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What is PUM?

PUM was established in 1978 as PUM (Programma Uitzending Managers) by the Dutch employers association (VNO-)NCW. Since then, they have supported over 45,000 entrepreneurs. Their work is directly impacted by the global agenda as set out in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and official Dutch development cooperation priorities.

PUM helps to grow SMEs in developing countries and emerging markets and positively impacts the economy, environment, and society. Various experts volunteer to share their advice with local entrepreneurs and together, they strengthen the position of companies, their suppliers, and adjacent industries in the market.

PUM Representative - Western Cape, South Africa

Jonathan Jacobs, PUM Representative - Western Cape, South Africa Jonathan Jacobs, PUM Representative - Western Cape, South Africa
At PUM we share knowledge to strengthen businesses and improve lives. Our volunteers work with SMEs in emerging markets to positively impact the economy, environment, and society and contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The programme, in essence, is an international mentorship and coaching programme aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (+10 staff members), preferably women-owned (but men are included), with a focus on the following areas:


  • Agriculture
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Waste and Water Management
  • Metal Industries
  • Chemical Industries, but many more other sectors

The programme currently is done via remote coaching – firstly, we identify a possible candidate who has specific business needs, we then match up a retired professional with the candidate, I monitor the engagement and follow up with the candidate. The remote coaching programme is about 8 weeks but can go on for longer depending on the complexities identified by the candidate. The programme costs about R65000 and is accessible to your entrepreneurs. For example, if we go to stage 2, the expert will visit you for 2 weeks and you will then have to cover the costs of accommodation and food, they are okay to share a room in your house. Stage 3 is a small grant fund that can spearhead a specific project.

 Criteria for a mentee:

  • At least 2 years in business 
  • Number of staff/employees is between 10 and 250
  • Over 50% local ownership

I have seen first-hand the benefits of an international coach; your entrepreneur will undoubtedly benefit from such an engagement. Let me know. Also, note that it does not have to be the owner who undergoes the mentorship, but the owner must be aware of it (i.e. Marketing Manager).