Enterprise Development


The DETEA will assist with the following:

1. Registration of cooperatives.
2. Participation at conferences.
3. Participation at Exhibitions
4. Provide capacity building workshops:

  • Costing and pricing
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
  • Info session on how run successful cooperatives.

5. Provided financial support to:

  • Phatsima Disabled Cooperative for R98k
  • MCM Upholstery in Kroonstad to buy equipments to the value of R100k.

6. Facilitate uptake of CIS from the DTI

The DETEA is in the process of doing baseline studies on cooperatives. The research will provide the province with realistic figure on FS cooperatives per sector, their status and whether they are operational or not. This work will also entail cooperatives registered by consultants.


DETEA / International Labour Organisation  Project

The 3 year “Free State SME Development Initiative” will run until mid 2014 in a first phase, and it is both novel and innovative in seeking to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among our youth. Through entrepreneurship culture campaigns and entrepreneurship education in secondary schools the objective is to increase the appreciation of the merits of entrepreneurship and to nurture the entrepreneurial talent of youth. We are all acutely aware of the unacceptable high unemployment rate of young people in South Africa and in the Free State. Many graduates leave school and enter the world of work with the optimism of youth, with hope and dreams to make a better living for themselves and their family. But, we also know that many end up disillusioned and with broken dreams when they are not able to secure a formal decent job and make a living because the labour market is unable to absorb the many school leavers.

As a result, many young people end up being idle and unemployed, which in turn push many youth into criminal activities. This is of grave concern. However, South Africa’s youth should not be seen as a problem. On the contrary, it is our country’s most important resource and asset and if given the right learning opportunities early on they can and will be the next wave of business and social entrepreneurs, which this country needs to badly. The entrepreneurship education component of the Free State SME Development Initiative addresses this issue in partnership with the Department for Education in order to better prepare youth for the transition from school to work.

Furthermore, the Initiative will improve the business environment and reduce Red Tape for emerging and already established SMEs in the Free State. We need to make it easy to do business and make it easy for our Free State based businesses to grow and create more and better jobs. These efforts are undertaken in close partnership with the business member organizations in the province such as NAFCO, AHI and BCCI and financial and non-financial BDS providers like FDC and SEDA and not least with the municipalities of Mangaung and Matjhabeng to begin with.  With the University of the Free State an SME Observatory – the first of its kind in South Africa, in all of Africa actually – will be established to provide information and research readily available to both the public and private sector in order to improve (what we call) Evidence Based Policy Making.

All in all we hope that through this initiative provincial policy-level bodies will make better  informed decisions about SME development, that stronger synergies between various economic development initiatives will be created with DETEA playing a key role as the change agent and that entrepreneurs will have improved access to business finance and advisory services, so that both emerging and established entrepreneurs can develop innovative business ideas and -models that in turn will create jobs and lift a larger share of the population of the Free State out of poverty.

Resuscitation of the Clothing & Textile Industry in the Free State

Strategies to achieve the purpose of job creation are the following:

  • To utilize the current available facilities and assets in the region to revive the clothing manufacturing industry for the purpose of creating jobs.
  • Creating an Academy for training which will develop business entrepreneurs and factory workers.
  • Establishing SMME’s by registering clothing manufacturing co-operatives on behalf of people who have successfully passed through the academy and/or persons who have proven experience in managing a manufacturing business
  • Providing a comprehensive support service to all co-operatives established through the project thereby ensuring growth and sustainability.
  • Establishing, manufacturing and marketing a new brand of competitively priced clothing utilizing the skills of local designers with a view to generating more work for established and future co-operatives.
  • Creating and setting up small retail co-operatives to sell the products manufactured by the project, comprising of specially designed mobile carts, inexpensive buildings, and existing informal businesses. (various types of facilities are envisaged from which manufactured goods would be distributed to townships, shopping malls, airports flea markets, etc.).
  • Acquiring the interest and participation of major clothing retailers in the project, with a view to obtaining manufacturing orders and investment into the job creation program.

Training and Development

  • Providing a Seta accredited registered training facility for the provision of development and training of cooperatives.

Establishment of Co-operatives

  • Screening and identifying potential co-operative owners emanating from the academy.
  • Screening external applicants who want to form co-operatives.
  • Assist applicants to complete forms and register co-operatives.
  • Attend to registration requirements and procedures on behalf of applicants.
  • Assist new owners with establishment of a business plan for co-operatives in consultation with SEDA.
  • Assist co-operative owners with funds to purchase machinery and equipment as provided in the business plan.
  • Provide qualified staff from the academy to fill identified vacancies.
  • Assist co-operative owners with the technical preparation to install equipment and machinery to start production.
  • Assist co-operative owners with the technical expertise to set up production lines and assist with the start of production.
  • Provide co-operatives with orders to produce at start of factory thereafter continuously to ensure a full work program
  • Provide regular visits to co-operatives to ensure quality standards are achieved and production targets are maintained.


Through various government interventions the following enterprises have been identified for support by the DETEA, and depending on the nature and status of the business the support may  be ongoing;

  • Shades of Green Hydroponics
  • Hobhouse Tshepanang Milling Trust
  • Hobhouse Biscuit Factory
  • Setsoto Agro-Processing  (Ficksburg)
  • Wide Life Exotics and Interior
  • Matjhabeng Industrial Park (MIP)
  • Epixel’s Free State Fashion