Ithuba empowers women and entrepreneurs through funding and training initiatives

Change is familiar for ITHUBA, the National Lottery Operator since June 2015, who have managed to successfully reinvigorate the National Lottery by launching it onto a digital platform, engaging with a much larger audience than ever before – adding in a myriad of new games, a mobile APP and introducing the ability to purchase tickets through your banking application.

ITHUBA has earned their premier position as the top performing operator in Africa and stands firm as a true example of excellence in gaming.

National Lotteries operate to improve the social and economic climate of a country by generating revenue that gets put to good use through programmes that benefit the nation. ITHUBA has gone above and beyond anyone’s expectations, resonating as a brand that cares deeply by allocating additional spending above that which goes into the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and prioritising local CSI projects by researching what would benefit South African communities in the long-term.

In under a decade since being awarded its operating license in 2015, ITHUBA has played a significant role in developing local business ventures, empowering and developing local business start-ups, and enabling female business owners from rural communities.

Aside from their long-standing Scholarship Foundation and Graduate programmes, they offer upskilling and business training through their Youth Enterprise Development Programme and Supplier and Enterprise Funding Programme.

Ubuntu is a key value of ITHUBA, and education and development are integral to their growth plans for the beneficiaries they serve.

The Youth Enterprise Development Programme is an enterprise-development programme designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 – 35 who have either a business plan or a small registered business and need financial assistance in getting it off the ground. This programme helps to create businesses that actively support the local economy and serve the communities in which they’re located.

ITHUBA’s Supplier and Enterprise Funding Programme is a funding programme that supports small black-owned businesses, fuelled by the firm belief that entrepreneurship is a critical factor in driving innovation and economic growth. In 2021, the Funding programme was initiated after being inspired by the devastating impact that COVID-19 had on small businesses, with so many Entrepreneurs being forced to close their doors.

ITHUBA believes that for big businesses to make a lasting impact on all South Africans, corporate citizens must prioritise their social responsibility portfolio as they do on their business operations.   

When awarded the impressive accolade of the Top Empowered Company, the ITHUBA CEO Charmaine Mabuza, spoke proudly on behalf of the National Lottery Operator, saying, “Even during difficult times, we all need to put our shoulders behind the wheel and put our money where our mouths are, to better our societies”.  Mabuza is clearly in a position to say that, having been celebrated for her efforts by winning the Award from Forbes Women Africa for Social Impact in 2020.

A specialist programme inspired by Mabuza’s mother is the ITHUBA Female Retailer Development Programme – one of the first women to take part in the programme, Dorcas Mokale, says that through her retailer training, she has not only been able to improve the management of her family’s supermarket chain, but she has been equipped to venture into a more professional service when developing her own business, saying, “I am really thankful to ITHUBA and especially to Mrs Charmaine Mabuza. She really does empower women.”

To date, ITHUBA has funded several businesses with grants to the value of R15 Million, and seen many entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses. They have also upskilled an impressive amount of female retailers through their Female Retailer Development Programme, successfully changing the course for hundreds of families in South Africa, and creating a positive narrative around the values-driven operations of South Africa’s dedicated National Lottery Operator.

ITHUBA has spent the last 8 years striving to achieve excellence, moving from a start-up to a stand-out business. Their journey of success and innovation has driven them to lend a helping hand to other aspiring businesses, and it’s this social awareness that makes their anniversary one of note and undoubtedly worthy of celebration.

ITHUBA stands for equality through opportunity.  

Let’s celebrate alongside ITHUBA as we move together towards a brighter future for all.

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