Most investment in SA goes into the mainstream economy in places such as Johannesburg, says Hasan Darwish, team leader at Modular Innobox, a start-up which aims to stimulate business in poorer areas. "In reality very little of that is seen by bottom-of-pyramid communities and economies." It is difficult to quantify the size of the informal economy, but estimates gauge that it contributes 10%-25% of GDP. These businesses are a lifeline for many of the poorest citizens but they are challenging to develop, which is where Modular’s ModulaRISE programme comes in. The programme, launched in July at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria, is a four-tiered turnkey leadership growth model, "better defining a growth path for young entrepreneurs", the firm says. "This programme builds on what already exists in these economies and will hopefully help the problems of SA," Darwish says. "We aim to graduate people with a business, rather than a degree, which is particularly relevant at this segment of the...

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