Our expertise lies in developing bespoke Enterprise and Supplier Development initiatives in partnership with our private and public sector clients.

If you are looking for genuine and lasting impact, let’s talk.


Our flagship programme, designed and implemented in partnership with the team at SAB Foundation, is now entering its fifth year and has become one of the most visible and impactful programmes of its kind in SA. To date, over 150 emerging businesses in all nine provinces have attained new levels of success during their time on the programme.

Tholoana is a two-year intervention which offers participants access to skilled mentors, practical workshops and training, market access support, investment readiness, finance, a peer support network and a host of other interventions that lay the foundation for sustainable growth. Developed in close partnership with the team at the SAB Foundation, the programme has a special focus on rural businesses and those led by women and youth. Businesses in this programme typically achieve an annual growth rate per business of 47.2%. This is an exceptional result in a tough economy and points to the quality of the programme, and the participants.

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A first in Africa, the Waste to Wing project aims to prove the feasibility of waste-based sustainable jet biofuel production and consumption in South Africa with the aim of replicating elements of the project in other African countries. Answering South Africa’s triple crises – energy, environment and an equitable economy – the project will enable 25 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises to create a new supply chain to an energy company.

The project will adhere to global sustainability standards chosen by the aviation industry to ensure that biofuel is used in a manner that sustains food security, biodiversity, water, land, and labour rights. The project will reduce greenhouse gasses emitted by the aviation industry, while simultaneously capacitating South African entrepreneurs to adopt sustainable consumption and production practices and seize green economy opportunities.

The project partners are Fetola Foundation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and SkyNRG, with funding by Switch Africa Green, a programme of the European Union.

The Waste to Wing business incubator launching in 2019. Click here to register your interest.

Download a report on aviation fuels here

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ABSA Supplier Development Awards


Enter today. Entries carry no cost and close on 25 March 2019. Go to www.sdawards.co.za

Last year, more than 400 entries were received for the inaugural Awards that were presented in partnership with FetolaCold Press Media and Tiso Blackstar Group.

In a country where ‘business’ is often painted as self-serving, the ABSA  Supplier Development Awards explores ways to change this narrative. The lessons learned from this exercise have largely debunked the prevailing sentiment that corporates and parastatals in SA don’t invest in tomorrow’s business leaders.

The Awards showcase the gambit of best practice, and acknowledge leading organisations with successful supplier development programmes that are making a lasting impact beyond simple scorecard compliance.  A panel of seven judges evaluated the entries from some of the country’s most prominent brands.

Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola and initiator of the Awards, says: “The 2018 finalists illustrate the huge impact that corporate South Africa has on the national growth and transformation agenda, and showcase how effective Supplier Development programmes can and do lead to sustainable growth, genuine empowerment, and positive benefits for all stakeholders.”


We’re launching an exciting new travelogue-style TV series to uncover and share the very best entrepreneurial success stories, approaches, challenges and tips from across different countries in Africa.

The series will inspire, excite, break down barriers and challenge stereotypes of how business is done in Africa. And it will definitely motivate young people to choose entrepreneurship.

Currently, we’re in the planning phase and recruiting entrepreneurs. We’re  looking for small business owners that want to be included in this remarkable opportunity to showcase their business success. Are you willing to speak about your process because you believe in what they are doing? Even if you may feel nervous, you’re willing to sacrifice your discomfort to spread the good news about entrepreneurship.

Does this sound like you? Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity  – apply today! 

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Equipping eco-entrepreneurs with the business support they need to succeed

The GROUNDSWELL  business accelerator is well on its way following the inaugural workshop held recently. This 18-month programme offering mentorship, access to funds and investment readiness preparation brought together 30 of the country’s top enviropreneurs – those small businesses offering products and services in the water, sustainability and resource efficiency sectors

Fetola CEO, Catherine Wijnberg, described the cohort as a group of sophisticated and savvy scientists, many of whom hold advanced degrees. “It’s exciting to engage with entrepreneurs of this calibre. They are promoting renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, offering environmental consulting, providing water resource services as well as patenting new inventions,” she said.

In the initial phase of the programme, GROUNDSWELL participants benefit from group mentoring where they engage with peers in a mutually supportive environment, sharing experiences related to specific business challenges. These sessions are facilitated by experienced entrepreneurs providing valuable sector specific knowledge to unlock growth and promote business sustainability. In the second phase, high performers who demonstrate commitment to their business success will receive one-on-one mentorship to help scale their businesses, while developing and promoting their supply chain readiness.

About the programme
GROUNDSWELL, launched with seed-funding from J.P.Morgan, is a tailored business acceleration programme for entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing critical solutions for today’s environmental challenges. The programme is designed to create collaboration between entrepreneurs, technical agencies, corporates and sources of capital.

To register your interest in collaboration opportunities email Amanda Dinan.  

Further resources
Download the Market Opportunity Report done by Sector Agency GreenCape for a summary of the opportunities and challenges in the sector.

Check out some of Fetola’s other projects in the green economy business acceleration: Just Add Green, Imvelisi and Waste to Wing.

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#JustAddGreen (JAG)

We are passionate about sustainable business practices, so the chance to implement a programme that had this as a central focus was something we could not pass up.

The #JustAddGreen programme was an 18-month pilot study that supported the development of high potential, growth-motivated SMEs that are active in the Green Economy. The initiative was managed and implemented by Fetola and funded by J.P.Morgan. Businesses that participated included those that employ clean technology (reducing emissions, pollution and improved material efficiency), provide resource efficiency solutions or bring about an environmental benefit.

Based on the success of this initial pilot, a further round of funding secured from J.P.Morgan has seen the launch of the second phase of this exciting programme as GROUNDSWELL.

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The Old Mutual Legends Programme was started in 2007, in response to Old Mutual’s desire to increase their impact on job creation through the empowerment of emerging small businesses. The primary aim of the programme was to support the growth and sustainability of small black-owned businesses and community projects in rural and peri-urban poverty nodes across South Africa.

In addition, the programme provided an opportunity to raise the visibility of Old Mutual’s positive role in poverty relief around South Africa, by sharing these stories within Old Mutual’s internal publications and externally in the broader media.

The Legends initiative was created as a ‘white label’ initiative, designed and implemented by Fetola for Old Mutual. The programme was repeated annually between 2007 and 2013. It grew from its first intake of ten participants in three provinces, to support an intake of seventy-two participants in 2013 across all nine provinces. The programme generated a number of innovations, many of which have now become standard practise in the enterprise development industry.

Ten years after the programme started, almost 90% of participant businesses are still in operation.

Download the programme report here.

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At Fetola we like to do things a bit differently, so when an opportunity arose to work with the Embassy of Finland on their Aid for Trade programme, our first thought was to create something new and fresh. On the agenda was the need to stimulate trade, create market access opportunities and grow local businesses.

The ETU Programme, which ran from 2009 to 2011, was a transformative and innovative accelerated-growth programme for local small-scale manufacturing companies. ETU was funded by the Embassy of Finland and conceptualised and implemented by Fetola.

Eleven niche manufacturing businesses based in the Western Cape were selected for their entrepreneurial drive, quality products, potential to create positive social impact and growth potential.

The ETU Programme offered participants access to a suite of support to help them build more robust and sustainable businesses. In keeping with our desire to innovate and maximise outcomes, we developed a pay-it-forward scheme, as a way of multiplying the programme’s benefits. Participating entrepreneurs were asked to implement socially beneficial projects in their local communities in exchange for their participation.

Download the programme report here.

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