Key impact$106M in revenues generated by Entrepreneurs in 2009
“Endeavor South Africa has made significant strides in advancing the country's economic and social development, and continues to transform South Africa through the gold standard of High-Impact Entrepreneurship.”
- Endeavor South Africa
- Managing Director
- Catherine Townshend
South Africa has an estimated 49 million citizens, 88% of whom are black. The legacy of racial inequality under the former Apartheid government and the difference in size of the black and white populations have led to government-implemented economic policies to encourage emerging black-owned businesses to correct the uneven distribution of wealth and income.
Extreme levels of income inequality, poverty, and unemployment continue to characterize the country. With a national unemployment rate of over 24%, social problems such as HIV/AIDS, poor service delivery and persistent crime are reinforcing barriers for enterprise development. Overall, the country's financial and operating environment is not very supportive of entrepreneurs, particularly in terms of regulations, policies, and access to capital.
Following the worldwide recession in late 2008, South Africa’s Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) dropped from 7.8% to just over 5%.
The endeavor effect
Endeavor South Africa was officially incorporated in June 2004. The office strives to embody and foster the gold standard of entrepreneurship in the country and to cultivate role models that reach and inspire South Africans of all races. Over the last six years, it has worked to identify and support entrepreneurs across a range of industries, helping to catalyze the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Endeavor South Africa’s portfolio of entrepreneurs encompasses a wide range of industries, from ice cream manufacturing, mobile phone applications and software design, to mining safety, fashion and retail, and pharmaceuticals. With support from more than 120 top business leaders serving as mentors, these companies have created approximately 12,000 high-value jobs.
The office runs a successful Excelerator program, to diversify its portfolio and become more relevant to a larger part of the population. To exercise greater influence on the entrepreneurial landscape in South Africa, it has also launched the first “State of Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial Dialogues” paper in partnership with First National Bank--which raises awareness around the obstacles that entrepreneurs face. It also continues to establish important partnerships, including with Deloitte, E&Y, and the local business schools.