File picture: Philimon Bulawayo

JOHANNESBURG - The Craft and Design Institute (CDI) has created a fund geared at supporting South African SME’s.

The institute has raised R33 million in order to establish three separate funds which will support SME growth. 

The three funds, Growth Fund, a Design Innovation Seed Fund and a Loan Book, will be managed by the CDI's investment division, CDI Capital. The aim of the funds is to create 60 growth-orientated SME’s as well as 20 innovation technological solutions, which in turn will create 600 permanent jobs over the course of the three year project

In addition to the grant funds, CDI Capital will launch a R3.5 million working capital and term loan facility at a reduced rate for the course of the three year project. This will allow qualifying SME's access to cash flow during their individual growth stages. The various funds will specifically target challenges SMEs face in regards to market access, infrastructure, finance and credit, as well as access to adequately skilled labour.

The grant funds are set up as follows:

The Growth Fund

The Growth Fund is targeted at business with a turnover of assets of more than R1 million, with the ability to create permanent jobs. Applications for this fund open on 27 November and close on the 31st of December 2017.

Criteria for the Growth Fund

Controlling interest in the business (51%) must be a South African citizen with valid South African Identity Document or legal entities controlled by South African citizens with valid South African Identity Documents or permanent residents who hold a valid RSA ID document.

All business operations must be conducted within the borders of South Africa.

Must be an existing business, preference will be given to businesses that have been trading for two years or more. The business should operate in the craft, design and light manufacturing sectors, but other industries will also be considered.

The business will need a turnover or assets of more than R1 million and a willingness to create permanent employment. It must demonstrate year-on-year growth and/or the potential for sufficient growth, while being tax compliant.

The applicants business will need to create one permanent employee job per grant investment of R21 000 and prepared to contribute an additional 20% of the grant amount in cash to be used in the business.

The Design Innovation Seed Fund

The Design Innovation Seed Fund is open to investors who have protectable innovative technological solutions that can impact specific sectors and create permanent employment. Applications for this fund open on the 27th of November and close on the 31st of December 2017. 

This fund is available to individuals and SME’s with pre-revenue innovative technology and tech-enabled ideas and products within specific sectors to apply.

Criteria for the Design Innovation Seed Fund

Western Cape based early-stage SME’s/entrepreneurs/researchers.

Students at Western Cape tertiary institutions where the institution doesn’t have an Intellectual Property claim to the product/service. Please consult institution’s Intellectual Property policy.

Pre-revenue businesses in incubation or entering incubation or existing SMEs with new products/innovation that is still pre-revenue.

Sector focus 2018/2019:

  • Agriprocessing
  • Biotechnology
  • Health
  • Manufacturing
  • Water Conservation
  • Alternative Building Materials
  • Wild Card* (*projects outside these sectors can be considered).