N. Qabazi

Currently there are over 500 townships in the South Africa, whose combined land mass surpasses that of Johannesburg and Durban combined and which are home to an estimated 40% of South Africa’s urban population. While more is understood about the small and growing businesses (SGBs) in metropolitan areas, less is known about the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the townships and how to support the primarily micro, necessity-based businesses that operate there. This report focuses on identifying the key actors implementing programmes to support entrepreneurs and small businesses operating in townships in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, and Western Cape Provinces, the challenges the entrepreneurial support providers face, and the opportunities to strengthen this ecosystem.

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"The question of if and how business support programmes – particularly accelerators and incubators – can play a role in entrepreneurial growth in South Africa is at top of mind for donors and government alike. And while there is some evidence that these programmes do have an impact on early-stage businesses, there is less clarity on how they can best serve the needs of often-overlooked women entrepreneurs. This brief provides a regional review of the intersection of gender and acceleration in South Africa, drawing on GALI’s global findings while highlighting primary analysis of entrepreneur data collected by Catalyst for Growth (C4G), a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) platform for programme monitoring, analytics, and reporting in South Africa."

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