HerVenture in South Africa

Our free business skills app HerVenture has supported over 6,500 women entrepreneurs in South Africa to grow their businesses.

In South Africa, starting a business can be challenging, as the regulatory environment is complex and bureaucratic. In fact, the country ranks 139th out of 190 countries on ease of starting a business, according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) National Entrepreneurship Context Index. Formalisation of businesses can also be costly, resulting in a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises remaining informal.  

For women in South Africa, business ownership is even more difficult and often less profitable. With sub-Saharan African economies losing an estimated $100 billion every year due to the labour market gender gap, supporting women entrepreneurs must be prioritised.

HerVenture is one of the Foundation’s five flagship programmes. Through the app, women gain foundational business knowledge and skills, confidence and self-belief to start and grow businesses, support their entrepreneurial journeys and digitise their enterprises. HerVenture offers essential business training and support on the go, with learning tracks such as business resilience and e-commerce, which we developed with local partners to address the specific needs of South African women entrepreneurs.  

The app is data-light and can even be used offline, a key feature as smartphones and computers are commonly used in South Africa, but data is extremely expensive and electricity isn’t always accessible.  

HerVenture has been available in South Africa since June 2021, developed and delivered in partnership with DHL Express until the end of 2023 and reaching over 6,500 women entrepreneurs in the country in that time. Building on the app’s strong achievements, as of 2024 HerVenture is available in South Africa thanks to funding and support from PayPal, aiming to support a further 7,000 women entrepreneurs by early 2025.

Delivery of HerVenture in South Africa is currently undertaken collaboratively by the Foundation and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy, with support from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and DHL Express, with whom technology and assets developed remain.

The app is available in the country on iOS, Android and Huawei.

So far, over 6,500 South African women entrepreneurs have used HerVenture, which has led to fantastic outcomes:  

Users in 2023

97% improved their business knowledge.

92% improved business practices.

66% improved their business performance already.

HerVenture: a business skills learning app

HerVenture is one of the Foundation's five flagship programmes, which also include Road to Growth, Road to Leadership, Road to Finance and the Mentoring Women in Business programme. It provides women entrepreneurs of micro and small enterprises with the knowledge and skills to successfully grow their businesses.

Find out more!
HerVenture user in Nigeria

Our partners

HerVenture in South Africa has been supported by partners PayPal and DHL Express. It is delivered with our partners the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).