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Dear stakeholders, trustees and friends

As I take a moment to reflect on this tumultuous year, I stand amazed at all that has been achieved and grateful for God’s grace throughout.

It was our honourable Mr Nelson Mandela who said, “Human beings have got the ability to adjust to anything”. These words were powerfully demonstrated not only by the amazing teams who collaborate with the ASISA Foundation to deliver our various financial education programmes, but also by all our programme beneficiaries.

The challenges presented by the varying lockdown levels required agility, skill and resilience as we sought to achieve scale and impact with all of our programmes. I am exceptionally proud of our teams and partners and commend them on their unfailing passion and commitment to excellence and to achieving the vision of the Foundation.

One of the most notable and outstanding achievements during 2021 has been the successful conclusion of the Foundation’s two-year Financial Literacy and Micro-Enterprise (FLAME) programme for township and rural entrepreneurs based in areas surrounding Philippi (Cape Town), King William’s Town (Eastern Cape) and Diepsloot (Johannesburg).

How privileged we have been to witness the growth and development of these participants into resilient, astute business owners. They have weathered the Covid-19 storms and ended the programme not only with increased sales, markets, funding and jobs, but also with bold self-confidence based on their significantly enhanced personal and business knowledge and financial management skills.

Key performance indicators achieved during the FLAME 2 programme across the three regions include:

Global Entrepreneurship Week

On the same day as our final FLAME 2 close-out event which occurred during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), we aptly joined multiple organisations across the globe to celebrate this week by convening our inaugural ASISA Foundation GEW forum under the theme Entrepreneurship: A catalyst for inclusive development.

During the engaging discussions between various key agents in this sphere, it was noted – among other things – that the core pillars for effective entrepreneurship include financial literacy, continuous learning, and the commitment to translate those learnings into a culture of high performance.

The panel agreed that there is still a great need for effective financial literacy training, and effort should be put into achieving real financial behaviour and attitude change in entrepreneurs, something the Foundation has invested all its efforts into.

Thank you

I wish to thank you sincerely for your continuous support of the ASISA Foundation, enabling us to positively impact the lives of vulnerable South Africans. I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, safe, and blessed festive season and a prosperous 2022.

Ruth Benjamin-Swales
CEO: ASISA Foundation


The successes of FLAME 2 as reflected in the following three regions:

Philippi, Western Cape

With the help of a local stakeholder, the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI), this region started off with 14 participants who were primarily small-scale farmers. Through the programme some participants were also able to pivot into other industries like catering, bee farming, and manufacturing.

One of the participants from this group, Owen Mdledle, who won the national FLAME Trailblazer Award, shares his FLAME experience.

The Philippi participants at their close-out event.

King William’s Town, Eastern Cape

This region concluded the final phase with 14 participants with businesses in a wide variety of industries including construction, farming, media, and television. The Hope Factory, the regional implementing partner, won the national FLAME Impact Award. This award was determined by assessing the following key economic indicators: total combined revenue, profit, revenue growth, jobs created and supported, as well as the extent of economic participation of the participants.

One of the participants from this group, Nomfumaneko Nofeliti, who masterfully pivoted her business model to access multiple income streams, shares her FLAME journey.

The Kings William's Town participants at their close-out event.

Diepsloot, Gauteng

FLAME’s final close-out event on 12 November 2021, celebrated the 10 participants from Diepsloot who successfully completed the programme.

Precious Mgidlana, a participant from this group, received the national FLAME Champion Award, and shares her FLAME journey.

The best of the best: Precious Mgidlana receives the national FLAME Champion Award, as well as the regional Best Performer Award for her achievements in sales, profitability, and job creation.


A critical acknowledgement of the credibility of the Foundation's work has been the awarding of a second round of co-funding from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism to implement FLAME 3 with a cohort of 57 micro-business owners in Atlantis. This programme commenced in October 2021 and concluded Phase 1 on 30 November 2021 (picture below).

The Atlantis participants at their Phase 1 graduation.

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