There are certain misconceptions around funding available from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as well as the other non-traditional or developmental finance institutions (DFIs).
Firstly, it’s important to know that funding is available but may take upward of 12 months to obtain. Success in accessing these funds revolves around which institution and specific fund you approach, how and when you apply and whether your business, and the activities you wish to fund, fits within the funders’ mandates.
Furthermore 99% of grant funds require that:
- Applicants apply before investing and/or
- Applicants are rebated their investment and funds are not disbursed before the investment or expenditure and/or
- Applicants prove they have access to matched funding.
Resource: DTI Funding
Start-Up Funds (less than 1 year of track record)
Funding for start-ups usually requires the business owner or team to have experience in the field, have a secured market and may require corporate or institutional partners.
The below funds are applicable to start-up businesses:
- Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme: For new, upgrading or expansion projects in primary, secondary or ancillary aquaculture activities in both marine and freshwater
- Black Industrialist Scheme: For the expansion of existing industrial businesses having majority black** shareholding and management control, including the purchasing of these shares
- Business Process Services: For the establishment and expansion of offshore companies’ call centres in South Africa
- *Co-operative Incentive Scheme: For tools, machinery and equipment, as well as business development services
- Incubation Support Program: Funding of business incubators supported by corporates or a “big brother”
- *Isivande Women’s Fund: Debt financing for majority women owned businesses
- *Support Program for Industrial Innovation: Financial assistance for projects that develop innovative technology products and/or processes in South African industry. It is focused specifically on the phase that begins at the conclusion of basic research (at the stage of proof of concept)
- Technology and Human Resources for Industry Program: To provide funding for skills development in industry. Applicants must be partnered with a SA Research Institution.
- The South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive: South African black owned qualifying productions with a total production budget of R1 million and above.
Existing & Established Businesses
Typically, existing and established businesses have at least 1 to 2 years of track record (including up to date financials and tax clearance certificates) and the eligibility varies between the funds.
The below funds are applicable to existing and established businesses:
- Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Program
- Automotive Investment Scheme: For expansion of manufacturing in the automotive sector; including vehicles and parts to be supplied to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
- Black Industrialist Scheme
- *Black Business Supplier Development Program: For 51% black owned businesses for tools, equipment and machinery, as well as business support
- Business Process Services
- Capital Projects Feasibility Program: For funding the feasibility of large capital projects internationally
- Critical Infrastructure Program: For the establishment of critical infrastructure in an economic area e.g. roads, power supply etc.
- *Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Improvement Program: For investments made by an operational textile business
- *Co-operative Incentive Scheme
- Export Marketing and Investment Assistance: For the exhibition of goods produced in SA at trade shows internationally
- Foreign-Film and Television Production & Post-Production Incentive: For foreign film-makers
- SA Film and TV Production and Co-Production: For the production of South African films and TV shows
- Incubation Support Program
- *Isivande Women’s Fund
- Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Program: Funding for expansion including tools, machinery, equipment, resource efficiency and product development for manufacturers
- *Support Program for Industrial Innovation
- *Technology and Human Resources for Industry Program
- The South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive
Related: 4 Funding Sources
* Funded by the DTI, but managed by other institutions.
** The BBBEE Codes of Good Practice definition of “black”: A South African citizen that is African, Coloured, Indian or Chinese prior to 1994.