“Empowering black businesses, particularly your small-medium enterprises, is absolutely essential if we are going to transform and grow the economy of our country”
Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation
GETTING TO KNOW US BETTER... ABOUT US
WHO WE ARE
Black Umbrellas was first conceived as the Black Umbrellas, a project spearheaded by Cape Town social entrepreneur Charles Maisel and Mark Frankel to support SMMEs.
In 2009 the Foundation (now Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation) partnered with Black Umbrellas to escalate the project countrywide with R5.2 million invested in the set up and operations of a Gauteng office.
Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, is deeply committed to the vision of Black Umbrellas as a catalyst in the development of entrepreneurs, a sector he has identified as critical to the empowerment of historically marginalised South Africans.
Shareholding in the Group is held in two trusts: The Fundani Education Trust and the Mabindu Business Development Trust, the latter of which supports Black Umbrellas.
WHAT WE DO
Black Umbrellas is a non-profit enterprise development incubation organisation partnering with the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black owned emerging businesses in South Africa.
The programme focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable economic path, and nurturing 100% black-owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence through the provision of nationwide incubators.
The imperative to reshape South Africa’s economic environment is at a critical stage, with unemployment rates increasing to 25.20 in the first quarter of 2014, a scenario largely unchanged since 2000.
Furthermore, South Africa has one of the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in the world, contributing to 35% of GDP compared to 60% in countries like India and Brazil. For those South Africans who do manage to start a business, fewer than 20% make it past the first two years.
The Black Umbrellas model is aimed at supporting emerging black businesses through the incubation programme so that they are able to emerge as independent, viable businesses.
Fundamental to the success of the model is a tiered intervention, where applicants/clients transition and bolster their business through successive levels of activation. The programme activation begins with a pre-incubation phase (3 months), followed by full incubation (3 years) through to graduation.
Over the past decade Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation has had a remarkable impact on the people and communities in which it works. Through dedication, collaboration and a commitment to creating positive change, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation continues to build on its previous achievements to create the South Africa of our dreams.