The hope factory

The Trust For Urban Housing Finance (TUHF) Limited is a non-bank financial services company specialising in finance and support for entrepreneurs in inner city residential accommodation.

To date, TUHF has financed over 20 000 units in the inner cities of South Africa.  “At TUHF, we are passionate about spotting and unearthing potential. In declining areas, we see thriving property markets. In rundown buildings, we see the potential for families to live in a safe and secure environment. In people, we see the entrepreneurial capability to create well-run businesses providing employment and multiplying our economy,” said Khumbulani Chikomo, TUHF’s Regional Manager for Eastern Cape.

TUHF’s property entrepreneurs are the latest business people to benefit from The Hope Factory’s (THF) Enterprise and Supplier Development mentorship programme.

Once again THF has partnered with another organisation to help provide skills development to entrepreneurs who are growing their companies. In this partnership, TUHF provides financial support while The Hope Factory provides its entrepreneurs with mentorship.

TUHF is an organisation that empowers people with passion and the potential to become successful property entrepreneurs to catalyse the regeneration of our neighbourhoods and communities in the inner cities of South Africa. TUHF provides a single loan facility over 15 years with a prime-linked interest rate and a once-off raising fee.  No monthly service fees are charged – included in this facility would be a loan for the property as well as any construction finance that may be required for refurbishment or conversion. Depending on the project TUHF are able to offer a grace period before the rent is due.

“After having a conversation with Khumbalani Chikomo, TUHF’s regional manager, I realised that TUHF’s entrepreneurs could benefit substantially from The Hope Factory Mentoring Programme and last year we began working together, says Financial mentor Tursuis Ruiters.

Ruiters says the first intake of TUHF entrepreneurs started with 4 entrepreneurs and they enrolled onto the 16 week business class. In this class they focused on aspects of personal development and financial management and each entrepreneur was allocated a business mentor, with whom they met once a week to discuss their business.

“All four entrepreneurs have graduated from the equipping phase and have now moved onto the Entrepreneur Support program. The entrepreneur support program gives them access to the services of industry experts, specialised training and operational investments,” Ruiters explains.

Recently, entrepreneurs from The Hope Factory were given opportunities to apply for an operational investment for their businesses. This investment helps entrepreneurs to grow and move their businesses to the next level. Two TUHF entrepreneurs benefited from this investment – Levelten, owned by Sameerah and Clayton Le Grange received an operational investment to install solar panel geysers. They have managed to lower their monthly electricity account thus allowing for higher profit margins. With her investment capital, Liziwe Shai, owner of the Ginomai Group recently purchased a property in North End, Port Elizabeth.

Ruiters says, “The Ginomai Group and Lufezo Student Accommodation benefited from industry expert service offering that The Hope Factory offers. Both businesses have received many valuable hours from Mr Hefer- a qualified project manager, to assist with the project management of building renovations and with the feasibility studies in the purchase of new buildings.”

Additionally, business mentor at The Hope Factory, Caroline Ritson realised that the entrepreneurs need to learn the basics of property valuation. She introduced them to Mark Bakker, the Managing Director at Bruce McWilliams Industries (Pty) Ltd and the regional councillor for SAPOA in the Port Elizabeth region. “Bakker is offering the entrepreneurs his expertise and is hosting property valuation workshops for the entrepreneurs. All the TUHF entrepreneurs have found these workshops beneficial growing their knowledge in the property industry,” says Ruiters.

The learning does not stop there; TUHF is hosting its own networking information events. During these events, the organisation is introducing new TUHF entrepreneurs to existing entrepreneurs who have experience and share their knowledge about the industry.

The Hope Factory

Founded in 2001, The Hope Factory is an established Enterprise and Supplier Development Non Profit Company effectively governed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Driven to develop black business owners, The Hope Factory offers a strategic mentorship programme to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals, vision and purpose, to grow their business, and to ultimately give back to their community.

For more information visit

Lesego Malete