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Last chance to fast-track your small business

Is your company an SME in the clothing and textile, automotive or chemical industry? Then you are invited to enter the 2021 Business Accelerator Programme and stand the chance to not only win seed capital for your business but also get a foot in the door to supply large lead enterprises like Mr Price, Woolworths, Pepclo, Pep Speciality, TFG, NCS Resins, Ferro Dispersions, Ferro Coating Resins, H & R, SAPREF, Hesto Harnesses, Goodyear and Lumotech.

Furthermore, Megan Wuite, Head of the 2021 Business Accelerator Programme says that selected finalists will also be given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a 3-month hands-on mentorship programme with some of South Africa’s top business leaders from the programme’s lead funding firms. “The objective for the Accelerator is to develop high-potential SMEs as strategic suppliers to industrial-lead enterprises by providing market access, mentoring and capital investment interventions. There really is no other Business Accelerator in South Africa that offers this type of support.”

She adds that the Business Accelerator Programme has been running for 3 years in the Durban Chemicals Cluster and the KZN and Cape Clothing and Textile Clusters, and its proven methodology has a track record of positive results across South Africa. Megan says, “So far the Programme has unlocked over 250 jobs and R3 million in new market opportunities in the clothing and textile sectors, and over R2 million in preferential loans in the chemical sector. Based on this success, the automotive sector has come on board for the first time this year.”

The good news is that there is no cost to enter or attend the Business Accelerator Programme. Interested participants simply need to submit their business case and/or innovative projects by completing an online application. The clothing and textile sector is open to all black-owned start-ups and established SMEs in Kwa-Zulu Natal, as well as ownership from any demographic in the Western Cape.  The chemical sector is open to all BEE candidates in Kwa-Zulu Natal (or other provinces if willing to travel) and the automotive sector is open to all Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal-based businesses.

Megan says that once all entries have been received, candidates will be selected to participate in an online workshop, as well as two one-day, face-to-face events at The Capital Pearls in Umhlanga and The Capital 15 on Orange in Cape Town.  “The full-day, highly-interactive pitch support, face-to-face session is an extraordinary opportunity for the entrants to network and learn from leading business people, and also to fine-tune their business pitches which they will present to a panel of judges at the second full-day event that is modelled on the “Dragon’s Den” concept. From there the top performers will be awarded a business mentorship programme as well as the opportunity to partner with leading retailers and manufacturers as suppliers or recipients of preferential loan funding.”

The closing date for applications has been extended. Deadlines and online links below:

KZN Clothing and Textiles closing date: 5 November 2021

Apply here: https://kznctc.org.za/kznctc-business-accelerator

Western Cape Clothing and Textiles closing date: 16 November 2021

Apply here: https://capeclothingcluster.org.za/business-accelerator/

East Cape and KZN Automotive (or any province if willing to travel to Durban events): closing date: 22 November 2021

https://ecaif.co.za/business-accelerator/  (Eastern Cape applicants)

https://dbnautocluster.org.za/business-accelerator/ (KwaZulu-Natal applicants)

KZN Chemicals (or any province if willing to travel to Durban events):

Apply here:

https://durbanchemicalscluster.org.za/business-accelerator-2/    (KwaZulu-Natal applicants)

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