Above: Namekhotha Trading (Pty) Ltd in Kuruman has created 30 jobs to date

The CDI Growth Fund received a further 318 applications during its mid-2019 call window and the Fund is due to complete contracts with the final set of small businesses who will benefit from the CDI’s current funding allocation to scale up and create jobs.

The Growth Fund is a grant fund specifically for growing South African small businesses who need a cash injection. The Growth Fund is managed by CDI Capital, which was incorporated as a CDI subsidiary in 2016 to catalyse funding for SMEs. The funding has been enabled through R19m in contributions by the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). It is for 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.

The businesses we have shortlisted in this year’s application window are in the final phase of the rigorous evaluation and selection process which concludes this month. Once contracted, the selected businesses will place the Growth Fund on the home stretch to reaching its target of 600 jobs for the project.

Since the Growth Fund was launched in 2018, we have reached 60% of our target of creating 600 jobs. As of the end of the second quarter this year, the Fund had contracted 359 jobs, and 99% of these are previously disadvantaged individuals. 59% of the jobs created are youth, and over 60% are in the salary brackets R4000 – R7 999 and R8 000+. The small businesses that have been accepted for the grant funding are based across South Africa; and the majority are design sector businesses with the addition of qualifying businesses in sectors such as travel, transport and tourism, and locally made artisanal food products.

The new employees taken on by the small businesses are also benefitting from training, with 290 having received training to date by their new employers.

According to Ryan Rode, project coordinator for CDI Capital, the Investment Committee is currently considering 21 shortlisted SMEs.

“We expect to contract the balance of our 600 jobs during this recruitment window. However, we would still encourage SMEs looking to create jobs and especially jobs for youth to add themselves to our Growth Fund mailing list on our website. The Fund will notify our mailing list of any and all future funding opportunities as and when they arise,” says Ryan.

“Given the difficult economic climate we have seen our SMEs implementing their growth strategies cautiously as they strive to increase their market demand. Having said that, we have seen some good growth among our SMEs in terms of profitability; and there is a deep and sincere commitment to job creation and skills upliftment with all SMEs offering their new employees various training courses or in-house training. We look forward to assisting these businesses to grow and create much needed employment opportunities over the next two years. It’s a daunting, but exciting challenge, not only for the Fund, but for South Africa as a whole.”

Here’s what some of the current grant funding recipients had to say:

The CDI Growth Fund has been great; this grant funding enabled the purchase of additional machineries as well as additional raw materials. Because of the added machineries, we then employed more machinists and general workers to increase our output production. It is now less tiring and less stress not only for myself but for my people as well. It also assists me to forecast and plan ahead of production. We were also able to open a small production and finishing line branch in Selosesha which has given me the opportunity to employed 40 permanent employees and nine casuals. From the time we officially opened the branch at Selosesha, there have been no days that the factory has been short of orders. Both our factories at Thabanchu and Selosesha are very busy and helping each other to deliver all orders on time. – Cherilyn Lucena, founder of Tehilaa Golden CC based in the Free State. Tehilaa has created 40 jobs to date

I’ve had the most amazing time with the CDI Growth Fund. From the moment our funding application got approved I was excited. Ryan took time to share with me the process and I was amazed at the efficiency of CDI Capital’s process. Ryan has been very helpful along the entire journey and the funds were all driven towards a key project; we’ve been able to achieve a lot especially with regards to equipment and vehicles which directly has impacted on our project performance at the local Adams Solar Plant. The 20% co-payment also pushed me to take ownership. Thank you! –  Khotso Sekhobo, Managing Director of Namekhotha Trading (Pty) Ltd in Kuruman. Namekhotha has created 30 jobs to date


Tehilaa Golden CC based in the Free State has created 40 jobs to date