The Fetola Foundation


Fetola Foundation is a non-profit organisation that fosters job creation and thriving communities through sustainable social and economic development initiatives. Since 2008 we have supported more than 500 small businesses throughout South Africa, in collaboration with public and private sector partners and other donors.

Small business growth is vital to addressing our country’s pressing unemployment and inequality challenges; yet some 70% of new businesses in South Africa fail within their first year of operation. Our proven business development model utilises skills development, mentoring, and operational and technical support to build the confidence of entrepreneurs, thus facilitating their access to markets and finance.

We tailor our approach to meet the needs of each business. Our track-record working in rural communities, particularly with youth and female entrepreneurs provides Fetola Foundation with a unique perspective on how best to address the very real challenges our country faces.

  • "Without doubt, the amazing Fetola team has helped us transform Chilli Chocolate Chefs into a more organized, professional, confident and passionate business." – Faatimah Paruk, co-Founder Chilli Chocolate Chefs.

    With Fetola support, the business doubled turnover in 12 months, grew its staff complement from two to six employees and released three cook books.

  • "Fetola's support has been invaluable to the growth and sustainability of Lesedi Consulting Engineers." – Sibusiso Mncube, Director, Lesedi Consulting Engineers.

    Lesedi is a 100% Black-owned engineering firm based in KZN that joined the Fetola ED Programme in 2013 looking for assistance to move to the next level of growth and grew its annual turnover by 100% during the 2013-14 financial year. Through intensive mentoring the business reduced aged debt by 43% in one year and has generated R23 million in income since joining the Fetola team of SMMEs.

The range of projects implemented by Fetola Foundation can be scaled and replicated throughout South Africa, through collaboration with new investors and funders.


Our Board of Directors provides strategic and programmatic guidance:

Ms. Cecelia Njenga (Chairperson of the Board), an environmental and Green Economy specialist with many years' experience in the United Nations system.
Dr. Gareth Haysom, a researcher and lecturer on sustainable cities and food security with an additional many years’ experience in South Africa's hospitality sector.
Mr. Mkululi Pakade, Group Executive Chairman of Kula Investment Group.
Dr. Lucy Welford, a marketing and inclusive value chain development specialist with experience in commercialising natural products throughout southern Africa.
Ms. Catherine Wijnberg (Executive Director), an experienced entrepreneur who has established new businesses in many sectors and founded Fetola based on her passion for growing small business.
Mr. Anton Ressel (ex-officio), a Senior Business consultant at Fetola who is especially passionate about training and mentoring entrepreneurs.
Ms. Chantal de Kock (ex-officio), National Project Manager at Fetola and Chairperson of the Fetola Employee Trust.

Fetola Foundation is a registered non-profit company (No 2008/028005/08) and Level 4 contributor to BBBEE (125% contributor to ESD).

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