Sanlam and SANParks launched a R10 million Programme to support Entrepreneurs in Tourism

Sanlam Group and South African National Parks [SANParks] launched a R10 million programme to provide access to market, finance and business development support to SMMEs from communities surrounding South Africa’s major national parks.

According to both partners, the goal of the Sanlam SANParks SMME Support Programme is to create sustainable businesses by providing supply chain finance at the lowest cost possible.

At the launch event held in the Kruger National Park, on the date that the United Nations declared Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, Sanlam and SANParks said South Africa’s major parks contribute around R3 billion to the economy annually, creating and retaining jobs in the small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMME) sector. 

The programme will offer short-term working capital through interest-free loans to SMMEs with whom SANParks can procure goods and services in and around the Kruger National Park. Sanlam, Africa’s largest non-banking financial services group, will contribute, as part of its pilot programme, R10 million in loan support, and development support will be implemented by I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR (IAAE), a leading enterprise development agency experienced in helping entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses, said Sanlam in a press statement.

“Our purpose is to empower generations of Africans to be financially confident, secure, and prosperous. SMMEs are critical to the South African economy, they’re a major lever for growth. In fact, the National Development Plan forecasts SMMEs will create 90% of the 11 million new jobs our country desperately needs. This will not happen unless we, as part of South Africa’s corporate community, play our part,” said Karl Socikwa, Group Executive: Market Development & Sustainability at Sanlam.

Andile Khumalo, Founder and Chairman of I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR (IAAE) shared the good news on social media: “Congratulations to our @iaaesa team & our awesome client @sanlam_group for launching a progressive R10 million programme to provide access to market, finance and business development support to SMMEs from communities surrounding South Africa’s major national parks, owned & operated by @sanparks. We are honoured to be the fund managers & implementation partners for this unique programme. A special thank you to the Sanlam executive team for entrusting us with the great responsibility of helping entrepreneurs – in our rural communities – build & grow their businesses.”

The Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Hapiloe Sello said: “Our incubation programme has yielded a group of young, determined entrepreneurs who have shown eagerness to transact with the park and to promote rural economic development. As an organisation, we buy services and goods and have always been ready to transact with our neighbouring communities. We are excited that the Board has endorsed this proposal and look forward to witnessing the empowerment of our rural communities.”  

The programme aims to impact targeted SMMEs as identified in the SANParks overall supply management plan and will run for a one-year period. 

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