Durban Chemicals Cluster Business Accelerator Opens Applications for Sixth Year


The Durban Chemicals Cluster (DCC) Accelerator is now in its sixth year and is proud to announce the launch of its next Business Accelerator. Applications from high-potential, Black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the local chemicals sector are all welcome and will be accepted until 30 September 2023.




The DCC Accelerator is a transformative initiative that aims to drive localisation, enable transformation of Black industrialists, and foster strategic partnerships with leading enterprises in the sector.

Led by the support of eThekwini Municipality and prominent customers in the local chemicals sector, including FFS Refiners, H&R Africa, NCS South Africa, and Sherwin-Williams, the DCC Accelerator is designed to provide market access, standards upgrading, and capital investment interventions for selected SMEs. The ultimate goal is to facilitate positive commercial and transformational outcomes for both the lead enterprises and the participating SMEs.

Takalani Rathiyaya, Head of Economic Development Programmes Department at the eThekwini Municipality says, "Through the DCC Accelerator, we are committed to empowering Black-owned SMEs and driving economic transformation in the local chemicals sector. The programme's success stories highlight the potential of collaboration between lead enterprises and SMEs, and we are excited to witness the continued positive impact on our community."

Last year's Dragons' Den saw remarkable success, with 13 high-potential SMEs pitching their businesses to a panel comprising leading customers in the local chemicals sector.

The result was the identification of 21 mutually beneficial commercial opportunities between the customers and the participating SMEs. As a testament to the potential of these businesses, four SMEs received on-the-day cash prizes totalling R100,000.

Furthermore, the top SMEs were rewarded with an annual membership to the Durban Chemicals Cluster and underwent comprehensive assessments, including Financial and Compliance Due Diligence risk assessments, diagnostic assessments, and access to coaching from industry experts.

Notably, two of last year's winners, KLIA Business and Technology Solutions and API Solutions International have made significant strides since their notable achievement.

KLIA Business and Technology Solutions, a 100% Black-owned SME, provides professional engineering services, specialised shipping services, and tank washing. They secured opportunities to provide high-pressure cleaning and training services to the participating large customers.

API Solutions International (Pty) Ltd, a 100% Black women-owned SME, specialises in Sugar Centrifuges and Evaporator Descaling equipment. Their success in the Dragons' Den led to opportunities such as supplying balancing, maintenance, and full inspection services to several of the large customers.  

Since 2019, the impact of the Accelerator has been exceptional, with 115 new commercial commitments unlocked, leading to the creation of over 1040 jobs and supporting 160 plus SMEs. In the first year of commercial opportunties being unlocked between SMEs and large customers, the Accelerator generated over R160 million in new commercial opportunities.

Additionally, the Accelerator has helped to optimise 20 large industrial corporate BBBEE scorecards annually.

The DCC Accelerator is proud to continue its mission of empowering Black-owned SMEs in the local chemicals sector. The success stories of previous winners inspire us to seek an even greater transformative impact this year.

We encourage all eligible SMEs to seize this opportunity and apply for the 2023 Accelerator which is now open," Head of the Accelerators for the Durban Chemicals Cluster, Kyle Ballard concludes.

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