To donors and funders
- to be the enterprise development partner of choice.

To SMMEs - to provide solid foundations to enable success and to beat the odds of failing in starting and running a business.

To our mentors and employees - to continually motivate mentors and employees that by collaboration we can change lives and make a difference to all those we support.

Our overall long term goal is to:

  • open ten Shanduka Black Umbrellas incubators within South Africa and operate these for ten years
  • support an average of 50 SMMEs per office with each SMME remaining with Shanduka Black Umbrellas for a maximum of three years
  • ensure that at least 50% of the SMMEs joining Shanduka Black Umbrellas become sustainable within the three year period
  • support SMMEs that generate R2.5 billion in turnover and create 10,000 jobs during the three year period.


Developing South Africa's future black businesses together.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas' fundamental purpose is to collaborate with partners in the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black owned emerging businesses in South Africa.

This is achieved by:

  • promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable career choice. Building the profile and image of existing entrepreneurs and Shanduka Black Umbrellas businesses as role models through our media, networking and public relations activities
  • nurturing qualifying 100% black owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence by providing incubators with office infrastructure, professional services and a structured mentorship programme at a highly subsidised rate with the aim of the businesses becoming sustainable during this period.
  • creating employment opportunities by recruiting and supporting those businesses which have the potential to generate at least four jobs on becoming sustainable
  • enabling procurement opportunities for emerging 100% black owned businesses through the blackpages initiative
  • assisting Shanduka Black Umbrellas businesses that are finance ready to access funding through third party service providers
  • growing our knowledge and quality of service offering by accurately measuring, monitoring and reporting on all we do.


  • Collaboration - enabling coordinated practical action for change.
  • Excellence in all we do.
  • Regeneration of the economy and society.

Involve the principles that we believe in, which we live by and which in turn will influence how we behave inside and outside the organisation.

When interacting with Shanduka Black Umbrellas you will encounter an organisation with a great personality.

We are:

  • DOWN TO EARTH - authentic, grounded and African.
  • OPEN - generous, warm, approachable and big hearted.
  • ENTREPRENEURIAL - visionary and bold, confident and dynamic, spotters of potential.
  • ENABLING - empowering, dynamic, responsible and progressive.

It is well known that South Africa has one of the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in the world with entrepreneurs contributing around 35 percent of GDP compared with 60 percent in countries like India and Brazil.

For those who do manage to start their own business, fewer than 20 percent survive past the first two years.

Yet SMMEs comprise 97.50 percent of the businesses in South Africa and remain one of the largest providers of formal and informal employment in the country.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas was a project first conceived as Black Umbrellas by Cape Town social entrepreneurs Charles Maisel and Mark Frankel and proved to be highly effective in supporting SMMEs. The model has now been adopted by the Shanduka Foundation with the intention of growing the project and taking it countrywide.

In 2009 the Shanduka Foundation partnered with Black Umbrellas and committed R5.2m to setup and operate a Gauteng office.

Cyril Ramaphosa, chairman of Shanduka Group, sees Shanduka Black Umbrellas as a catalyst in the development of business skills and entrepreneurship, a sector he believes is one of the most critical ingredients in ensuring the economic empowerment of historically disadvantaged people in South Africa.

When setting up Shanduka Group, Ramaphosa set aside five percent of its shareholding to two trusts – Fundani Education Trust and Mabindu Business Development Trust. Shanduka Black Umbrellas is supported through The Mabindu Trust.