Press releases

Barloworld Mbewu is powering 30 social enterprises to make a difference in their communities

12 March 2020

Barloworld is pleased to announce the 30 successful candidates selected to participate in the Barloworld Mbewu Programme. The first cohort of social enterprises (SE’s) were selected after a rigorous selection process that ensued after the closing of applications in July 2019. The selected are a combination of passionate and driven enterprises drawn from across all nine provinces and operate in varied sectors ranging from agriculture, automotive, environment and recycling, arts and culture and education. 

This milestone follows the June 2019 launch of the Barloworld Mbewu, a new flagship development programme within Barloworld's corporate citizenship portfolio that has been designed to amplify the impact of Barloworld's socio-economic development interventions and maximise value for our communities.

The launch of the programme signalled a new approach to growing social enterprises and driving sustainable change in South Africa. The programme will coordinate financial and non-financial support for the selected cohort. Moreover, the programme will also bridge funding challenges and help facilitate access to increased capital that SE’s need to scale up their social impact.

One of the candidates, Denzhe Development Agency, facilitates vegetable farming and Agricultural skills development for ABET graduates, a focus area for economic growth and addressing the food security threat.

Another social enterprise in the programme is Sindingulwazi, a recycling enterprise, which fights drug addiction by offering addicts skills and an opportunity to earn a living from recycling.

 "Our brand promise is 'Making a World of Difference' and one way we are going to achieve this is through symbiotic relationships between ourselves and the communities in which we operate. When our communities grow, we also grow", says Dominic Sewela, Group Chief Executive of Barloworld. The programme, Sewela adds, is aligned to the company's strategy. 

“Given our background as an entrepreneurial business, we introduced Barloworld Mbewu to support social enterprises that drive positive and meaningful change in the communities within which we operate. The programme, to which we have allocated R30 million over three years, will play a role in ensuring that social entrepreneurs have access to funding and much needed business management skills”, says Sewela.

"Barloworld Mbewu will be delivered through a network of key stakeholders to strengthen business leadership and management skills” says Noluvo Ngcwabe, Head of Corporate Social Investments (CSI).

The announcement of the selected candidates today, eight months after the launch of the programme, reflects Barloworld’s commitment to planting seeds for socio-economic development and its embrace of the opportunity to play a measurable role in supporting communities, says Ngcwabe.

The incubation phase of Barloworld Mbewu kicks off on Tuesday, 10 March 2020 and will run until end of November 2020.