About Us

The Enterprise Development Council of South Africa is an independent body registered as a non-profit company in September 2014. The Council was created in response to the need for consolidation and professionalisation of the enterprise development sector. Specialists within this space recognised the need for coordination of efforts to mitigate against duplication, omissions or inefficiencies in service provision to new, small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, there was a realisation that due to this being a “derived” sector, one that emerged from the necessity to support the growth of SMMEs for job creation, that a code of good practice needed to evolve from our mutual experience and expertise to jointly govern our standards of professionalism.

A National Conference is scheduled for Q1 in 2015, the conference will entail sharing best practice, assessing the impact ED and setting collective industry targets from Private and Public Sector.


Our Mission

The Enterprise Development Council of South Africa’s (EDCSA) mission is to transform the current understanding and implementation of enterprise development and the role it plays in the development of the South African economy. Through setting the highest standards, we provide support, leadership, education and guidance to ED practitioners, service providers, rating and verification agencies, to strategically position and reinforce companies’ Procurement & Supply Chains. By collaborating with the various stakeholders within the Enterprise Development arena, we strive to create best practices initiatives that will truly develop SMME’s and add value to the organisations supporting them.

The purpose of the EDCSA is to grow the economy of South Africa through impactful and sustainable enterprise development initiatives that create an environment for both corporate South Africa and SMMEs to derive value, enhance competitiveness and advance societal objectives.



Sisa Ntshona – Stakeholder Management

Sisa is the inaugral President of the Enterprise Development Council of South Africa. He is also a co-founder and Director of Atios Capital, a fund management and consultancy firm specializing in Developmental Finance and Enterprise & Supplier Development. Sisa is the former Head of Enterprise Development for Absa Group where he designed and implemented the Financial Sector’s leading Enterprise Development Programme, winning the Best SME Development Support award for 3 consecutive years. He is a regular market commentator and thought leader in matters Enterprise and Supplier Development.


Yogavelli Nambiar – Knowledge and Training

Yogavelli Nambiar has 20 years of experience spanning the areas of social entrepreneurship, enterprise development, communications, corporate social responsibility and human rights.

Yogi is the Director of the Enterprise Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), the business school of the University of Pretoria and was the Country Director of the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10,000 Women Certificate Programme.

She is on the board of the African Social Entrepreneurs Network and one of the patrons of the Council of 100, a group of 100 leaders from various sectors across the country constituted to promote active citizenship.  She often facilitates workshops and delivers talks in the area of social change on various programmes at GIBS, and elsewhere.


Gavin Friedman – Events and Marketing

As a Director of EDFM, an organisation focused on supporting entrepreneurs to grow their enterprises into profitable and sustainable organisations. Through EDFM Gavin enables SME’s to gain access to mainstream marketing and strategic sales activities, which serve as catalyst to their growth.

Gavin has been directly involved with Enterprise Development for five years and has personally worked with over 70 SMME’s, helping them increase their sales, gain market penetration and increase market share. Many of the organisations he has worked with, can attribute a large part of their growth to Gavin’s understanding and input in the SME landscape.

Gavin has consulted with large corporate companies on how to best utilise their ED spend to make an impactful and meaningful contribution to both principle and SME beneficiaries.


Shawn Theunissen – Membership and Governance

Shawn Theunissen is the head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Growthpoint Properties. He is the founder and manager of Property Point, Growthpoint’s enterprise and supplier development programme, which focuses on the holistic development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and the creation of market linkages within the private sector.

Shawn has over 15 years’ experience in senior management roles in both the corporate and non-governmental sectors. His diverse enterprise development expertise includes designing and implementing business support services; creating market linkages between SMMEs and large corporate entities; and providing capacity building support, and process and learning journey facilitation.

Shawn obtained his Master’s Degree in concept-making and people-centric innovation from 180 Academy in Denmark. He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been a facilitator and guest speaker at various business schools and business forums in South Africa and abroad.


Vuyo Ncwaiba – Treasury

Vuyo is a socio-economic development champion and has twenty years working experience in the financial services, investments, logistics and consulting industries.

In 1999, with two colleagues, she founded Utho Financial Services offering corporate finance, pure accounting and short term insurance services. Utho conducted numerous due diligences for MTN during their initial Africa expansion period. Vuyo later had a stint at corporate and business banking divisions of Nedbank and Standard bank respectively where she looked after an extensive portfolio of Public sector clients in all spheres of government including State Owned Enterprises. She left banking and joined FleetAfrica, a subsidiary of SuperGroup, as a business development director responsible for the sales and marketing function. She was part of the Executive Committee at FleetAfrica, driving the sales growth strategy for the company.

She founded VuMaLi Empowerment Advisors (“VuMaLi”) in 2007. As CEO of the company Vuyo drives the company strategy and growth.


Elelwani Pahlana – Stakeholder Management

Elelwane “Ele” has 14 years’ experience in managing industry transformation with particular emphasis on Preferential Procurement, Economic Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) projects. She has a passion in sculpting partnerships between corporates and other agencies of social change. This passion flows from the years of International and local Socio-Economic and Enterprise Development exposure gained in the USA and SA. Under her helm, corporates transformation efforts have scooped a number of prestigious awards.

Ele was a member of the Equity Equivalence Committee at the DTI from 2007 – 2014 and is also a board member of the South African Fashion Council.

Elelwane is currently a General Manager: Transformation at Edcon Limited.


1. To enable recognition and professionalism of the enterprise development industry

2. To provide a platform for networking, collaboration, knowledge creation and sharing for enterprise development stakeholders

3. To enhance the impact being created, and the efficiency of ED practice and delivery through innovation

4. Promote Buying Local, Buying from SMEs and Paying OnTime by Businesses operating in SA

5. Connect and promote Intra-Africa trade at SME level

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Enterprise Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA) is a non-profit, regulatory body which is aimed at setting standards and promoting the sustainable implementation of Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programmes.

  • The EDCSA is a non-profit organisation with individual and coporate membership. It is aimed at setting standards and promoting the development of the emerging Enterprise Development Industry by creating communications opportunities, providing information and education, encouraging ethical and professional behavior and to safeguard the interests of its members and achieve the objectives.

  • The EDCSA encourages its members to share their expertise through active participation in the council. A forum is available, which will allow members and non-members to respond to change, decisions and legislation. With regards to government legislative structures, EDCSA will foster key relationships and maintain a non-political bias. By setting quality standards, and creating educational programmes, EDCSA is also able to be a source of information useful not only to its members but also to government at various levels and the industry as a whole, through a significant involvement in the collection and dissemination of data and statistics. EDCSA aims to be a nationally accepted and internationally recognised, leading ED council.

  • Enterprise Development (ED) is a global phenomenon where private and public sector develop strategies for promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in by building and supporting private enterprises resulting in competitive markets that are stronger and more inclusive. The significance of ED is that economic society evolves as a result of enterprise development activity. Aggressive and continuous enterprise development creates jobs, funds the tax base for local and national governments, and increases the aggregate standard of living.

  • In the South African context Supplier and Enterprise Development resides in Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), as part of one of the priority elements that carry a 40% weighting. From this context, ED tends to be viewed as a legislative compliance issue losing the opportunity to be utilised as a driver of socioeconomic development.

  • In response to the promulgation of the BEE Act No. 53 of 2003, amongst others, the enterprise development sector was born. As a derived sector, the industry does not have a set of professional codes or values, and operates in an ad-hoc, non-collaborative and segregated manner.

  • The Enterprise Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA) came about in response to the need to formalize the enterprise development sector. This industry body serves to bring together the various stakeholders in the ED space with the aim of creating a more professional sector, a consolidated voice and representation, and greater impact for beneficiaries of enterprise development. One of the key drivers of this body is to encourage the implementation of ED for impact and remove it from the confines of legislative compliance.

    The EDCSA has been formed by a group of professionals, whose brief profiles are annexed to this document, that are committed to the socioeconomic development of South Africa. This council is an apolitical body that will operate as a non-profit organization open to members in the public and private sectors.

  • Since the advent of the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice, many organizations have set up Enterprise Development Units within their structures. The shape and form of which vary according to the individual organizational strategy, focus and interpretation of the implementation of ED. As a new and derived ‘profession’, the ED role still has not quite found its positioning within organizational structures in terms of influence, strategy and execution….it is essentially left up to each organization to navigate their way through this new and unknown territory typically relying on ED Consultants for advice and support.

    In certain organizations, ED units are annexed to:-

    • HR
    • Finance
    • Transformation/BEE units
    • CSI
    • Supply Chain
    • Stand Alone

    Essentially, a newly appointed ED Manager is lost, he/she has no precedence to rely on, no policies, no procedures. Even the principles themselves have a dilemma and have no standards or benchmark with which to position and evaluate the impact/performance of this role. This holds true for both public and private sector companies.

    This results in the execution impact of ED being diluted as there is no co-ordination and consistency. ED Consultants effectively shape and form the industry as they are the primary advisers to companies when they embark on ED strategies.

  • ED Practitioner

    Need to be supported and ‘professionalised’ through the establishment of standards and norms. Code of ethics and belonging to a professional body that creates platforms


    To have a professional, reliable and legitimate body with which to interact with for best practice,  professional endorsement – a seal of quality as it were.

  • To have a professional body that will champion the ideals and objectives of ED policies through the translation of the into action at company level. The skill of the of the ED professional lies in the interpretation of the national policies into their own organization and effectively implementing these to create the desired impact. The fate or success of ED implementation is directly linked to the understanding and skill levels of ED practitioners in Corporate SA – without properly qualified and competent practitioners, implementation becomes a challenge

  • By creating a single platform for ED players, we, as members, can make our voice heard. We explore communication opportunities with tertiary institutions thereby making people aware of the career opportunities offered in this dynamic industry. We aim to raise standards by encouraging open communication between our industry and related ones.

  • The EDCSA will establish a programme of action covering the following broad areas of development. These are:

    • The development of national and local specialised forums
    • ED practitioner training and development
    • To provide a research environment enabling ED practitioners to access reliable and consistent information
    • To enable the impact measurement of ED and create a standard reporting regime……so far all the measurement instruments are input driven as opposed to outputs
    • Partnering with SOCs in the infrastructure development agenda as espoused by the country
    • Drive and promote local procurement and local production
    • Creating partnerships with related professions such as Procurement and Finance…which without Supplier Development will be impossible
    • Improving communications with members and specific interest groups such as Chambers of Commerce and Black Business Council of SA
    • To boost Provincial Chapter activities and support through forums
    • To grow and develop the representivity through forums
    • To promote SME Supplier development within rural and urban areas
    • To expand the retail performance indices
    • To promote ED as a career of choice