Our Local Economic Development programmes aim to create opportunities for people to find employment, develop businesses and further their careers so as to earn a liveable income and provide for their families.


To empower households with Business skills through paradigm shift training, Business forums, mentoring so as to develop a mind-set shift as to how they look at poverty.


Community members gather weekly at our business forum in KwaDabeka, Mariannridge, Addington and Noodsberg to learn how to run a business, or grow the businesses they already have. We have about 500 people who have attended these forums, averaging 80 each week.

Our aim is to start and strengthen Business Forums in all target communities for networking, exploring business opportunities, mentoring, and training.

We use the Paradigm Shift Curriculum for basic business training. After completing the course, group members continue to meet weekly for networking and ongoing inspiration and training. Training topics include: registering a business, marketing successfully, submitting tenders, managing cash flow etc. When we started the first forum, we discovered that the majority of people running these small businesses did not even have a basic concept of how to calculate profit, manage cash flow or develop a business plan. Participants are also mentored through important steps, and several of the businesses we are working with have grown substantially as a result of the input and support through these forums.

Our beneficiaries are entrepreneurs earning R100 or less a day and young student entrepreneurs in matric in the target communities.


CAST has partnered with Nedbank to run a series of trainings in our target communities, specifically for unemployed youth, to become more conscientious consumers, as well as network with others in their community.


Currently, we have 10 individual entrepreneurs and one Chibini Women’s Co-operative selling their products at flea markets in and around Durban City.


In 2017, CAST introduced Saving Clubs in seven communities, including KwaDabeka, Chesterville, Lamontville, Mariannridge, Appelsbosch, Noodsberg and Chibini. The aim of the Savings Clubs is to train entrepreneurs on how to save money in small groups to reach their family goals, and to create a pool of resources where they could borrow to expand, or improve, their businesses. This idea was quickly embraced by our communities; we saw 100 entrepreneurs saving the little that they had for the future, and by the close of the year they had saved R6540 in total.


Small-scale farming / gardening projects in Noodsberg and Chibini are helping people to grow enough food for themselves and create extra income for the families. We have provided training, equipment and ongoing support for local people who have taught others in the community the skills learned.

If you are interested in sharing your time and skills with Entrepreneurs in your Community, please visit the nearest CAST Community Centre and register with the CAST Community Co-ordinator who will organise your training. Contact us here to arrange.

Overall statistics since implementation (how many people have benefitted so far?)

Number of communities benefitted
Number of people completed Business Experience Course (BEC)
Number of people completed Paradigm shift BGC Module 1 & 2
Number of volunteers
Community Target Group Business Experience Course (BEC) Paradigm shift BGC Module 1&2
KwaDabeka Entrepreneurs 90 35
Chesterville Entrepreneurs 60 30
Lamontville Entrepreneurs 60 30
Mariannridge Entrepreneurs 30 15
Noodsberg Entrepreneurs 30 15
Appelsbosch Entrepreneurs 90 30
Chibini Entrepreneurs 30 15
Addington/Inner City Entrepreneurs 60 30
Phoenix Entrepreneurs 90 N/A