SHANDUKA Foundation has taken black economic empowerment to another level by introducing the Shanduka Black Umbrellas and the Black Pages.
The Black Umbrellas is an incubational mentorship programme that offers businesses with less than R35million annual turnover resources such as office space, computers, a vehicle, landline phone and a driver.
Yvonne Themba, chairperson of Shanduka Black Umbrellas, said the initiative had already benefited businesses in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The initiative was started in Cape Town in 2007 and was introduced to Johannesburg in May last year.
"We received a staggering 400 applications but only 45 qualified to benefit from the programme," she said.
These were 20 in Johannesburg and 25 in Cape Town.
Any business that is 100percent black-owned can benefit from the Shanduka Black Umbrellas.
"We check credit records, police clearance of the business owner and the owner's commitment to and passion for the business," Themba said.
While business is under the programme they can submit their books to Shanduka's bookkeeper, who will help them structure their financial statements.
"This enables the business to acquire funding from variousagencies," she said.
Registration for small businesses is R500, while those which are wellestablished pay R1000.
The Black Pages is a database of businesses that are BEE compliant and owned by blacks.
"The Black Pages will allow the government and private sector to procure BEE compliant companies," Themba said.
"We are planning to have the Black Pages printed as a handbook so that when, one wants to get a black plumber or carpenter they know where to go," she said.
Registration for the Black Pages is free on www.shandukablackpages.co.za