Startups looking for funding can now apply to the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) for a share of R6.5m. The fund is looking for pre-revenue and innovative technologies in the agri-processing, health and bio-tech, and manufacturing sectors, says VentureBurn.
The fund is open to Western Cape-based early-stage companies and SMEs, businesses in incubation, entrepreneurs and researchers. Students at tertiary institutions in the Western Cape may also apply as long as the institution does not already have intellectual property claims to the product or service.
Preference will be given to businesses with at least a 25% black ownership and job creation potential.
The chosen applicants will be able to apply for up to R500,000 in funding. Entrepreneurs must also be able to match 20% of the funding in cash or in-kind contributions.
DISF is a product of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). It receives investment and management funds from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
The first round of the project, which launched in 2014, targeted 12 startups in the Western Cape out of 151 applicants. The applicants were able to move onto the next stages in their businesses and have collectively created 18 new jobs and a turnover of R2.4m in the past six months.
“The Seed Fund has given these innovators and entrepreneurs a little bit of breathing space and an opportunity to flex their muscles — which is all they really needed to take their next steps,” says executive director of the CCDI, Erica Elk, in a press release to Ventureburn.
“More importantly though, we didn’t just give them the money. We walked beside them every step of the way over the two years, providing support, advice and access to additional expertise when they needed it.”
According to Elk, the DISF has allowed the CCDI to create other investments, such as the Jobs Fund project, which is investing R14.5m into 45 companies over three years. These businesses have created over 464 new jobs as well as doubling in size and turnover.
Another creation is CCDI Capital, which is an SMME investment vehicle, which will manage the second round of DISF funding and another Jobs Fund programme.
According to the Western Cape provincial minister of economic opportunities, Alan Winde, the initiative is supported due to the global potential of businesses going through DISF.
“We have an ecosystem taking shape here at the southern tip of Africa because of programmes like this, because of the environment we are in, and because of the mindset of young people coming into the system. I encourage every person with an innovative idea in the focus areas to apply. This is an excellent platform to take your idea or business to a new level.”
Applications close on 4 November. Those wishing to enter can visit the CCDI Capital website.
Ten local tourism entrepreneurs were able to market their products and services at the City of Cape Town’s stand during the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa, giving them the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world’s top travel and tourism industry buyers. The WTM Africa is a part of Africa Travel Week which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 13 – 17 April 2015.
The 10 entrepreneurs were chosen according to set criteria and were able to engage with international buyers and trade visitors at the City of Cape Town stand in the exhibition area. Among others, they had to be Cape Town-based, have been in operations for five years but not more than 10 years, and had to motivate why they believed their business should be showcased at the event.
‘The exposure for these local tourism businesses was invaluable. WTM Africa afforded them the opportunity to meet potential distributors and buyers, test market interest, evaluate the competition, identify strategic partners and position themselves globally. Our small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) gained access to registered buyers; these are potential customers who are key decision-makers in the travel industry,’ said the City’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
The local tourism enterprises selected to be represented at WTM Africa were:
- Nonkululeko Charters
- Daddy’s World (accommodation)
- 33 South Backpacker
- Khayelitsha Travel
- Stobers Shuttle and Tours
- Sesfikile Wines
- Kingdom Tours & Transfers
- Mzansi Restaurant
- Enchanted Guest House
- Bikes and Wine (tour guides)
‘Through Africa Travel Week, our local tourism SMMEs were able to establish relationships with tourism industry experts from across Africa and the world. The tourism industry is one of the most lucrative sectors, creating 37 500 full-time and 15 100 part-time jobs. We need to ensure that these jobs are sustained and facilitate the creation of further jobs in the sector by making these opportunities available to our entrepreneurs. By increasing international trade, SMMEs are able to become sustainable and effectively contribute to the local economy,’ said Councillor Limberg.
Africa Travel Week is the continent’s largest international travel industry event. The show attracts approximately 500 international tourism industry buyers, 4 500 trade visitors, 220 members of the media and 1 700 exhibiting personnel from across Africa and the world. This year’s event comprised of the 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations and three co-located World Travel Market shows, i.e. World Travel Market (WTM) Africa, the International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTMA), and the Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Africa (IBTMA) events.
Source: Responsible Cape Town
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