by David Mwanambuyu

Sabri means business

Entrepreneurial initiative takes off

Charmaine Groves is MD and founder of Sabri

The South African Business Resources Institute (Sabri) opened doors to the public on 1 April 2012. And there is nothing comical about that; the organisation is serious about nurturing small and medium-sized businesses to sustainability.


Founder and managing director of Sabri, Charmaine Groves, is an entrepreneur in her own right. While working for Old Mutual South Africa, she spearheaded the setup of the Masisizane Fund, capitalised to the tune of R400 million at inception, and growing to close to R800m by the time she left in 2012.


The idea behind Sabri’s formation was inspired after an eye-opening trip to Israel, where she was introduced to the MATI Business Centres – a model she thought could successfully be replicated in South Africa. In Israel, the Small Business Development Centres (MATI in Hebrew) act as a one-stop shop for the provision of services required by most business owners and/or entrepreneurs.


They operate under the auspices of the Israeli Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (ISMEA).


Groves said the principle behind the MATI model is the separation of finance from development, as well as a rigorous business diagnostic process and honest feedback, which identifies entrepreneurs who are serious about being in business and are in all likelihood to go the distance.


Sabri’s formation seeks to fill gaps in the entrepreneurial space, and will merely facilitate entrepreneurs’ access to resources through networks and business contacts, as well as the hands-on experience and skill of business associates and partners.



The full article will be published in the March edition of Black Business Quarterly. Don’t miss it!

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