Our Timeline

1994
New beginnings and on 5 December, Free To Grow (FTG) gains legal status as a registered CC. FTG’s initial focus is on self development for farmworkers in the Western Cape.
1995

FTG pilots it’s Lifeskills programme for the Department of Correctional Services at Pollsmore Prison subsequently implemented in prisons country wide.

1996

FTG becomes a Pty Ltd. FTG Lifeskills starts bearing fruit in organisations such as Sanlam, PEP, De Beers, Metropolitan Health and Nasionale Pers. Founder and Executive Chairperson, Alinda Nortje is announced runner up in the Western Cape Woman Entrepreneur  of the Year Award.

 

FTG NAMIBIA IS BORN

1997

More organisations e.g. PwC and TFG implement FTG Lifeskills. FTG announced regional winner in the Western Cape Old Mutual Business of the Year Award in recognition of it’s outstanding service delivery and community involvement.

1998

FTG Contributes by partnering with MES, a NPO, to “Change the Heart of the City”. To date 3 806 unemployed youth have attended FTG’s programme.

1999

Alinda is announced as winner of the prestigious IPM People Driven Growth Award for FTG’s sustained commitment to and investment in human potential.

2000

At the turn of the century FTG demonstrates its passion for quality by obtaining ISO 9001 certification.

2001

AVIS appoints FTG to present FTG Lifeskills countrywide. To take personal mastery to the top of the organisation, FTG develops Personal Effectiveness Progremme (PEP). In response to client requests to help employees manage their personal finances, FTG develops Money Sense. The programme quickly becomes a runaway success.

2002

FTG partners with Tsukudu Associates to deliver a comprehensive change management intervention for the National Ports Authority (NPA). Spanning all ports of SA, FTG presents 158 workshops for 1930 employees over 3 months. StressWise is designed and delivered to Sanlam.

FREE TO GROW LAUNCHES IN KENYA

2003

Positive Living, an inside-out HIV/AIDS awareness programme, is developed to meet the needs of several clients and subsequently implimented on a large scale by Fasset, AVIS, Barloworld Motors, Stopak & Merseta members.

2004

Kenya Tea Development Association (KTDA) rolls out Assertiveness@Work to Tea Extension Associates from 58 factories throughout Kenya. Three new programmes are developed: Helping People Grow (Coaching), Free To Care (Customer Care) and TeamQ (Team Building).

 

FTG REPRESENTATION IN BOTSWANA

2005

FTG is free to BEE – a landmark deal that increases its black shareholding to 25.1% is concluded. New Growth is created to assist employees through retrenchment and is immediately utilised by De Beers.

2006

Reaching New Heights is created as first attempt to link employee growth to employee contribution – replaced by WorkQ® in 2011. Customise Free To Care to help 1300 UIF employees to make Ubuntu a reality in their service. Awarded the FASSET tender to deliver 52 Personal Mastery workshops in 31 locations around SA.

2007

Helping People Grow selected by TFG to develop coaching competencies of management. Thrive! developed to equip coachees.

2008

FTG builds capacity of management teams of 50 Department of Health hospitals across South Africa though TeamQ & StressWise. SOAR! and 4C Leadership are launched, adding a second suite, Leadership Development to FTG’s offering.

2009

New Growth assists UN Burundi staff to adapt to drastic downsizing. FTG helps create a service-orientated culture in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

2010

Executive Chairperson, Alinda Nortje selected as a finalist for Top Woman Entrepreneur of 2010. FTG add Employee Engagement to their offering.

 

FTG REPRESENTED IN ZAMBIA

2011

FTG implements first project in Asia: TeamQ, Leading Change and Changing Course for UNICEF Vietnam to assist staff to adapt to significant structural changes.

2012

The Mount Nelson and Oude Werf Hotels are first to impliment the new WorkQ® Hospitality. WorkQ® Graduates and WorkQ® Diversity follow.

 

FREE TO GROW IN GHANA AND NIGERIA 

2013

Large scale employee engagement and culture change programmes for MultiChoice Africa in nine African countries. First presentation in Middle East, WorkQ® for UNICEF Iran.

2014

Three of SABMiller’s breweries in Africa use FTG programmes countrywide to enhance engagement & performance. MultiChoice Africa explands its FTG roll out to their franchises in six African countries.

2015

FTG establishes itself as a leader in the field of Employee Engagement with a number of clients in SA and Africa embarking on large scale / organisation wide interventions. In Africa: Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Nile Breweries, TFG Africa and Distell Africa. In SA: CCBSA, African Rainbow Minerals Assmang, APL Cartons, Deli Spices and Rotolabel.

2016

In Africa, Nile Breweries embark on an engagement journey and Kantar Consumer Insights implement Leading Change and we develop a 4-hour Fit 4 Change workshop for their staff.  In SA, we develop an 8-month blended learning journey – Ignite! for Haw & Inglis’ young Millennial leaders and Premier rolls out WorkQ® and LeadQ®.

2017

Vector Logistics and Imperial Fast ‘n Fresh choose FTG as their Employee Engagement partner. Free To Grow becomes a Black Owned Business with a 51.32% black shareholding.

 

FREE TO GROW REPRESENTATION IN MALAWI

2018

We continue our journey with the leaders of Vector. The impact of the whole intervention is so positive that the scope expands to Vector Finance and RCL Foods Chicken Processing and Consumer Groceries. Ster-Kinekor, South Africa’s biggest movie exhibitor, awards Free To Grow the tender to present customised Customer Service training to 1 300 employees across the country.

 

FREE TO GROW REPRESENTATION IN TANZANIA

 

 

2019
Free To Grow celebrates 25 phenomenal years

Fast ‘n Fresh extended their leadership development journey with the rollout of Score!, Free To Grow’s blended development programme for supervisors. We develop and present Basadi Bereka, an accelerated development programme for women on the first steps of the leadership level to address this need at RCL Chicken.  Afri-Consult joins the FTG Interntional team as Ghanian Country Representatives and we present SHAPE public workshops in Botswana and Ghana.

 

2020

FTG responds to COVID-19 by developing Staying Strong, an innovative resilience programme and toolkit for frontline workers implemented by Premier, Illovo, Sea Harvest, CIPLA, Vector Logistics, RCL Foods, Siqualo Foods, Mediclinic Newcastle and Mangosuthu University. The development of LeadConnect, a cutting-edge virtual learning journey and the high impact Staying Strong offers clients shorter, punchy virtual sessions as an alternative to face to face delivery.

2021

In response to the dire need to support the emotional wellbeing of client’s employees, we expand the Staying Strong  DIY Toolkit comprising videos, leaders conversation guides and interactive workbooks. To date, over 3 000 employees across industries in organisations such as Woolworths,  Media24, Argility, TFG, UFS, Distell and Mozal Aluminium in Mozambique have benefitted from the programme and toolkit. The success of Basadi Bereka leads to the birth of EmpowHER, a generic version of this programme. McCain Foods becomes the second organisation to implement this programme.