Shanduka Black Umbrellas was first conceived as the Black Umbrellas, a project spearheaded by Cape Town social entrepreneurs Charles Maisel and Mark Frankel to support SMMEs.

In 2009 the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, then Shanduka Foundation, partnered with Black Umbrellas to escalate the project countrywide with R5.2 million invested in the set up and operations of a Gauteng office.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas was established as a non‐profit enterprise development incubation organisation partnering with 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. Today there are nine incubators countrywide.

The programme focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable economic path, and nurturing 100% black‐owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence through the provision of nationwide incubators.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas works through a platform of co‐operation between civil society, the private sector and government so that the correct resources, skills development, mentoring and access to markets are in place to support development at all levels.

By providing a structured and subsidised programme, using a national footprint of business incubation offices, Shanduka Black Umbrellas’ clients are afforded the expertise, office infrastructure and resources over a three year period to create the important foundations to achieve sustainable businesses.

Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, is deeply committed to the vision of Shanduka Black Umbrellas as a catalyst in the development of entrepreneurs, a sector he has identified as critical to the empowerment of historically marginalised South Africans.

” It has changed my life. I’m able to support my family now. I’ve managed to stand on my own and build this brand, from the beginning, all with the help of Shanduka Black Umbrellas. I’m able to give a better future to my young child and wife and to help my brothers with their studies. “

Michael Mzingisi, M-Games, Cape Town

“The most fulfilling aspect of mentoring is seeing other people benefit from your life experiences, applying that and learning from it to fast track their success. Because, ultimately, their success is your success.”

Jennifer Naicker, SBU Mentor Owner, Tutuwa Consulting


Shanduka Blackpages – an initiative of Shanduka Black Umbrellas ‐ is a powerful, online national directory connecting big business to smaller black enterprises to transform procurement in South Africa. Powered by the Supply Chain Network and Absa, Shanduka Blackpages is arguably the most efficient procurement interface on the market.

It is a platform to achieve transformation, as it links big business to smaller black enterprises. Procurement professionals now have a tool, aided by ease of navigation, through which they can quickly search, filter and locate approved suppliers listed on the Shanduka Blackpages database.

Procurement professionals have peace of mind knowing that the companies listed will be able to deliver the goods and services profiled on the site, and they will be able to select the most appropriate suppliers from the national database for their specific requirements.

Smart filters, easy navigation, saved search reports and advertised tenders also ensure that smaller black enterprises have a national presence and access to larger corporations. Being listed on the Shanduka Blackpages supplier database ensures that suppliers and procurement professionals are linked by industry, with targeted outcomes so that the best fit is achieved.

“It’s about how to create solutions that will make their tomorrow as good as my today. “

Yvonne Themba, Chairperson, Shanduka Black Umbrellas

The success of enterprise and supplier development (ESD) lies in nurturing, supporting and developing black owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Without assistance as many as 70% of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa fail in their first two years of existence.

In order for the work of SBU to have a lasting impact on South Africa’s economic landscape, we require the support and collaboration of a range partners; from the private sector to government and civil society.


When you choose to support SBU, you are contributing to a credible, proven programme of economic development and transformation. You are helping to create an environment where big businesses and 100% black owned SMMEs can flourish together and all can benefit from a vibrant and diversified economy. When you become a donor, you are investing in South Africa’s future.

To support the work of Shanduka Black Umbrellas by donating money, click here.

Or contact Kim English at kim@blackumbrellas.org to find out how your contribution can positively impact your B-BBEE Scorecard.


By becoming a mentor you will play an integral role in the success of SBU and SBP and will help to empower and inspire a new generation of South African entrepreneurs.

As a mentor you will inspire and teach your mentee the ins and outs of the business world based on your own business experiences, providing insight and advice on setting and achieving goals.

To learn more about how the programme works, fill out the enquiry form here


If you are a black entrepreneur and have a business model which will achieve the following objectives within three years and you have the drive to make it happen, apply to join SBU today:

  • Employ at least 4 people on a full-time basis;
  • Generate sufficient cash to pay the business owners and employees a reasonable salary;
  • Generate sufficient turnover and revenue to cover the market-related expenses incurred in operating the business and
  • generate an annual profit at least equal to the owner’s salary;
  • Show positive year-on-year growth in sales;
  • Generate a positive net asset value.