Tough as operating a business is, the decision to grow a business is a big one and the journey can be tortuous.

In a bid assist businesses, particularly those focused on better the social landscape, FNB and Fetola Business Growth Professionals have created the Social Enterpreneurship Impact Lab.

The development initiative was launched last week and the search for 25 “for profit” businesses will be selected to participate. The business that will be chosen should be passionate about making South Africa a better place.

Entrepreneurs should be solving community based challenges in areas such as education, food sustainability, healthcare, safety and environmental sustainability.

“Social entrepreneurship is one of our best chances to bring about a positive impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans. As a nation, we face a plethora of struggles every day; we aim through this programme to scale some practical and sustainable solutions to address our most pressing social and environmental issues,” said head of enterprise development at FNB, Heather Lowe.

Entrepreneurs will need to apply to be a part of the Social Enterpreneurship Impact Lab and should they be accepted they will receive mentorship, access to peer networks and investment readiness support among other things. The programme will run for 18 months.

“We are excited to partner with FNB on this journey and cannot wait to interact with phenomenal businesses whose sole purpose is to make a meaningful difference in people‚Äôs lives. Corporates in South Africa have an important role to play in nurturing and growing small businesses through Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programmes, and collaboration with like-minded stakeholders. It is only through such initiatives and strategic partnerships that we can truly make an impact in solving some of the major societal issues facing the country,” said chief executive officer at Fetola, Catherine Wijnberg.

Interested entrepreneurs can head to the Fetola website for more information about the application process and eligible businesses.