#KnowYourIncentives: Black Industrialist Scheme (BIS)

Updated on 17 May 2018

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Launched in 2015 to fund 100 viable and sustainable projects in need of funding or looking to expand, the Black Industrialist Scheme is an initiative by the Department of Trade and Industry to get more black people involved in the productive sectors of the economy like transport, green industries, agro-processing, biofuels and chemicals. As of 2017, R3.6 billion has been allocated to the scheme.

The concept of black industrialists refers to black people who are directly involved in the origination, creation, high-level ownership (>50%), management, control and operation of industrial enterprises that derive value from manufacturing goods and services on a large scale.


The Black Industrialist Programme is dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of black-owned businesses.

It places particular emphasis on the need to strengthen and increase black participation and enhance entrepreneurial dynamism in the mainstream economy.

Eligible enterprises

  • Majority of black-owned enterprises or those with a predominantly black management team;
  • A minimum project value of R30 million
  • Generate direct employment/jobs.
  • Enterprises with a turnover of at least R1 million and not more than R35 million; and
  • The enterprise must have been operating and trading for at least one financial year.
  • The BIS targets entities that have extensive experience, operations and track record in their respective or envisaged industrial
    sectors and value chains. Must have the requisite expertise in the sector.
  • New operation or business startup
  • Current business expansion
  • Acquisition of an existing business


The key focus areas of the programme are on the following productive sectors:

  • Blue/ocean economy, including vessel building and repair
  • Oil and gas
  • Clean technology and energy
  • Mineral beneficiation
  • Aerospace, rail and automotive components
  • Industrial Infrastructure
  • Information communication technologies
  • Agro-processing
  • Clothing, textiles/leather and footwear
  • Pulp, paper and furniture
  • Chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics
  • Nuclear
  • Manufacturing-related logistics
  • Designated sectors for localisation

*NB – These sectors will be reviewed from time to time, in line with government priorities. Interpretation of the support areas within each sector will be at the discretion of the DTI.

Scheme Offering

50% grant for the cost of approved tools, machinery and equipment to a maximum of R800,000; and 80% grant for approved training and business development services to a maximum of R200,000.

Other support instruments include: 

  • Working capital support via low-interest concessional loans;
  • Incubation and mentorship support for emerging entrepreneurs and enterprises;
  • The creation of a portal for networking and matchmaking;
  • A joint venture support package consisting of an investment grant and an equity loan;
  • Funding of feasibility studies, licenses and quality assurance standards on a cost-sharing basis; and
  • Export support in the form of export insurance funding and market access support.

All information courtesy of the DTI, Brand South Africa and PwC.

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