SEF was founded in 1992 by John De Wit and Matome Malatji, beginning with two small loans and one big vision.
Our beginnings took root in Limpopo province, the poorest region of the country. While our presence there is still strong, our reach has expanded. We have now grown to serve over 189,621 clients, 99% of which are women, in 7 different South African provinces.
Developing an enterprise is a path out of poverty. For our clients, the biggest barrier to starting a microenterprise isn’t the motivation, a lack of entrepreneurship, or a lack of skills—it’s the capital. By removing this barrier, we’re connecting women to the resources they need to improve their lives.
We use a modified version of the tried-and-true group-lending methodology developed by Grameen Bank. We collect no collateral from our clients.
Poverty is not a one-dimensional issue– it requires a holistic approach.
We’re always looking for new ways to innovate against poverty.
Our savings mobilisation program helps our clients create savings goals and track their progress
Our financial education program teaches our clients the tools they need to manage their finances and grow their businesses
Our IMAGE (Intervention with Microfinance for Aids and Gender Equity) partnership provides health and gender empowerment training to reduce vulnerability to HIV and intimate partner violence