Final Call For Chemical Industry Business Accelerator Applications

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Is your company classified as a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) with the potential to make significant contributions to the chemical industry? If so, the clock is ticking, and the window of opportunity to participate in the highly anticipated 2023 Durban Chemicals Cluster (DCC) Business Accelerator is closing fast!


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This transformative initiative, now in its sixth year and supported by the eThekwini Municipality, has a three-fold mission: to drive localisation, empower Black industrialists, and cultivate strategic partnerships with leading enterprises in the sector.

According to Kyle Ballard, Head of Accelerators for the DCC, this will enable SMEs to gain access to markets, standards upgrading in line with customer requirements, and vital capital investment interventions. “There is no other manufacturing-focused Business Accelerator in South Africa that offers such extensive support,” he says.

Participating in the Business Accelerator not only offers your business the opportunity to receive expert mentorship for enhancing alignment with customers’ needs and expanding your operations, but it can also pave the way for you to become a preferred supplier to industry giants such as FFS Refiners, H&R Africa, NCS South Africa, and Sherwin-Williams.

Takalani Rathiyaya, the Head of the Economic Development Unit at the eThekwini Municipality, notes, “We are committed to driving the empowerment of Black-owned SMEs through the DCC Business Accelerator and the facilitation of economic transformation within the local chemicals sector. The accomplishments of the Accelerator to date underscore the significant potential inherent in collaborative efforts between industry leaders and SMEs. We are excited about the ongoing positive influence this will have on our community.”

Since its establishment in 2018, the Accelerator has demonstrated remarkable results, unlocking 115 new commercial commitments, creating over 1,040 jobs and supporting 160+ SMEs. Furthermore, in the first year of SMEs engaging with large customers around newly identified opportunities, over R160 million in commercial prospects were unlocked. Additionally, the Accelerator has played a pivotal role in enhancing the B-BBEE scorecards of 20 major industrial corporates annually.

So, who can apply?

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The business must be South African-owned (operating in any South African province).
  • A minimum of 51% black ownership.
  • Have an annual turnover of R170 million or less.
  • Be registered with CIPC.
  • Be tax compliant.
  • Have been operational for at least two years.
  • Currently or aspiring to offer products or services to customers in the local chemical sector.

How Does It Work?

  • Submit your application by September 30, 2023.
  • Eligible candidates will be invited to a capacity-building workshop in Durban focused on crafting a compelling business pitch to potential customers on October 25, 2023.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a "Dragons' Den" event in Durban on November 28, 2023, where they will pitch to big business.
  • Promising candidates identified as having high potential will receive support for developing their business cases, expert coaching to scale their enterprises, and ongoing assistance in unlocking commercial opportunities with customers.

Ballard urges SMEs to seize this opportunity to showcase their companies to these prominent industry leaders. "The application process is free, so don't hesitate; it costs nothing other than your time and effort to apply."

For more information and to submit your application by no later than September 30, 2023, please visit https://durbanchemicalscluster.org.za.

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