FABCOS was founded in 1988 by visionary business leaders including James Ngcoya (President of the SA Black Taxi Association at the time); Dr Ellen Kuzwayo; Joas Mogale; Andrew Lukhele; Jabu Mabuza (Former CEO of Tsogo Sun and the current President of Business Unity SA); Sam Tuntubele; Zithulele ("KK") Combi; Knox Tsotsobe and Sam Buthelezi.
They understood that with political liberation imminent, black business people from the informal sector would require organization and proper representation to ensure that the political transformation for them would result in tangible economic improvements.
The founding vision of FABCOS at the time was therefore to ensure that informal black business becomes part of the mainstream of the South African economy. Its strategic focus then centred on the circulation of the Township Black Rand; meaning that money spent by black consumers should circulate and multiply first in the areas populated by black people, before finding its way back to the essentially white-owned economy. By definition therefore, the FABCOS geographical sphere of operation was the township and rural areas.
It was apparent that many products and services reached this substantial consumer market at artificially higher prices; that there were thousands of entrepreneurial opportunities for black business people in the townships which are vital to enable previously disadvantaged communities to improve their skills-base and living standards in order to achieve long-term sustainable economic growth.
FABCOS prides itself as one of the few organizations that have truly strived for the empowerment for its members.