The Growth Fund is fully subscribed and will not be taking in any more applications at this time.

The CDI Growth Fund offers your growing small business access to grant funding, working capital and business support, to help you unlock your growth potential and create permanent jobs, as well as contributing towards the economic development and competitiveness of South Africa.

If you are a small business experiencing growth or are poised for expansion that includes creating permanent jobs, and you meet the Fund criteria, then you should consider applying to the Growth Fund.

The current round of the CDI Growth Fund, supported by the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, aims to support up to 60 businesses to create 600 new jobs by 31 March 2023.

In the first round of this project (2012 -2015), we exceeded targets, creating 464 jobs in 45 businesses with participating businesses growing their combined annual revenue by 73%.

How much Grant Funding can I apply for?

  • You can apply for R21 000 for every 1 permanent job created.
  • You can apply for an amount between R105 000 and R1 050 000, depending on how many jobs you commit to creating before 31 March 2023.
  • You are also required to match the grant funding amount with 20% of your own cash.

The table below gives you an idea, of how many jobs are required for a given amount of grant funding.

What are the other non-financial components given to successful applicants?

You will get additional non-financial support including:

  1. Business development training
  2. Coaching and mentoring
  3. Prototyping/sampling facilities and expertise
  4. Market platforms to test market-ready products.

What are the Criteria and Requirements for applying?

To be eligible to apply your business must:

  1. Be a South African-owned business, with the controlling interest of the enterprise (51% of the issued ordinary share capital) being held by South African citizens with a valid South African ID OR a South African Registered legal entity itself controlled by South African citizens with a valid South African ID.
  2. Operate within South Africa, including but not limited to projects, programmes, or enterprises of the business.
  3. Be an existing business, at least 1 year old (preference will be given to businesses that have been trading for 2 years or more) with turnover or assets above R600 000.
  4. Match 20% of the contribution of the Fund through a cash contribution.
  5. Must create one job for every R21,000 grant investment, with a minimum of 5 jobs.
  6. Be tax compliant and supply a valid Tax Compliance Status (TCS).

Additionally, you must:

  1. Not be insolvent or currently under debt administration.
  2. Be willing to provide signed audited or independently reviewed or compiled financial statements and all supporting documents required.
  3. Commit to training new employees.
  4. Commit to providing reports/information to the CDI Growth Fund for the duration of the project.

Once your application is successful, you will sign a contract with the CDI and report on progress and impact to the Fund administrators on a quarterly basis during and for a two-year period after the project completion.

In addition:

  • Only fully completed applications will be considered.
  • The CDI funding decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • No staff member or associate of the CDI, Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) or Department of Economic Development and Tourism may apply.

For queries please contact: Ryan Rode –

What are we looking for when considering your application?

In addition to the required minimum criteria above, we look for the following:

  1. A commitment to creating new jobs and training new permanent employees.
  2. Proven business track records and results.
  3. Sales growth or market potential with year-on-year growth and/or the potential for sufficient growth to support job creation.
  4. Competitive advantage.
  5. Strong Management Team capabilities to drive the process.
  6. A willingness of the Management Team to engage with the project processes and commitment to reporting.
  7. Preference will be given to businesses that have been trading for 2 years or more that can show evidence of the above.

The application process will guide you in how to provide suitable evidence to substantiate the above.

How is the grant paid to the business?

If your application is successful, the CDI team will help you develop an intervention plan that fits with your growth strategy, that is manageable and won’t put extra pressure on your business. The intervention plan will have delivery milestones that need to be reached to unlock the approved grant funding.

Your approved grant will be disbursed against these milestones of your mutually agreed intervention plan that you set, over a period of up to 2 years – depending on the timeframe of your intervention plan.

What can the grant funding be used for?

It can be used for the following:

  • Advertising, Marketing & Communication
  • Building & other Fixed Structures
  • Equipment & Machinery
  • Materials
  • Market Research & Testing
  • Professional Services
  • Software & other Intangible Assets
  • Samples
  • Training
  • Transport
  • Salaries for Key Personnel, for a specific period, to leverage growth opportunities
  • Production Process Efficiency

It is important to note that the Fund intends to assist you to buy the resources you need to unlock the opportunities you have. The Fund’s aim is not to fund operating costs; this should be covered by your sales/revenue. You may include an allocation in your intervention plan towards salaries or materials, but we expect that not to exceed 25% of the total grant amount requested. Any human resource costs that you include should be directly related to your business being able to unlock the opportunity; you will need to demonstrate that not having that resource due to financial constraints will be a barrier to your implementation of your growth strategy and therefore the new job creation.

What can the funding not be used for?

You may not apply for grant funding for the following:

  1. The purchasing of equipment that is not necessary for the implementation of your growth strategy within the scope of work pertaining to the allowable activities and objective of your funding application.
  2. Standard month-by-month business operational expenses.
  3. Leveraged buy-out funds, hedging, borrowings.
  4. Loans to partners, the fund managers, their employees and affiliates, and members of Financial Sector Charter.

What type of business activities will not be considered?

The following business activities will not be considered by the CDI Capital Growth Fund:

  1. Any business involved in illegal trade
  2. Any political organisation
  3. Armaments businesses
  4. Speculative real estate businesses
  5. Ventures inconsistent with the mandate of CDI Capital, or any business whose trade or operations may prejudice the reputation and good standing of CDI Capital
  6. Businesses/ business owners under debt review
  7. Any business having directors (or equivalent) who are un-rehabilitated insolvent individuals
  8. Technically insolvent businesses and individuals

Who are we and why do we do this?

CDI Capital is a niche emerging impact funder, and a for-profit Level 1 B-BBEE subsidiary of the Craft + Design Institute (CDI) NPC.

The Craft + Design Institute (CDI) is a South African non-profit company with 20 years of success in developing creative people and small businesses.

The CDI has over 6 333 members to whom it provides a wide range of business, market and product development support services, amongst which are our stand-out marketing platform PEEK and online learning platform LEARN.

As an impact funder, CDI Capital is committed to creating positive social and economic impact in the SME sector and the South African economy.

Our current CDI Growth Fund goal is to support up to 60 businesses to create 600 new jobs by 31 March 2023.

How do I apply?

Applications can only be made online, on this web page.

What happens then?

On receipt of your application, the CDI Capital team will first check that your application meets the minimum criteria to be eligible for consideration.

Applications meeting the criteria are required to complete a formal application form and complete an intervention plan. Viable applications are then shortlisted by a Growth Fund Steering Committee. This shortlist is then reviewed by an independent Investment Committee who will invite the management team to present your business and growth strategy. If the Investment Committee approves your application, we will then begin the contracting process.

A formal due diligence will be done on applications requesting more than R800,000 in grant funding.

If you are interested in applying, please follow our five-step process:

Step 1: eligibility – please supply the info requested below, if successful we will send you the link for step 2.

Step 2: please complete a formal application form, if successful we will send you the link for step 3.

Step 3: please complete the intervention plan, if successful we will send you the link for step 4.

Step 4: if shortlisted you will be invited to a one-on-one meeting with the Growth Fund Investment Committee to discuss your application and possibly a due diligence, if successful you will receive a contract.

Step 5: contracting.

“The funding has allowed our business to not just survive but grow through the pandemic. Our turnover has increased 35% since last year, despite the harsh lockdowns. This enabled us to increase wages in October and create five new jobs in 2020. We are looking forward now to 2021 which has started very positively. We anticipate further growth in revenue and expect to create 3-5 additional jobs this year. We cannot thank the CDI and its partners and supporters enough, it has been so positive for our business, thank you.”

– Arron Bastable, Barrydale Hand Weavers (CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“NCC Environmental Services are extremely grateful for the partnership with CDI. We were able to offer more than 100 individuals permanent employment contracts, and we could purchase the required personal protective clothing, vehicles and equipment that goes with supplying wildland fire fighting services and Urban baboon management.”

– Linden Rhoda, NCC Environmental Services (Pty) Ltd (CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“I’ve had the most amazing time with the CDI Growth Fund. From the moment our funding application got approved I was excited; 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 (CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“I am so grateful to be connected to a community of other small business owners through the marketing and leadership training courses that the CDI and the CDI’s Growth Fund have offered us. Being able to share our struggles, resources and stories has really felt like a lifeline (during the COVID pandemic)”

– Leanne Botha, A Love Supreme (CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“The initial funding we received from the Growth Fund went to marketing – this helped us grow our Instagram and Facebook following which also helped buyers from chains see us and approach us to become suppliers.”

– Alan Glasser, Amelia Jackson Industries (CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“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,” – Lesley Grimbeek, CEO, Pesto Princess (Current CDI Growth Fund recipient)

“The CDI has assisted us during the funding process with financial management and mentorship as well as export readiness.”— Ilundi (2012-15 funding recipient). The funding enabled the business to fully equip the workspace with the tools, machinery, office equipment and furniture to increase production capabilities; and they employed two more full-time staff members. Turnover increased by over 700%.


“We had wonderful assistance from the CDI with the Jobs Fund grant to create jobs.” –  RAIN (2012-15 funding recipient). RAIN’s staff complement increased from 50 to 172 during the project period. Turnover increased by over 120%.


“We appreciate CDI’s mentoring and assistance. We are also thankful to the Jobs Fund. This investment has made a big difference in our business and it will go a long way.” –  Imiso (2012-15 funding recipient). Imiso created four new jobs. Turnover increased by over 119%.

View our videos of previous funding recipients on YouTube – click here