Enterprise development focuses on identifying various key needs, markets and opportunities in terms of the regional economy. This process looks at the local and available capacity, resources, skills and knowledge to effectively exploit these. Umsizi’s focus is to identify existing entrepreneurs,  or persons with potential to become so, within the local economy and enhance their economic means. We enhance the local capacity through developing  skills, income and sustainable livelihoods.



Enterprise development is incorporated into the various components of Umsizi projects. For projects to be sustainable for the long-term there needs to be economic viability within each project so that if outside funding were to recede, the projects would be self-sustained and viable. Umsizi prides itself in creating economically viable empowerment projects which contribute to employment opportunities within South Africa.

The various enterprise development programmes to-date are:

Umsizi provides sustainable livelihood development opportunities in order to:

  • Empowerment people economically
  • Improve household food security and nutrition
  • Create productive economic means
  • Enable individuals access to the economic mainstream
  • Create income generation opportunities
  • Develop entrepreneurs and enterprises


The basic principles for supporting and incubating sustainable livelihood opportunities are:

  • Existing entrepreneurial activity on the ground, or potential for;
  • Available economic opportunity and market;
  • Strong potential for replication and multiplication of the entrepreneurial activity, and
  • Selection of entrepreneurial projects for incubation at an enterprise Hub  which can the highest impact on the local area.

Commercial Business Training (the Hub)

Enterprise development via the Commercial Business Training Centre, or Hub, will focus on identifying various key needs, markets and opportunities in terms of the regional economy. The most suitable local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) to address this need/market/opportunity will be selected, and businesses will be supported, trained and developed to service the identified opportunity. Households will be selected as enterprises to undergo the required training and support so that they could meet the demand needs. The Hub will then incubate these enterprises with the aim of increasing the broad-based socio-economic impact through cultivating similar new entrepreneurs and enterprises. The overarching purpose of enterprise development is to empower the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises/Black Economic Empowerment (SMME/BEE) sector with:

  • Relevant training;
  • Mentoring; and
  • Development opportunities to increase business capacity.

The basic principles to be applied for supporting and incubating an enterprise development project are:

  1. There must be entrepreneurs owning and driving the idea;
  2. There must be a good economic opportunity and market for the idea;
  3. There must be good opportunity for replication and multiplication i.e. developing similar enterprises and entrepreneurs in other communities; and
  4. Ideas with the highest probable community impact should be selected for incubation at the Hub. The “Incubation of Enterprises” at the Hub will form part of the “Light Industries Function” whereby the Hub will provide work rooms, training, machinery, resources and expertise to ensure the successful establishment of these “Pilot Light Industry Enterprises”.

The Hub (which is one of Umsizi’s key vehicles developed to promote large scale development in a region) will be a central domain to nurture various enterprise opportunities, whether it be; commercial agricultural crop production training, manufacturing, skills training, or business mentoring and support.

The Hub as an agricultural production incubator

The Hub is the foundation for broad-based entrepreneurial development. The Hub will act as an incubator training households in the surrounding communities to produce high-quality agricultural produce in small scale household enterprises. Through training and improved farming practices, the community will produce an abundance of high quality produce at the Hub and homestead alike to meet specialised market needs. The Hub will be supplied with a commercial agricultural tunnel to further improve year round crop production, as well as rain water harvesting system for production water. The Hub will become a centralised processing and marketing point for the household agriculture, directly linking household to commercial retailers.

Developing Light Enterprises at the Hub:

  1. The Hub training will equip new producers with the basic techniques to enable household production for their own benefit.
  2. The second tier of training will teach newly established producers to become more effective and productive so as to embark on initiatives to start generating additional income.

Ultimately the Hub’s training, support and mentorship to these producers will gear towards higher value production to establish sustainable business income through sales of surplus produce at local markets

Construction Team Training

Construction team training focusses on training the youth in rural communities South Africa who are unemployed and become involved in unrest which is why Umsizi target the the youth for community training initiatives.

Rural youth will receive training focused on construction techniques and skills. The aim is to prevent the youth from falling into unemployment and poverty, and to ensure that they receive the correct assistance to further their construction skills, knowledge and experience. Ultimate sustainability is to develop these individuals into forming a profitable company, which will be able to employ even more of the local community members.

Umsizi can assist in incubating this construction team, and establish them as entity/entities which will not only provide their services to nearby development projects, but also to other construction projects in the region.

The long-term vision for the construction team is to become established entities which are managed and owed by the beneficiaries. They will continue providing services to the local area, but will also be able to provide similar yet more advanced services, which can be contracted to large-scale enterprise development projects throughout the region.


Umsizi will provide all of the required skills training, mentoring, supervision and administration of the project(s). Key individuals will be identified and groomed into more senior positions, and they will be the members who will eventually manage the entities. Umsizi can assist in the application process of the entity/entities as well, with a clear handover phase and exit strategy, whereby Umsizi will gradually pull out and hand over all the responsibilities to the beneficiaries.

Umsizi have the ability and required skills to ensure that this Enterprise Development project will become a major success throughout the region. Not only will this become a success story of youth development on the clients’ part, but it will be a story of true empowerment and social development.

SMME Business Development & Support

The support concept follows on from enterprise development by providing local communities with a one-stop shop for new and existing businesses looking for help and advice.

The Business Development Centre, based at the Hub, will provide business mentors and advisors, fluent in all the local languages, that will offer a range of support, including:

  • Help with writing a business plan;
  • Evaluating businesses;
  • Accessing finance;
  • Helping with basic book keeping and basic commercial law;
  • Taking advantage of government incentives (in terms of SEDA); and,
  • Improving general business skills.

The centre will also provide a means of getting access to the Internet and a growing network of business service providers, as well as the occasional use of the available conference facilities.

The Commercial Business Training Centre is aimed at the eradication of poverty through the establishment of community enterprises or SMMEs. The project also aims to establish business that can supply goods and services to local industries.

Sustainable Housing and Living Livelihoods

Umsizi have access to the new progressive building mechanism which uses low-cost building materials to construct varying structures. The building mechanism uses polystyrene as the insulating agent and fibre-coating as the outer-layer plastering. This construction process uses 95% of the construction labourers from local communities, which will be trained by accredited professionals, thereby enabling community empowerment and skills development. The scale of the project can be tailored to varying projects, such as:

  • small-scale resettlement projects, and
  • larger-scale employee housing to improve housing and living conditions.

This alternative building method has many benefits in comparison to conventional brick construction, such as; Fibre-coat is 3 times stronger and more durable than conventional plaster, the technology is cheaper than conventional bricks (and can be called low-cost building), it is environmentally friendly with 90% reduction in cement usage and 7% less greenhouse gases than conventional building. The building technology is classified as energy efficient with excellent insulation for internal temperature control. Best of all this method of construction allows houses and structures to be built much faster than conventional brick structures due to the efficiency of the materials and processes. Construction periods can be halved.

This sustainable housing method, is not only a cost-saving measure, but will develop skills in communities by training individuals in the construction techniques, therefore, improved living conditions as well as broad based empowerment. Umsizi specializes in community mobilization and skills development and will use this alternative building technique to uplift communities. This gives Umsizi an competitive edge, as the focus of the housing project will not only be to improve living conditions, but also improve livelihoods and develop people.

“Umsizi helped us to successfully complete our Social & Labour Plans in compliance with the MPRDA.”
Christian Peters, Community and Sustainability Manager - BHP Billiton
“We have put all our faith in Umsizi to create highly significant socio-economic development programmes for our communities.”
Johan Gloy, CEO - Tendele Mining
“Umsizi has changed our lives. We are able to feed our families. Our dignity has been restored.”
Mkhwanazi Beneficiaries, Community Ceremony
“We are thankful for Umsizi and the projects. We hope Umsizi will be here forever.”
Sokhulu Zululand Inkhosi, Chief
“Umsizi has implemented successful social and economic development programmes in the Royal Bafokeng nation around sustainable livelihood creation, agricultural production and enterprise development.”
Royal Bafokeng Nation, Administration and Community Manager

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