About us

The Business for Empowerment Foundation was established in 2008 as a B4i Empowerment Group initiative, with the aim to encourage businesses to stand up for vulnerable people in our society.

The foundation started out as a trust and later grew and established itself as a preferred BEE Socio-Economic Development (SED) foundation to BEE qualifying beneficiaries. The foundation’s mission is to instil confidence in companies by giving them peace of mind that their funding actually reaches the people it was intended for.

Beneficiaries are carefully selected and supported with directors Yolandi Venter, Octavia Ephraim & Louis McLaren who jointly take responsibility to ensure that the foundation lives up to its purpose of making a proper difference in the journey of transformation.

B4EF team

Octavia Ephraim


Octavia is the founder and CEO of the OCTAPEAR Group, a Gauteng-based image consulting firm that specialises in executive and entrepreneur image management, personal development coaching. She is a sought-after speaker on fashion, beauty and modesty. Clients across many sectors have contracted her to polish their upper management members, sales teams and client-facing professionals. Octavia has always cherished the idea of empowering men and women to become the best in all areas of life and has a passion for transformation and assisting the less fortunate. She joined the Business for Empowerment Foundation to allow her to effect change at ground level.

Yolandi Venter


Yolandi is an executive member of the B4i Empowerment Group and Managing Director of B-BBEE Specialist company BEE2Business. She is registered as a B-BBEE Professional with the Association of B-BBEE Professionals. Apart from her B-BBEE and law experience she has a heart devoted to the upliftment of the most vulnerable and sits on the board of numerous Non-Profit Companies, where she is responsible for Corporate Governance and Fund Distribution. She has 10 years’ experience in the fight against human trafficking and has developed the R3egain Programme as part of her passion for the restoration of young women. Her vision is to expand the Foundation to not only have a national, but an international footprint.

Louis McLaren


Louis is the CEO of the B4i Empowerment Group has been a B-BBEE advisor and strategist for 15 years. He obtained his master’s degree on “Strategic foresight and the development of black entrepreneurs in South Africa” from Regent University (Virginia, USA) in 2016. His thesis, that formed the basis for developing the B4i Empowerment Model, received a top academic award from the University and he was subsequently inducted into the “Who’s Who of students in the USA” in 2017. Louis founded the Foundation (initially registered as a Trust) in 2008 and with his vision and passion for upliftment has enable the Foundation to distribute millions to disadvantaged communities, women and children.
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