Black Umbrellas was first conceived as the Black Umbrellas, a project spearheaded by Cape Town social entrepreneur Charles Maisel and Mark Frankel to support SMMEs.
In 2009 the Foundation (now Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation) partnered with Black Umbrellas to escalate the project countrywide with R5.2 million invested in the set up and operations of a Gauteng office.
Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, is deeply committed to the vision of Black Umbrellas as a catalyst in the development of entrepreneurs, a sector he has identified as critical to the empowerment of historically marginalised South Africans.
Black Umbrellas is an enterprise development incubation organisation partnering with the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black owned emerging businesses in the African continent.
The programme focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as a desirable economic path, and nurturing 100% black-owned businesses in the critical first three years of their existence through the provision of nationwide incubators.