Enterprise-centric approach

We will continue to take a holistic enterprise-centric approach to support willing and committed companies through transformation and growth.

We will be the single touchpoint that works with enterprises to build capabilities and expand their markets, connect them with suitable partners.


  1. Raising productivity
    Companies need to change the way they manage their business operations as we move towards a more labour-constrained environment.

    Our focus will be on helping more SMMEs adopt digitalisation, technology and automation as a means to uplift productivity from the get-go. Our Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and the Start Digital programme are some initiatives that local companies can look into to get started.

  2. Strengthening innovation
    Companies need to leverage innovation as a key differentiator and use it to sharpen their competitive advantage.

    We want to enable companies to develop new technologies or adopt technology solutions to create their own intellectual property by:
    • Speeding up commercialisation of new technologies
    • Encouraging market-led innovation, where solutions are developed based on opportunities and problem statements faced by industry players and across markets
    • Catalysing more open innovation platforms - (Identifying “bilingual” innovation experts – individuals well-versed in business and tech – to work with companies.)

  3. Accelerating internationalisation
    South Africa has too small a domestic market. Companies need to venture beyond our shores to truly grow.

    • We want to help more companies who are keen to grow, to take that first step overseas, and to do so earlier in their life stages.
    • Going into new, unfamiliar territories can be challenging and comes with a certain level of risk. Together with our partners, we will continue to help enterprises build the necessary capabilities and provide them with in-market entry assistance.

If you are not currently a client/member of the LEAD, you should contact Us to ascertain your company's eligibility for Enterprise support.

Our Enterprise Development Advisers have sectoral expertise and are experienced in working with companies through all stages of the business development - from start-up, to established small and medium-sized enterprises, right through to large companies with the ability to achieve significant scale.


  1. Build enterprise capabilities
    We understand that companies’ needs vary across industries, sizes and stages of growth. Here is how we plan to support companies using a holistic enterprise-centric approach.

    • Self-help tools and easy-to-adopt solutions
      • Companies taking small or first steps in their upgrading journey can turn to Enterprise Development Advisers for advice, participate in their group-based upgrading projects, and adopt the pre-scoped solutions supported under the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).
      • Micro and small enterprises can also tap the Start Digital initiative to adopt digital tools and solutions.

    • Targeted and customised assistance
      • We will provide dedicated and tailored support to companies with substantial and longer-term plans for capability upgrading, business transformation and market expansion.
      • We will launch a new Scale-Up SG programme (in late 2024) to accelerate the growth of enterprises who have demonstrated good track record and commitment to business transformation, and possess high growth potential.

  2. Develop human capital
    Having the right talent is critical for companies.

    Companies should look at talent attraction, leadership development and training, and upskilling of employees as they grow.

    We will help enterprises build their talent pipeline through internship and management associates programmes, and strengthen their leadership ranks. One such initiative is the Global Ready Talent (GRT) programme (launching in Q2 2024) to help growing businesses build their talent pipeline early, especially to support their overseas growth.

    We will also continue to work with Workforce South Africa, SkillsFuture South Africa and TACs to support SMEs in upgrading and reskilling their workforce for new or redesigned jobs.

  3. Strengthen enterprise ecosystem
    Companies require a strong supporting ecosystem and conducive business regulatory environment to thrive.

    We will strengthen the enterprise ecosystem across different dimensions to enable transformation, partnership and innovation.
    • Industry
      • Continue to support various lead agencies and TACs in their industry transformation maps (ITMs) and industry-based upgrading efforts, such as the FoodInnovate initiative, which is a public-private partnership effort to drive innovation under the Food Manufacturing ITM
    • Corporate
      • Step up efforts to drive more cross-industry collaboration
      • Create more partnerships between multinational companies/large local enterprises and SMEs/startups in co-innovation, capabilities upgrading and developing new business opportunities
      • Encourage more companies to hunt in a pack to capture overseas opportunities
      • Leverage public sector demand to spur innovations in SMMEs
    • Innovation
      • Continue to expand network of Centres of Innovation (COIs), innovation intermediaries and venture partners. In this regard, we are:
        • Establishing two COIs for Aquaculture and Energy
        • Launching a new Innovation Agents initiative to identify and engage experts, who are familiar with business and technology, to work closely with enterprises in their innovation efforts

  4. Establish strong COLLABORATION NETWORK
    We recognise the importance of COLLABORATION NETWORK for enterprise development. Public and private partners bring deep expertise, resources and networks that help us reach out to more SMMEs and together with our partners, connect them with more opportunities across world markets than if we were to do it by ourselves.

    We want to:
    • Form more strategic and longer-term partnerships with TACs
      • TACs are important partners in enterprise outreach and engagement, upgrading and internationalisation. We want to help TACs enhance their capabilities, and form more strategic partnerships with those who are prepared to take on a bigger role to help SMEs.
    • Expand overseas networks
      • Continue to expand the service providers in our Plug & Play Network and work with key associations to expand in-market support to help companies take their first step overseas.
      • Extend Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network to more leading innovation hubs globally.