need to be nurtured over longer periods in order to develop sustainable businesses. We believe that too much emphasis is placed on financial support and not enough emphasis on coaching and training the business owner to acquire the right philosophy, skills and knowledge to run a successful business. We link the entrepreneur with a network of existing businesses, financiers and support agencies. We also offer small business opportunities to clients.

ESS, together with Imbewu Capital Partners, has established an Enterprise Development Fund known as Siza Enterprise Development Fund, which assists small businesses with funding. We work closely with other financial institutions, development banks and micro finance organisations to facilitate access to funding for our clients.

Our Strategic Objectives
To create sustainable SMME’s through the provision of:
• Entrepreneurship training
• Sourcing business opportunities
• On-going mentoring and coaching
• Facilitating access to funding
• Providing affordable support services

ESS Enterprise Development
SMME’s account for 40% of
South Africa’s GDP.
According to the Minister of Finance about 70% of all South Africans
are employed by small businesses.
ESS Enterprise Development

Enterprise Development in the
South African context

Small business offers the only real prospect of large-scale job creation in South Africa. It is well established that entrepreneurs drive economic growth, create employment and contribute towards social well-being.

SMME’s account for 40% of South Africa’s GDP. According to the Minister of Finance about 70% of all South Africans are employed by small businesses. A sizeable proportion is employed by businesses employing fewer than 5 people. Few of these businesses are ground-breaking innovators, most are simple businesses that meet daily needs.

Although about 65% of South Africa’s youth want to start a business, only 5% of South Africans own a business. Research undertaken by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) indicates that South Africa’s entrepreneurial activity consistently lags behind most other developing and developed countries.

The establishment and development of SMME’s requires the combining of skills training with the provision of on-going mentoring, backed up by affordable support services and access to finance. Research confirms that job creation potential is greatest in entrepreneurs with further education.

Key challenges affecting entrepreneurial activity are:
• A lack of entrepreneurial skills
• An over-emphasis on funding as the key enabler
• Insufficient entrepreneurial training programs to encourage
• No or limited access to skilled mentors
• Insufficient business hubs to protect entrepreneurs and
   provide both financial and non-financial support