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Seda – Small Enterprise Development Agency

Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is no classic government agency. It has the unique mandate to help the SME sector thrive in South Africa. The overall success of Seda is measured by its capacity to reach out to entrepreneurs nationwide. Seda relies on an extensive network of branches that act as customer touch-points. As a result it is
a symbol of the new customer-focused dynamic that is increasingly guiding government’s actions. With the mounting expectations on results from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the board of Seda selected Black Africa to conduct countrywide reviews, and essentially, transform the organisation into a truly market-focused and effective group. After thorough phase of research, including face-to-face interviews with a broad range of employees as well as “mystery shopping” at branch level, Black Africa quickly established that Seda was faced with the daunting paradox to turn a 500-employee state-driven organisation to think and act with speed, and to improve employees’ internal communication so that they became more proactive and less reactive. This realisation had far-reaching consequences that spanned as far as reviewing the entire product offering and brand architecture Black set out to “re-balance” the brand by adding a more human and flexible dimension to Seda. This shift required Seda to embrace a new retail-orientated type of business model which would maximise its position in the value chain and play to its strengths. We aligned products and services along four key business life cycles: development, growth, maturity and decline. This innovative architecture was brought to life by a fresh and colourful look and feel that positioned Seda as a friendly and approachable business, dedicated to helping other businesses grow. Not only did Black Africa provide the framework of this brand revival, but it generated the tools for Seda to take ownership of the change and to forge a new culture that would set the example within the entire government.


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