How to Join Fetola Business Growth Professionals

Posted on January 13th, 2020
Articles Entrepreneurs

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
– FinFind
Youth Ideas Development Tech Programme
– Proudly South African
– Entreprenerdy
Riversands Incubation Hub

From a small consultancy to a now a recognised SME specialist with a national reach, Fetola Business Growth Professionals is an enterprise development company which has produced unparalleled results over the years.

“Our programmes achieve unmatched results. Legends (which we developed for Old Mutual as their flagship ED initiative from 2007 – 2013) delivered a 94% long-term business survival rate and 65% year-on-year growth per participant. The SAB Foundation Tholoana programme, a national initiative that we run for the SAB Foundation currently delivers growth rates of 44% per annum. These results are significantly higher than leading competitors (April 2018),” reads their website.

Fetola was founded by its CEO, entrepreneur Catherine Wijnberg, in 2006 in Cape Town.

Kirsty Portelli, SME media manager, shares how small business owners can become part of the organisation that aims to help entrepreneurs achieve business growth.

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

Fetola works with a number of programmes, which are the SAB Foundation Tholoana Programme, JP Morgan GROUNDSWELL Programme and most recently the FNB Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab.

Businesses on the Tholoana Programme cover all sectors like mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and education. The GROUNDSWELL Programme focused on businesses in the water sector and sustainability, whereas FNB’s Social Entrepreneurship Impact Lab is for social entrepreneurs.

The businesses that we take onto these programmes must be operational for at least six months and no older than five years.

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

The entrepreneurs on any of the programmes we work with go through a thorough process before being accepted onto a programme. We look for entrepreneurs who are dedicated to growing their business, show a passion for their business, and are committed to creating jobs.

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

On any programme that we work with each entrepreneur is assigned a mentor, there are five workshops that cover important material like human resources, sales and marketing, costing and pricing, personal transformation and strategic planning, and fundamentals of finance.

They also receive media support in the form of media coverage, assistance with their websites and social media, a direct line to our team, and a powerful peer network.

What costs are involved for the entrepreneur?

Each entrepreneur pays a small commitment fee before attending a workshop to show that they are committed to growing (themselves). Other costs like travel and accommodation are covered by the programme.

What is the duration of the programme?

Each programme runs for 18 months and has five workshops that take place over two days.

Entrepreneurs are expected to attend each workshop as valuable information is shared and learning materials are handed out. Entrepreneurs will also have monthly catch-ups with their mentor either in person or via a suitable platform.

What can the entrepreneur expect to gain from the programme?

It is completely up to the entrepreneur what they take away from a programme, but they will walk away with knowledge of sales and marketing, finance, human resources management, and invaluable knowledge from their mentor and their peers.

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

Zintle Apleni, owner of Ucoceko Water Projects is a participant of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Programme, who saw a turnover growth of 79% (from R64 756 to R114 950 between May 2018 and September 2019) in her business (after joining the programme). Her staff turnover increased from six employees to 14.

Apleni said to have had mindset shifts to help her grow her business – as a result of the assistance received from her mentor. The business was able to acquire a much-needed piece of equipment – The Honey Sucker, which was previously outsourced from a third party. This has allowed Ucoceko to increase the number of customers in the Eastern Cape region whom require this service.

Another success is that the business has finalised all HR policies and processes that did not exist before, making Ucoceko 100% compliant.

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

If an entrepreneur is interested in applying for a programme or to find out more about the programme’s offering, they can check out our website or have a look at our Facebook page where we often post updates and opportunities.

Alternatively, they can give us a call on 021 761 5255 or email