Cape Town - You can now send in your application for one of South Africa’s top business mentorship programmes – an initiative that has helped countless businesses go from average to undeniably awesome. The Fetola Legends programme, known for its ability to transform small and emerging enterprises into award-winning businesses, promises to give committed participants the boost their business needs to become a force to be reckoned with in their sector. This past year, 2 200 individuals from 85 organisations throughout the country benefited from this specialist enterprise development programme.Any existing business or non-profit organisation may apply, regardless of current size and location. The programme is the only one of its kind to be delivered not only around SA’s major urban centres, but which can also be followed and accessed in rural and remote spots. The only requirements are that the business is based on a sound idea and has the potential to be sustainable (whether business or non-profit organisation), as the initiative is strongly aimed at producing real results for SA business and job creation.The Legends programme is sponsored by some of the country’s major corporates and local and international funders, including core sponsor Old Mutual, Microsep and Shared Interest UK.It provides participating businesses with experienced mentors 24/7, as well as practical tools and templates to grow.You will also have access to a community of peers and their enterprises, focused workshops and e-learning modules to improve business knowledge, market access opportunities and brand development, and needs-based business support and systems development.Interested? Space is limited, so send off your application at www.fetola.co.za via the online application form without delay. Do take note that all applicants will go through a selection process before the Legends Class of 2013 is chosen.Catherine Wijnberg, director of the Fetola Foundation and a member of our Fin24 panel of experts ready to answer entrepreneurs' questions, has presented the Legends programme for the past five years.Wijnberg urges all entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders who are serious about giving their organisations the best shot at survival and excellence to consider taking part.She points out that entrepreneurship in South Africa is struggling despite the best intentions of government, the private sector and foreign donor programmes.Most current strategies aimed at facilitating small business development are not achieving the results our economy so desperately needs.The Legends programme is based on four pillars which have proven successful in producing award-winning, sustainable companies and organisations, says Wijnberg."These four pillars include the selection funnel (spending effort on candidate screening to ensure a good match), practical business skills training (with training carefully tailored to business needs and readiness), a support system (to guide beneficiaries as they implement their learnings) and ensuring participants have some ‘skin in the game’ (handouts and a lack of mutual commitment reduces perceived value, and builds dependency and a sense of helplessness). "We want people who are looking to grow and succeed to apply,” says Wijnberg. - Fin24Share your experience of setting up your own business, or simply ask a pressing question. Our business panel can put you on the right path.