Road to Growth in South Africa
Our seven-week intensive Road to Growth programme has run in South Africa since 2022 with the support of our partners.
In South Africa, growing your business can be challenging. Formalisation of businesses can be costly, resulting in a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises remaining informal, and the regulatory environment is complex and bureaucratic.
For women in South Africa, business ownership is even more difficult and often less profitable, with women’s small and medium sized businesses having 33% less turnover than men’s. Additional barriers also hold women back: gender stereotypes undermine women’s business confidence and high levels of unpaid care work carried out by women means they face challenges in finding time to develop their businesses and access support.
This programme has brought me face-to-face with the reality of running a business, of being a leader. The hardest thing was changing the way I was so comfortable with doing business. This programme refocused my attention in every aspect!
With the support of our partners, DHL Express and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy, our seven-week intensive business training programme Road to Growth has been running in South Africa since 2022.
Road to Growth is one of the Foundation’s five flagship programmes. Our intensive seven-week business management programme equips women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries with business skills, financial literacy, networks and confidence so they can achieve business growth. The programme also presents the women who participate with networking opportunities within the group, which serves as a highly successful professional and personal support system.
Equipped with new knowledge and skills, Road to Growth alumnae in South Africa are able to strengthen their business plans and implement new systems for managing their workload and finances. This makes it easier for them to increase their turnover and start closing South Africa’s gender gap in business profitability.
So far, 56 South African women entrepreneurs have participated in the programme, which has seen incredible impacts:
72% of participants improved their business confidence
100% increased their local network
80% improved their business knowledge
Road to Growth: an intensive business management and investment readiness programme
Road to Growth is one of the Foundation's five flagship programmes, which also include Road to Leadership, Road to Finance, HerVenture and the Mentoring Women in Business programme. The programme is delivered over seven weeks, covering a new topic every week. Road to Growth is currently delivered in Nigeria, Kenya and Guyana.
Read Road to Growth success stories...
Alana’s Story: boosting sustainability in Guyana
Alana Bunbury-Walton runs Guyana's first zero-waste store. Our Road to Growth programme supported her to propel her mission.
Damilola’s story: lighting up Nigeria
Damilola's solar energy company is paving the way for a more sustainable future.
Gillphine’s story: designing a sustainable future
Gillphine's interior design business benefits people and the planet.