Small business stories to inspire you

Are you an innovative small-business owner – an informal trader, a side hustler, an entrepreneur – who dreams of scaling your business? Are you in need of business mentoring, training or support to make you a better business person and help you achieve your goals? Would you be inspired by the stories of other entrepreneurs, and the lessons they’ve learnt, building a livelihood from the ground up?

Nedbank is here to help. We know that small businesses are the biggest creators of employment and the drivers of South Africa’s economy. We also know that informal traders and other microbusinesses make up a huge part of this sector, and that most of the entrepreneurs running these businesses are women – who are often household breadwinners too. That’s why we strive to support the small-business and informal sector with partnerships, financing and mentoring.

These partnerships are even more important now, after nearly 2 years of economic turmoil, so we’ve launched a new initiative, Together, Beke le Beke. The initiative is providing direct support to small businesses – informal traders, side hustlers and entrepreneurs – through funding, training and marketing opportunities. The TV microseries, Together, Beke le Beke, is where small-business owners and informal traders get to tell their stories and share their experiences of rebuilding their businesses.

Call for entries

Side hustler with a business or an idea you would like to get funding for?


Entrepreneurs telling their stories on SABC 1

On 21 September, Nedbank launches a microseries, Together, Beke le Beke, on SABC 1 at 19:30, to offer support and advice to small businesses, informal traders, side hustlers and entrepreneurs across the country. Self-employed, go-getter, microbusiness owner – whatever you call yourself, this is for you.

The Together, Beke le Beke microseries, hosted by Phumeza Mdabe, will profile several entrepreneurs. It will explore their varied business journeys, through all the ups and downs they’ve experienced. We’ll be sharing their stories of triumph over adversity, lessons learnt, and how their businesses help improve their communities. If you’re keen to make your precious small business thrive and grow, we want to help with real-world lessons from those treading the same path.

Around 20 entrepreneurs from across the country will be profiled in the series, in easy-to-watch 3-minute episodes. But the conversation about supporting small businesses, informal traders, side hustlers and entrepreneurs will continue on Nedbank’s social-media platforms – our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and our website. So, everyone will be able to participate. Using the hashtag #TogetherBekeleBeke, you can share your experiences as an entrepreneur too, and learn from others. The key to building a strong economy that provides for everyone is working together in business and social partnerships, and sharing our stories is a way to explore where we should focus our efforts for the best results.

Why support for small and microbusinesses matters

South African entrepreneurs play a vital role in our economy, given the lack of formal job opportunities. For many trapped in poverty, they offer the only hope of a better tomorrow. Because such a large proportion of our small- and microbusiness owners are also women with dependants, we are ensuring that at least 50% of the financing, mentoring and training support being offered in the Together, Beke le Beke initiative goes to women.

The Together, Beke le Beke microseries will help business owners voice their needs and explore ways to support them, and hopefully give ideas about their own business to those watching. The entrepreneurs you’ll see profiled have one common trait — the determination to provide for their families week in, week out. By following the series on TV, you’ll also learn what steps to take if you want to build and grow your own business.

The 3 Nedbank initiatives in the Together, Beke le Beke campaign

Together with community partners, Nedbank is providing direct support to small businesses, informal traders, side hustlers and entrepreneurs, with programmes to do the following:

1. Fund a rebuild:

  • The Informal Traders Grant – a R40 million partnership with Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) that makes special grants available to informal traders to restart their businesses, refurbish infrastructure and restock supplies.
  • Proud of My Town – a holistic community transformation initiative that we have run in partnership with urban planning social enterprise Ranyaka Community Transformation since 2016, which recently launched a relief and recovery intervention to assist businesses to get back on their feet.

2. Fund a business idea:

  • The Slow Hustle – a daily grant and skills development programme to help aspiring entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition, in partnership with The Slow Fund, founded and run by renowned serial entrepreneur and side hustler Nic Haralambous.


We can’t fix everything overnight, but we can commit to making sure we work together towards making things better, a step at a time. That’s why we’re going to tackle the challenge of helping informal traders and small-business owners build strong, sustainable operations together, week by week: Together, Beke le Beke.

Are you, or is someone you know, an informal trader or street vendor who was impacted by the July looting? If so, you may qualify for a R3,000 grant from Nedbank and SEFA to help you get back on your feet. To apply, ask your association to email

Do you have a great idea for a new side hustle or small business but don’t know where to start? Nedbank can help. Interested? Apply today at the Slow Hustle Fund.