April 17, 2024

Collaboration to equip and upskill township businesses

3 min read

Founders Foundation has partnered with the Silulo Foundation and global technology company Zoho to train and equip township entrepreneurs enrolled in the Silulo Foundation entrepreneurship programme throughout the greater Cape Town area.

As part of this collaboration, a group of entrepreneurs attended specialised training at the Zoho campus on 29 January 2024. Entrepreneurs were introduced to the Zoho ecosystem of 55+ integrated business applications and explained the benefits of using a unified customer experience platform like Zoho CRM to manage customers and track sales.

Over the next year, Founders Foundation will help these entrepreneurs set up systems to capture and manage their customer database on the CRM (customer relationship management) and to aid in monitoring the performance and profitability of their businesses.

Zoho, through its Zoho for Startups programme, has committed to providing each entrepreneur covered under the partnership with up to R27 000 worth of Zoho Wallet Credits, which can be utilised to access any of Zoho’s applications – including Zoho One. Zoho One is the operating system for business which provides companies with a unified platform for managing, customising and automating business processes from a single interface.

Founders Foundation, as Silulo’s tech partner, will do the implementation and training, which will be sponsored by the Western Cape Government’s SMME Booster Fund.

Luvuyo Rani, director of the Silulo Foundation, enthusiastically conveys: “I am excited to see the collaboration between us, Founders Foundation and the Western Cape Government to work with Zoho to provide entrepreneurs with access to the best tools available to help their businesses grow.”

By supporting and uplifting businesses inside townships, Silulo aims to stimulate the growth of hyper-local economies. Equipping local entrepreneurs inside townships therefore translates into tangible economic growth inside areas that have been traditionally ignored or neglected by the formal economy.

Zoho provides a robust set of business applications that have all been built on the same technology stack, and which allow any company to run their operations – from sales, marketing to human resources and finance – in the cloud. Zoho One further provides these bespoke apps on a single unified platform, enabling seamless flow of contextual data within various business functions. This helps businesses solve the problem of data silos and avoid integration hassles. The platform can also be integrated with other software as well as extended and customised to meet unique requirements.

“Cape Town is quickly transforming into a hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses in South Africa. These startups and small businesses, to stay competitive, need access to robust digital technology and tools. We’re happy to partner with Founders Foundation and Silulo Foundation is this regard, and help local companies by equipping them with enterprise-grade technology that is not only easy to use but can also grow with the business,” says Andrew Bourne, regional manager: Zoho Africa.

Founders Foundation is a non-profit focused on making an impact through entrepreneurship. It supports youth, black-owned and female-led ventures at their early to mid-stages. Its primary interventions include finance readiness and fundraising support, market-access support, financial mentorship and coaching.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to train and upskill startups,” says Lize McCallum, spokesperson for Founders Foundation. “When this opportunity crossed our path, we simply couldn’t say no. We are very excited to see how the future unfolds for these bright entrepreneurs. We know that we’re not just affecting their lives but those of their families and of their communities. And that’s what makes this project even more exciting.”

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