Larisha Naidoo, head of Anglo-American Zimele, says that the programme was designed to get entrepreneurs to take their businesses from zero revenue to commercially viable entities.

The programme aims to improve the broader economic well-being of communities around the company's mining and processing operations in South Africa through the entities, adds Naidoo.

The programme aims to assist mainly youth and women-owned businesses in communities around Anglo American's operations in:
  • Mogalakwena
  • Rustenburg
  • Amandelbult
  • Burgersfort
  • Polokwane
  • Sishen, and
  • Kolomela.
It will be offered in three phases per location, with 25 entrepreneurs taking part in each phase.

The seven-month programme aims to give aspiring entrepreneurs structured training, mentorship and tools that will help them refine the following:
  • their business models
  • identify and engage target markets, and
  • test their products and services to improve the viability of their businesses.
"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play an invaluable role in job creation and economic growth in South Africa, but these businesses are extremely vulnerable to economic disruptions due to factors such as limited cash reserves and smaller client base," says Naidoo.

Naidoo concludes, "This programme aims to increase their resilience and growth, with the ultimate aim of incubating sustainable businesses that help alleviate joblessness and poverty levels in their communities."

The programme will be presented in partnership with companies like:
  • TechnoServe — which focuses on youth training, supplier and enterprise development
  • ABSA — which enables access to loans and funding, and
  • Summit — a specialist in training and development.
Since 2018, Zimele and its partners say that it has helped 1 268 entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, access credit, and integrate into mining and non-mining supply chains. 

To find out more about this opportunity, entrepreneurs from these host communities are encouraged to reach out to their respective Zimele hubs.

For more information, visit You can also follow Zimele on Facebook or on Twitter.