Entrepreneur Support: How to Join Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA)

Updated on 13 January 2020

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Is 2020 the year you finally get started on that business idea or take your business to the next level? We showcase some of the country’s biggest and best support organisations offering a wide range of acceleration, incubation and support services.

The support networks in this series are:
– Township Entrepreneurs Alliance
AlphaCode Incubate
Tshimologong Precinct
Youth Ideas Development Tech Program
Proudly South African
Riversands Incubation Hub
Fetola – Business Growth Professionals

The Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) launched in 2015 with a focus on empowering township– and rural-based businesses and entrepreneurs through knowledge sharing, skills development, enterprise development and access to markets.

The network hosts its events, “Join Us for TEA” in townships all over the country, including Tembisa, Alexandra, Mamelodi and Vosloorus.  To date, TEA has impacted over 8 500 entrepreneurs and 20 000 plus high school students through their High School Outreach initiative.

Bulelani Balabala, founder of TEA, shares how entrepreneurs can join their sessions to get access to enterprise development, networking initiatives and pitching workshops, and ultimately grow their businesses:

What kinds of businesses/sector does your programme target, and at what stage of the business?

Township Entrepreneurs Alliance, runs free business mentorship and workshop sessions across the country, these we open up to entrepreneurs from different industries, sectors and at different experience levels.

At our events we offer entrepreneurs access to markets and [educate them about] opportunities that are available for them. We also connect them with government institutions- and industry stakeholders, as well as corporate [representatives].

What kind of entrepreneur are you looking to foster/support?

We are looking to support primarily township and rural-based entrepreneurs, this is purely because the operational landscape is totally different.

The township entrepreneur comes across quite a number of challenges as opposed to any other entrepreneur located or situated in other spaces. It is important for us to support township entrepreneurs up until the landscape becomes equal.

What are some of the  resources that they have access to as part of your programme?

Access to information to learn (how to grow their businesses), mentorship opportunities and access to markets.

What costs are involved for the entrepreneur?

The are no cost involved for the entrepreneurs, the sessions are free.

What is the duration of the programme?

Our programmes are national. Between February and October we host about 18 business and mentorship sessions all over the country.

Depending on where we host a live session, the entrepreneurs or learners who attend the session can participate and learn.

What can the entrepreneur expect to gain from the programme?

  • Skills development: Skills that entrepreneurs can learn include how to digitise their businesses and how to utilise social media and digital skills to grow their businesses.
  • Business structuring, this has a heavy focus on compliance and marketing, management of funds and getting funding-ready.
  • Market access opportunities, which has a heavy focus on sales and marketing.

Any case studies/testimonies you would like to share with our readers?

Tebatso Rantsho, who is founder of township-based, The Comfort Zone Eatery, in Johannesburg, opened in 2016 writes:

“TEA has helped me in so many ways. I didn’t know anything about running a business at first. [I gained] a lot of knowledge and information from TEA. I do not have a mentor, but every time I attend TEA sessions, I listened to the guest speakers and wrote down what they have to say about their journey, what they have learned and the advice they give the entrepreneurs. I then put it into action/practice.”

What is the best way that they can approach your organisation (email, walk in etc)?

We primarily very active on our social media platforms:

  • Facebook – Township Entrepreneurs Alliance
  • Instagram – @townshipentrepreneurs
  • Twitter – @JoinUsForTEA
  • Whatsapp or call us on our business number which: 068 158 9484
  • Website – www.joinusfortea.co.za
  • Or they can also call our office line on 011 047 0707

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