South Africa’s top business leaders pitch in to help small businesses fast-track their potential
The Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather (CTFL) industry is key to growing South Africa’s manufacturing sector. According to the Industrial Development Corporation, it accounts for around 14% of manufacturing employment in SA, facilitating an estimated 60 000 to 80 000 jobs and a contribution of around 8% to the country’s GDP.
Are you a business owner in this vital sector, struggling to make your mark and get noticed? Sometimes, all you need to take your business to the next level is for someone to believe in you, as much as you believe in yourself. So, are you ready to level up? Are you able to prove your business’ potential, to show large enterprises why your innovative ideas deserve a chance? And is your CTFL business a small or medium* Black-owned business? If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re exactly who The 2021 Business Accelerator Programme is looking for, and you’re invited to put yourself in the running to win your share of R50 000 cash. But that’s not all!
Selected finalists will 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, and then stand a chance to unlock priceless procurement and preferential loan funding opportunities.
Megan Wuite, Head of The 2021 Business Accelerator Programme explains, “South Africa is bursting at the seams, overflowing with talented entrepreneurs with worthy business concepts – but they lack the expertise and resources they need to unlock their growth potential. That’s exactly why The Business Accelerator Programme came about – to develop high potential Black SMEs as strategic suppliers to industrial lead enterprises through market access, standards upgrading, and capital investment interventions. Local Large Lead Enterprise, Pepkor Holdings, is looking to identify new talent and exciting innovation, together with other industry leaders. Don’t miss the opportunity to present to this incredible panel of leaders!”
With its proven methodology and impressive track record of positive results in the KZN and Cape Clothing and Textile Clusters, The Business Accelerator Programme has certainly had an impact – it’s created over 250 jobs and R3 million in new market opportunities in the clothing and textile sectors alone. The KZN and Cape Clothing and Textiles Clusters has a proud and long-standing partnership with the eThekwini and Cape Town Municipalities respectively and the private CTFL manufacturing sector. The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) has also lent their support to the programme this year and is fully committed to seeing amazing results.
The programme is open to all Black-owned SMMEs in KZN and any SMME (not just Black-owned) in the Western Cape, with entrants being required to submit their business case and/or innovative projects via the online application form by the 22nd of October 2021. Once applications have closed, each Cluster (in partnership with sector leaders) will screen and select candidates to join them for an online workshop and two full-day, face-to-face events.
“The full-day, highly-interactive, pitch support face-to-face session is an incredible opportunity for entrants to network and learn from leading business people and fine-tune their business pitches to present to a panel of judges at the second full-day event (modelled on the ‘Dragon’s Den’ concept). The winners and other selected candidates will also be awarded the business mentorship programme,” says Megan.
“An idea or innovation takes so much more than money to turn it into a viable, growing business. It’s for this exact reason that we’ve harnessed experience, expertise and partnerships to create a winning accelerator platform that has earned its stripes in sky-rocketing small businesses to the next level,” Megan concludes. She cannot wait to see who will take top honours in 2021!
● KZN-based clothing and textile entrants can enter here: https://kznctc.org.za/kznctc-business-accelerator/
● Western Cape-based clothing and textile entrants can enter here: https://capeclothingcluster.org.za/business-accelerator/
Dates of Events:
● 4 November: Capacity Building Online Workshop
● 11 November: Clothing and Textile Cluster Pitch Workshop (Durban)
● 17 November: Clothing and Textile Cluster Dragon’s Den (Durban)
● 24 November: Clothing and Textile Cluster Pitch Workshop (Cape Town)
● 25 November: Clothing and Textile Cluster Dragon’s Den (Cape Town)
*small and medium businesses are defined as having up to 250 employees and less than R170 million annual turnover.