Top 10 Business Grants Every Entrepreneur In SA Should Know About

A business grant is an award of funds that does not need to be repaid, does not accrue interest, and has strict guidelines for application. Grants available  usually tie in with its key deliverables such as Black Economic Empowerment, job creation and sustainability. The  civil society, corporate and  government  sector is well aware of the importance of developing the economy, creating employment and stimulating youth participation in entrepreneurship. To make these goals a reality, there are grants and assistance programmes available from that can get your business off the ground. Check out the list below

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1. National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)

For youth entrepreneurs seeking grants, grants are available for (and not limited to) motor mechanics and panel beaters, electricians, plumbers, domestic appliance repairs and services, hair dressers, cleaning companies, beauticians, small-scale recycling businesses, car washes and street vendors to name just some. Grants can be issues through the following channels: Individual grants issues to formal and informal businesses that in the start-up phase of their business or in the development stage. Grants issues to co-operatives, meaning an autonomous association of people united to meet common economic and social goals through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Another avenue is community development and facilitation projects.



2. Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)

Seda provides business development and support services for small enterprises through its national network in partnership with other role players in the small enterprise support. Seda also implements programmes targeted to business development in areas prioritised by the Government.


3. Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

The IDC exists to enhance the industrial capability of South Africa, and the rest of the continent, boosting economic growth and industrial development. We do this by funding entrepreneurs starting new enterprises or supporting companies that want to extend existing operations. Our investment principles are based on broad-based and expansionary black economic empowerment. But there are a number of other requirements that must also be met before funding can be unlocked.


4. The Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS)

A cost-sharing grant offered on an 80:20 principle and a maximum of R1,5 million is awarded to qualifying businesses. The scheme comprises two sub-programmes, namely Generic Funding and Project Funding for Emerging Exporters (PFEE). The aim of the SSAS is aligned to the dti overall objectives in several respect, as indicated below.


5. The Manufacturing Competitive Enhancement Programme (MCEP)

The MCEP provides enhanced manufacturing support to encourage facility upgrades to sustain employment and improve productivity. It comprises two sub-programmes: the Production Incentive (PI) and the Industrial Financing Loan Facilities which will be managed by the dti and the Industrial Development Corporation respectively.

6. Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP)

The CIP is aimed at improving the infrastructure of South Africa. The grant covers a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 30% of total development costs of qualifying infrastructure. The Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) is a cost sharing grant for projects designed to improve critical infrastructure in South Africa. The grant covers qualifying development costs from a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 30% towards the total development costs of qualifying infrastructure. It is made available to approved eligible enterprise upon the completion of the infrastructure project concerned. Its main objectives are to support competitiveness by lowering business costs and risks, provide targeted financial support for physical infrastructure and stimulate upstream and downstream linkages.

7. Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP)

The BBSDP is a cost-sharing grant offered to black-owned small enterprises to assist them to improve their competitiveness and sustainability to become part of the mainstream economy and create employment. The programme provides grants to a maximum of R1 million -R800 000 for tools, machinery and equipment on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis and R200 000 for business development and training interventions per eligible enterprise to improve their corporate governance, management, marketing, productivity and use of modern technology on a 80:20 cost-sharing basis. Objectives of the incentive scheme are fast-track existing small, medium and ,Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) that exhibit good potential for growth into the mainstream economy, to grow black-owned enterprises by fostering linkages between black SMMEs and corporate and public sector enterprises, to complement current affirmative procurement and outsourcing initiatives of corporate and public sector enterprises and to enhance the capacity of grant recipient enterprises to successfully compete for corporate and public sector tenders and outsourcing opportunities.


8. Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS)

The Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS) is an incentive designed to grow and develop the automotive sector through investment in new and/ or replacement models and components that will increase plant production volumes, sustain employment and/ or strengthen the automotive value chain. Objectives of incentive scheme are to strengthen and diversify the sector through investment in a new and/or replacement models and components. Increase plant production volumes and sustain employment and/or strengthen the automotive value chain.


9. Capital Projects Feasibility Programme (CPFP)

The CPFP is a cost-sharing grant that contributes to the cost of feasibility studies likely to lead to projects that will increase local exports and stimulate the market for South African capital goods and services. The primary objectives of the programme is to facilitate feasibility studies that are likely to lead to high-impact projects which will stimulate value-adding economic activities in South Africa as this will have greater impact on the country’s industrial policy objectives. The grant is capped at R8 million to a maximum of 50% of the total costs of the feasibility study for projects outside Africa and 55% of the total costs of the feasibility study for projects in Africa.


10. Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII)

The Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) is designed to promote technology development in South Africa’s industry, through the provision of financial assistance for the development of innovative products and/or processes. SPII is focussed specifically on the development phase, which begins at the conclusion of basic research and ends at the point when a pre-production prototype has been produced.



Mbali Radebe

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