Over the past years, the team has contributed to numerous successful development programmes and is driven by efficient and responsible use of all resources to deliver maximum benefits to the communities and our investors.
XOLA SITHOLE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Xola Sithole is an experienced development finance practitioner and business executive. In a career spanning 27 years, he has amassed expertise in the areas of public policy, development finance, corporate finance and investment. Xola started off his career in January 1993 at Unilever, working in a division that provides industrial chemicals to blue chip clients in the food and beverage sector. In September 1994 he joined the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in its Agriculture Division and went on to spend over nine years in various operational and senior management roles across diverse functions within the group. His final position at the IDC was as head of a business unit that managed its portfolio of investments in the agriculture and agro-industries sector across the African continent.
In 2003 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Khula Enterprise Finance (now sefa), a development finance institution focused on small business. Between 2009 and 2014, Xola built his own company providing tailored consulting services to private and public sector clients looking to develop and implement value enhancing strategies in the face of dynamic operating environments.
In January 2015 Xola was appointed as CEO of the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), the provincial development finance and investment promotion agency, for a five year term that he completed recently in December 2019. In a period spanning almost two decades, he has regularly served as a non executive director for various companies including Business Partners, Karsten Group Holdings, Crookes Brothers and Foskor.
Xola has a passion for steering economic development and navigating the nexus between the public and private sectors to advance national development goals. He holds a BSc (Hons) from the University of KwaZulu Natal.
WALTER COUGHLAN, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Walter has spent the past 16 years as Managing Director establishing and managing Newlands Mashu, a Not For Profit Company in KZN, now trading as the Fair Food Foundation, a business committed to supporting the development and growth of emerging farmers in South Africa.
The company established and pioneered the Agrihubs model in eThekwini Municipality working with, and providing skills and support for, small scale growers and larger scale emerging farmers in KZN. The group facilitated private public partnerships over the years and in 2014 established the Edamame Development Program which currently supplies a number of national retail chains with SA grown and processed Edamame.
Walter has established numerous partnerships and designed, facilitated and managed local and international funded programs. As director of The Fair Food Foundation, he currently engages with public, national government and private sector partners to benefit the emerging farmer sector and manages a dynamic staff of farmer support technicians and agri-processing team members.
QUINTON NAIDOO, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Quinton began development in agriculture 16 years ago and since then his work has focused on developing commercial farmers, creating sustainable livelihoods & effecting life changing interventions through agriculture.
He was the CEO of AfriGrow Development, an NGO which was involved in supporting emerging farmers in South Africa, Mozambique & Namibia. He has also served as the Executive Director of Food & Trees for Africa, a South African environmental and agricultural NGO.
In commercial agriculture, he was the Head of Agribusiness for Lonrho (Projects South Africa Division) which contracted growers throughout Africa to produce for its value chain which supplied numerous international retail giants across the globe.
Quinton currently works with numerous Government departments, Private sector & Community organisations in the design & implementation of social and economic development agricultural programs.
Quinton contributes to the overall strategy & investment