Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation partner entity, Black Umbrellas, has partnered with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to provide technical and technological support to small Black-owned businesses in South Africa.

The partnership aims to provide SMEs with access to CSIR-developed technologies to meet their supply chain requirements, as well as research and development infrastructure.

Black Umbrellas partners with enterprises, investors and communities, creating dynamic models to catalyse developmental and organisational solutions to drive an inclusive and sustainable economic future. The organisation focuses on developing qualifying Black-owned businesses to a level where they can gain meaningful access to procurement, finance and networks and then facilitating access to these opportunities.

Speaking at the virtual signing event in December 2020, CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini said the partnership is a gateway to ensuring its mandate to make a lasting impact on lives through innovation, research and development, and using sustainable methods to boost South Africa’s economy.

Mark Frankel, Black Umbrellas’ CEO, noted its vision is to be “a valued partner in enabling equal and sustainable economic access and participation”.

“We do this by inspiring, developing, mobilising and connecting entrepreneurial and innovative people, solutions and resources to effect positive economic and social change,” he said.

The organisations will identify other organisations or government departments who may be interested in providing funding for any joint initiatives arising from the agreement.