May has been an exciting month for both entrepreneurs, with a number of exciting opportunities being announced, and enterprise and supplier development practitioners, with a number of new entrepreneurship development programmes being launched. It is common cause that ESD practitioners put months, if not years, into developing programmes that will enable entrepreneurs whilst aligning to the business strategy of the business behind the programme.
Entrepreneurs will do well to hurry and prioritise because a number of programmes will be closing this coming week. There are less than 12 hours left for entrepreneurs to apply to the exciting E-nnovate programme, which offers selected entrepreneurs the opportunity to travel to Seattle in July 2016. Entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and possibly secure investors. The deadline is 22 May at 23:59.
Entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to participate in the SMME roadshow which will bring development opportunities and focused guidance to entrepreneurs and SMMEs in the cities of Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Those interested in participating in the Johannesburg roadshow must register by Monday, 23 May 2016 at midday (12:00). The SMME roadshow organisers have also made it possible to participate virtually.
The newly launched mLab App Fund will be investing up to R500 000 in each start-up that is selected by their investment committee. South African entrepreneurs or businesses registered in and operating within South Africa can apply on or before 1 June 2016. At least one more application round will be opened later this year.
An excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs focusing on resolving social problems that affect women, youth, low income groups, disabled people and people living in rural areas is provided by the SAB Social Innovation Awards. Here, entrepreneurs, inventors and socially innovative organisations can win up to R1.2 million to invest in commercialising their invention. The deadline is 31 May at Midday (12:00).
Entrepreneurs in the seed stage of their entrepreneurial journey have the chance to realise global success by participating in the Seedstarts World competition. Here entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their ideas in one of 3 pitching rounds to be held in Cape Town (27 May), Durban (8 June) and Soweto (14 June). Winners will participate in a national competition which leads to competing in a global competition. Last’s year’s global winner was South African Start-up Giraffe.
Innovative young entrepreneurs in KZN have an exciting opportunity to obtain funding and business development support from Inkunzi’isematholeni Youth and Business Competition. Entrepreneurs can apply until 31 July 2016.
The following opportunities, mentioned in last month’s blog and newsletter, will also be closing soon: The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will be closing on 06 June 2016 and Start-up Tel Aviv will be closing on 3 June 2016.
Now you would think that would be all, but there’s more. Telkom has recently launched and is taking applications for its Telkom Propella FutureMakers Hub. Sasol has launched a manufacturing focused Sasol Business Incubator in Sasolburg, they are taking application from seed, start-up and growth stage businesses. Entrepreneurs in the Bio-Manufacturing sector can apply to the CSIR Bio-Manufacturing Industry Development Centre to get support with taking their processes and products to market. Additionally, the City of Johannesburg has partnered with Standard Bank to set-up the CoJ Working Capital Fund for SMMEs that have won contracts with the City of Johannesburg or any of its agencies.
Recently announced, the IDC Rescue Package valued at R20.7 billion will provide much needed relief for businesses that have been affected by the drought and a weaker global economy.
Opportunities abound, take advantage!
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Our aim is to partner with you in maximising your success through the programmes available to support your business.