The Thuso Mentorship mentorship helps entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to run successful businesses. This is a brief guide to how it works and how to apply.
Mentoring and support from Thuso
The Thuso Mentorship mentorship programme is a project of Khula Enterprise Finance to help entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to run successful businesses. It offers both pre-loan and post loan services. During the pre-loan stage entrepreneurs are assisted by experienced mentors with advice, counseling and development of viable business plans. In the post-loan stage clients are helped to manage their businesses.
How it works
Thuso supports two kinds of entrepreneur: those who have received business loans from banks and those who are clients of Khula's Retail Finance Intermediaries (RFIs). RFIs are non-bank organisations, usually non-profit, that lend money to business owners. They often have more lenient lending criteria and their clients may need more advice than bank clients. When an RFI identifies a need for skills in a client's business they contact Thuso, which in turn appoints a mentor proficient in that particular area. A Thuso co-ordinator receives monthly progress reports.
Thuso normally links business owners and mentors for a 12-month mentorship and advice programme.For the first three months, Thuso foots the mentor's whole bill. Over the next three months this, Thuso pays 75% and the client 25%. In the third quarter of the programme, Thuso and the client share 50% of the bill, and in the last three months, depending on the need for the mentor's expertise, Thuso will pay 25% and the client 75%. From then onwards, the client pays on his own for any additional services from the advisor.
How to apply
Clients can approach mentorship offices directly for assistance. In this case, the regional co-ordinator evaluates each request and appoints an accredited mentor to help the client write a business plan and get finance from a bank or RFI.
Some clients are also referred to Thuso by banks or RFIs in cases where the lender thinks the business has potential but the entrepreneur does not have adequate security for the loan. In these cases, Thuso will again appoint a mentor to help the client develop a business plan and put it into action. The bank may also ask Khula for a credit guarantee to help the client get the loan.
An up to date list of Thuso offices is available on the Khula web site under the "Products" section.
- Small Business Mentoring (Service)
- Thuso Mentorship Programme: Enabling access to finance and transfer of skills 1 (Public Information) (File type: pdf; size: 83.81 KB)