CDI Growth Fund opens for new round of applications

 

CDI Growth Fund opens for new round of applications

Image result for small businesses

A new application round has opened for the R12.8million CDI Growth Fund to boost SME growth and job creation.

The CDI Growth Fund is a grant fund specifically for growing South African small businesses who need a cash injection to scale up further and create jobs. Since its launch in 2017, it has already contracted with 38 SMEs, who have collectively created over 160 jobs.

The CDI Growth Fund is managed by CDI Capital, which was incorporated as a subsidiary of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) in 2016 to catalyse funding for SMEs. The funding has been enabled through contributions by the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT).

The Fund is in the second year of a five-year disbursement period.

One of the current Fund recipients is Pesto Princess, a Cape Town-based SME that produces locally-made pesto sauces, pastes and soups using only natural ingredients and an environmental consciousness.
CEO Lesley Grimbeek says that the grant funding they received has had a tremendous impact on their growing business.

“We have seen really rapid growth in the past four years, and in the next two years we are determined to have a facility four times the size of what we currently have, creating between 250 and 300 jobs and bringing our amazing product right across South Africa. It’s been a pleasure working with the CDI’s Growth Fund, and it has been very exciting to see the impact it has made in such a short time. We have been able to purchase equipment that we could not have afforded otherwise, and through this we have been able to create more jobs. To date, we have created ten new jobs in the factory, and we have the intention of at least another 12 to 13 new positions by the end of the year,” said Grimbeek.

The CDI Growth Fund is open to South African-owned businesses who operate within South Africa, who are at least one year old with turnover or assets above R1m.

Each applicant must demonstrate their year on year growth and/or the potential for sufficient growth and must be tax compliant. Applicants also need to match 20% of the grant contribution of the Fund through a cash contribution to achieve agreed objectives. Importantly, the business must be able to create new jobs.

SMEs that meet the criteria for funding, can apply online, and are taken through a diligent process of selection and support, whereby successful applicants contract for a three-year intervention and disbursement plan, performance managed by quarterly reporting, oversight and inspection, bespoke mentorship, and business development support.

According to Ryan Rode, project coordinator for CDI Capital, the Fund is ahead of its key deliverable, namely, the creation of permanent jobs through participating SMEs.

“The CDI Growth Fund is very specific in its focus – we are looking for SMEs who are about to employ new staff to meet growing demand and who need the capital to expand their operations. The funding is a grant and it is not paid back to the Fund; and can help to leverage additional funding and de-risk loans. It’s a fantastic opportunity for a growing South African business that is needing to employ new staff.”

The deadline for applications is 12 July 2019.
For more information and to apply, visit www.cdicapital.co.za/GrowthFund

On Ethics and Activism: South Africa’s Nene Moment

On Ethics and Activism: South Africa’s Nene Moment

Revelations by former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene on his meetings with the controversial Gupta family sparked outrage among South Africans and was met with calls for his axing. In his testimony to the Zondo Commission on State Capture, the former Minister was faced with the stark outcome of his ethical decisions. His resignation and replacement as finance minister by former South African Reserve Banko Governor, Tito Mboweni was unavoidable for a country grappling with rebuilding its reputation.

For managing director of Reputation Matters Regine le Roux, the question of ethics in leadership in any organisation boils down to the practice of instilling ethical behaviour into the DNA of an organisation. “The leadership of an organisation (or country) sets the example of how things need to be done.  When measuring corporate reputations among South Africa’s private and public organisations, we look at ten core building blocks; corporate management is one of the first elements interrogated when it comes to assessing an organisation’s reputation.”

“To rebuild the reputation of our country we need to laude President Ramaphosa for taking quick action in this matter; continuing to fight against corruption needs to remain top of his priority list as he indicated during his state of the nation address, walking his talk on this issue is crucial,” adds le Roux

The other key element that played a crucial part in this saga is strategic alliances; your reputation is impacted by the company you keep. Even though there is no evidence of any wrongdoing from the meetings conducted at the compound between Nene and the Guptas, but purely by association and lessons that we have learnt from other similar meetings, the worst case scenario is automatically assumed.

Why are reputations so important to treasure? “As a leader your organisation and in this case, country’s positive reputation has a direct impact on the bottom line and a country’s foreign investment opportunities.”

Taking a look purely at a corporate level, if your business has a positive reputation, people will want to work for you and buy your service or product. You will attract top talent, which in turn will impact the level of service or products that people will be willing to pay a premium for, so that they can be associated with your brand.

At Ethics Monitor, Managing Director Cynthia Schoeman believes we all have a built-in radar of right and wrong and has coined the term “Ethics Activism” when referring to the role organisations should play in managing ethics within a company.

Schoeman adds, “Ethics are non-negotiable. It warrants that ethics is included as an important goal that is actively managed, supported and recognised. Expecting on-going ethical conduct without such meaningful engagement with employees is frankly wishful thinking. Given the range of challenges and improper personal agendas that can arise, regular engagement is necessary to ensure employees’ understanding and to maintain their commitment to ethical practices.”

le Roux maintains that an organisation needs to be ruthless about looking after their reputation especially because of the impact it has on the health and bottom line of an organisation (or country). “Simply put, leaders set the example and values need to be non-negotiable”.