Small Enterprise Foundation

  • LP


8 First Avenue
South Africa

About Us

SEF is a microfinance NGO with over 60,000 clients, which alleviates poverty by enabling self-employment through micro-enterprise. We are dedicated towards reaching the most disadvantaged in rural communities and enabling the poor and very poor to improve their economic lives.

To work aggressively towards the elimination of poverty by reaching the poor and very poor with a range of financial services to enable them to realise their potential.

A world free of poverty

The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a non-profit NGO, which began operations in 1992. The Small Enterprise Foundation is a microfinance institution aimed at working towards the eradication of poverty by creating a supportive environment, where credit and savings services foster:

• Sustainable Income Generation
• Job Creation and
• Social Empowerment

This is accomplished through two programs, the Microcredit Program (MCP) and the Tshomisano Credit Program (TCP). MCP focuses on existing, but generally marginal micro-enterprises and provides them with micro-loans. On the other hand, TCP strictly targets women who live below half the poverty line.

SEF uses a group-based lending methodology. Potential members form themselves into groups of five, which are rigorously tested before they are officially recognized. Upon recognition groups are eligible to apply for loans, which they collectively guarantee.
SEF does not give individual loans. The group of five can only apply for a loan at a SEF Centre Meeting, where other SEF groups are present. The application is made both on paper and verbally, in front of the whole Centre.

While SEF does not provide savings services, it requires members of both programs to accumulate regular savings through a Post Office Savings Account. Loans are disbursed and groups deposit their savings into their accounts. SEF has no direct control of or access to the group savings. Through the savings plan, the borrowers build up a fund that they can fall back on when faced with mishaps or tragedies.