Small Business loans South Africa
There’s a pervasive myth that there’s no funding available for businesses. This is not the case – if you meet the criteria there’s government grants available for your business.
The South African government is well aware of the importance of developing the economy, creating employment and attracting foreign investment.
To make these goals a reality, there are grants and assistance programmes available from the government and associated organisations that can get your business off the ground and expanding.
It is an award of funds from the government that does not need to be repaid, does not accrue interest, and has strict guidelines for application.
Grants available from the government usually tie in with its key deliverables such as black economic empowerment, job creation and developing the economy – to name some.
Unlike a loan, a grant is an award of money that is non-repayable – meaning there is no obligation by the receiving parties to repay the money received. While the government is one of the best sources of grants, its selection criteria is strict and paperwork intensive, and the receiving business is obligated to spend the funds in a manner specified by the provider.
Most funds available in South Africa have their own specific requirements, so it’s advisable to research each fund carefully to assess their criteria and up your chances of receiving funding.
The best place to start with researching government grants for business is through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). By visiting, you can explore a number of funding options from grants to incentives and all their qualifying criteria. Some grants available include:
1. Aqua-culture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP)
This programme is available to registered entities involved in primary, secondary and ancillary aquaculture projects for both marine and fresh water. It is approved for new, existing and upgrading entities. .
2. Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS)
This scheme is designed to grow and develop the automotive industry through investment in new and replacement models and components that will increase production volumes, sustain and increase employment, and strengthen the automotive value chain. .
3. Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP)
This is a cost-sharing grant offered to black-owned businesses to improve their competitiveness and sustainability. It aims to fast-track small and micro-enterprises, foster links between black-owned businesses, corporates and public sector, and to complement affirmative procurement and outsourcing. It provides grants to a maximum of R1 million. .
4. Business Process Services (BPS)
This scheme aims to attract investment and create employment in South Africa through off-shoring activities. It involves a three-year tax-exempt grant for qualifying businesses.
5. Capital Projects Feasibility Programme (CPFP)
The Capital Projects Feasibility Programme is a cost-sharing grant contributing to the cost of feasibility studies for projects that will lead to increased local exports and stimulate the local manufacturing sector. .
6. Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP)
This is aimed at improving the infrastructure of South Africa. The grant covers a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 30% of total development costs of qualifying infrastructure. .
7. The Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS)
This scheme is a 90:10 cost-sharing grant for registered primary cop-operatives of five or more members to improve the viability and competitiveness. .
8. Incubation Support Programme (ISP)
This programme is designed to create and develop successful enterprises with the ability to revitalise communities and local economies. For more information .
9. The Manufacturing Competitive Enhancement Programme (MCEP)
Provides enhanced manufacturing support to encourage facility upgrades to sustain employment and improve productivity. .
10. Manufacturing Investment Programme (MIP)
This programme is a reimbursable cash grant to local and foreign-owned manufacturers who wish to establish new facilities or expand on existing ones.