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Equipping entrepreneurs to uplift their communities through economic development.

Africa is filled with entrepreneurs who are hungry for resources and tools for success.


The vision of New Leaf is to equip entrepreneurs in developing countries to transform communities by developing purpose driven businesses that are financially viable, socially beneficial and/or promote social development. 

Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to spark social, economic, and spiritual transformation in their communities.

Development is a process of ongoing change and empowerment that isn’t doing something to or for someone but is rather done with someone.

We believe the key to entrepreneurial success in the emerging world involves more than just ensuring that people have sufficient things. 

Rather, it is the much harder task of empowering people to earn sufficient material things through their own labor.  

The goal is to operate as a driving force behind poverty eradication by coming alongside entrepreneurs in the developing world to provide technical knowledge, business skills, and personal development.

Breaking The Poverty Cycle

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The common approach to addressing poverty is to seek out immediate and outward community change. But much like trimming the leaves of a weed to make it look more appealing, it doesn’t address the root causes of systemic poverty.

The difference in our approach is that we start at the individual level, choosing to focus first on the internal motivations and behaviors of our mentees. Throughout the mentorship programme, we build into their self esteem and confidence and as it grows, they are empowered to begin acting for and with their community.

"Increased income and a successful business will never result in a higher quality of life unless the individual believes they can pull themselves out of poverty and that it is worth doing."

What's The Plan?


For sustained success to occur you must reinforce the skills development occurring, provide encouragement, and create accountability. To do this we invest in three specific areas:

1.) Mentorship

We develop long term relationships that accelerate business growth, share knowledge, and empower. Through discipleship

2.) Discipleship

Family based development focused on building self-esteem, life skills, eliminating poverty, and bringing principals and values into the marketplace. 

3.) Accountability

A mentorship relationship creates accountability for an entrepreneur’s goals and objectives.


We run a structured yet adaptable one-year mentorship programme that seeks to eradicate poverty through business training and personal development, which includes family and community-focused life skills, principals and values.

We provide accountability towards the goals and objectives of the entrepreneur; tailored to reinforce the lessons that they already know, or are currently learning through other programmes to ensure that they are applied in a sustainable way.

We measure the development of an entrepreneur not only by business metrics, but holistic improvements in the individual’s journey out of poverty in these specific areas:

    Business Development

    • Revenue
    • Management + Systems
    • Values and Principles
    • Business Knowledge

    Poverty Eradication

    • Income + Employment
    • Health + Environment
    • Housing + Infrastructure
    • Education + Culture
    • Organisation + Participation
    • Interiority + Motivation


    First Round Impact

    (six entrepreneurs over four months)

    One new business was launched and another is opening a second location.

    One new business was launched and another is opening a second location


    Three jobs were created with another nine planned following two expansion plans.

    Four businesses created a brand strategy with assets made for them by our team.


    One applied for a R50k grant, and another was accepted to a college accelerator.


    Four developed detailed business models that will help them make strategic decisions.


    Six created record keeping systems, and two built financial plans.

    Stories of Hope

    Joshua Upholstery

    Joshua Upholstery


    New Leaf has given me what no amount of money could have replaced – they gave me knowledge that I can use for myself. They helped me create a plan to achieve the goals I already have.

    Joshua built a quote system, rebranded his business, and pivoted his pricing strategy to afford an expansion without a loan. He was also accepted to a college business accelerator to assist his growth model. His expansion will create six new jobs and is moving to be international within the year.

    Veg's Hair Salon

    Veg's Hair Salon


    New Leaf gave me the confidence to sell my vision, get investment, and to lead others well.

    Veliswa built a business plan, started tracking revenue, built a growth model, applied for a grant, created two new jobs, rebranded, and is in the process of expanding to a new location.  

    Queen's Nails

    Queen's Nails


    I want to be a light to my community and let my business be more than just a salon. I want it to be a place where people feel beautiful and loved.

    Phumeza built a budget and business plan for her start-up. She established a brand and a marketing strategy, is moving her business from her home to a storefront, and is working to create a youth training programme to teach girls how to do nails. 

    Alive in Christ Take-Aways

    Alive in Christ Take-Aways

    Lungiswa + Ntombonina

    I’m excited to continue learning more about business and how I can use it to give back to women and children in my community.

    Lungi and Nina launched their business after two weeks in the New Leaf programme. The created a mission, vision, and brand, created three new jobs, and built a budget to track cash flow. 


    We need $50,000 in 2018 to mentor and inspire the next group of entrepreneurs to thrive and become the first generation of role models in their community. 

    Anyone selected out for life has hope, and together we can give them the tools to ignite that hope and turn it into growth.

    Meet Our Team

    Cape Town Office

    Caleb Bélanger

    Executive Director & Co-Founder

    Caleb Bélanger worked with several Cincinnati based tech startups as a Creative Lead; specialising in video production, branding, marketing strategy, and web/graphic design. He also served in the U.S. Navy for eight years.

    Samuel Ares

    CEO & Co-Founder

    Samuel worked in R&D for The Procter and Gamble Company specialising in project management and material and process development. He co-founded a business providing financial education and services to middle class workers.


    Zehnda Wessels

    Regional Director - South Africa

    Zehnda has a 20+ year career in finance accounting and insurance. She organises our programs and works training our mentors to better serve entrepreneurs.


    U.S. Support team 

    David Belanger

    Senior Consultant 

    David has worked internationally for 26 years in computer programming, software implementation and technology consulting. He is currently focused on delivering PLM and PDM solutions for Deloitte.

    Alex Lefler

    Project Manager

    Alex has eight years of experience in project management, entrepreneurship, and app development. He and his wife Brea also work in international wedding photography.

    Andrew Lefler

    Project Developer

    Andrew is an extremely talented front/back-end and digital designer with eight years of experience in small business development. He currently works with Scenario Learning.

    Brea Lefler

    Board Member

    Brea comes from a background in the arts and photography. She also runs Wayfarers Photography which she started 5 years ago with Alex.


    development Partners

    Poverty Stoplight | South Africa

    Poverty Stoplight is an approach that helps people progress out of poverty by empowering them to understand and map their own choices. It provides a clear line of sight of how to get there; at the same time allowing organisations delivering support to measure progress against their programme objectives.


    Westlake United Church Trust

    Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT) is a Non-Profit Organisation offering a multi-service facility within the southern suburbs of Cape Town. WUCT acts as a hub for a community of approximately 8000 people and addresses issues of extreme poverty, ill health, early childhood development, unemployment and social issues.


    PeopleBest provides a world-class platform of simple software services that define, analyze, compare and measure success inside people, teams and company to increase the success of your people.

  is passionate about doing charity differently. They are optimizing giving in South Africa through an innovative business model that will provide sustainable funding for great causes. Their dream is to change the lives of many South Africans for the better.


    Ikapa Live

    Ikapa Live hosts a community event called the Ikasi Experience aimed at empowering the community by creating a platform for local business to grow and engage with potential consumers. It also encourages an inter-cultural environment, extending urban boundaries and interactively enhancing township perception on economic activity.