South Africa

Financial services

Financing granted

Loan of €3.1M *
(equivalent in local currency)

Foundation partner

since 2019

*Outstanding amount at grant value


Partner website


South Africa is an emerging country with an increasingly diversified economy, but remains unable to achieve a drastic reduction in extreme poverty. This explains why the pursuit of strong economic growth takes precedence over other progress. The agricultural sector also has to cope with drought.

The institution:

The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a Tier 2 microfinance institution created in 1992 by two South African individuals. Its mission is to endeavour actively to eradicate poverty by reaching the poor and very poor with a range of financial and non-financial services so as to enable them to attain their potential.


SEF started its operations in Limpopo Province, the country’s poorest region. Although its presence there is still strong, its reach has expanded. The institution is now present in 6 provinces and serves 99% of women, helping them overcome the financial, economic and social barriers that contribute to individual, family and community poverty.