In 2008, The Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust formed a partnership with the Finland South Africa Association to create a project that would serve as a development platform for micro entrepreneurship with the specific objective of offering Micro MBA training and support mentoring for aspiring entrepreneurs in and around Greater Stellenbosch. The project was successful in training a total of 200 entrepreneurs in the Micro MBA programme during 2008 and 2009.
After the first two years it became evident that additional training and support programmes for entrepreneurship would need to be made available in order to help entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses and in 2010 The Stellenbosch Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development Trust (SEED) was formed to cater for this need.
Since then SEED has successfully completed a number of local and regional projects and remain dedicated to entrepreneurial leadership and development. We have positively impacted over 1 000 entrepreneurs with various business resource support services that include accredited business training and mentoring, business plan assistance, directives towards funding and capital, and feasibility studies.
SEED is currently focussed on more long-term interventions that are not just “project” based, but rather holistically geared at local economic growth. Our two complimenting programmes were born out of our hand-on experience over the past 10 years. The Digital Entrepreneur Empowerment Programme (DEEP) is our flagship programme and promotes digital and information communications and technology (ICT) activation for entrepreneurs, to enable them to bridge the communication and marketing divide that separates the formal and informal economies. Our second initiative is called “Kaymandi Creative District” (KCD). This social enterprise is a business venture that directly supports and benefits 15 tourism based businesses and is in-line with our vision of developing self-sustainable social enterprises that are industry specific, has high impact and shows local and regional feasibility and potential.
Our vision of impacting local economic growth is summarises in the following objectives:
- Bridging the digital divide
- Empowering women entrepreneurs
- Creating social enterprises
- Building business networks
- Offering industry specific business development support
- Developing individual entrepreneurs to fast-track local economic growth