SEF begins in January 1992, when founders John de Wit and Matome Malotji give two loans totalling just R 750 (about $52 USD). With these two small loans and one very large vision, SEF begins its journey.
SEF begins the Tšhomišano Credit Programme (TCP). The TCP was designed specifically with the poorest South African women in mind. TCP clients do not need to already have a business to participate in the SEF programme.
SEF has gained considerable international recognition for its poverty-targeting methodology and its success in reaching and ensuring positive impact on the very poor. The organisation’s poverty targeting tool, Participatory Wealth Ranking, was one of the first such tools officially recognised and promoted by the Microcredit Summit Campaign.
SEF partners with IMAGE, launching a randomized controlled trial combining our microcredit programme with a 12 month gender and HIV training curriculum.
The success of the 4-year pilot programme leaves a lasting impact on our approach to poverty. Our partnership with IMAGE continues to this day. Learn more about our partnerships
SEF receives the Pioneer Award from the Grameen Foundation, in recognition of our groundbreaking work in South Africa.
While the attainment of sustainability has always been a core value for SEF, the first priority was ensuring outreach and positive impact for the very poor. With these fundamentals well entrenched, in 2011 we achieved full financial self-sufficiency.
SEF embarks on a 3-year expansion project, allowing us to reach more poor and vulnerable women than ever before.
SEF continues to expand its reach and innovate with new products and services to lift rural women out of poverty. We’re more excited than ever about the future.