Business Opportunities Monthly – February 2021

Updated on 2 February 2021

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[UPDATED – 22 February]

Apply for the Anzisha Prize Fellowship Program

Applications have now opened for the latest cohort, with successful entrepreneurs standing a chance to win a shared prize of US$100 000 and join the prestigious Anzisha Prize fellowship program.

Download the application guide or apply for the prize at

Compete in the Smart City Innovation Challenge

The City of Johannesburg’s Smart City Office, in collaboration with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, invites you to submit proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenge is seeking startups developing Smart City technologies and/or innovative solutions that have been in operation for 3-7 years. Deadline for applications is 2 March 2021.

The two winning applications will be taken into a rapid development and prototype launching process through a virtual bootcamp and will be given a prototyping grant of R100 000 each. This will be followed by opportunity for further funding to take at least one solution into implementation.

More info here

[UPDATED – 8 February 2021]

UIF Launches e-Compliance Certificate Online System (ALL)

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has launched its e-Compliance Certificate online system, which will enable employers, small businesses and entrepreneurs to apply for a UIF compliance certificate without leaving home.

Launched on Monday, the new and innovative system replaces the old application process of manually completing and submitting a form, sworn statement and South African Revenue Service (SARS) tax clearance certificate via email.

UIF Head of Corporate Services, Advocate Mzie Yawa, said from 1 February 2021, clients can visit  or and click on “UIF e-Compliance Certificate” under the “Online Systems” tab to register and apply. 

“It is all systems go. As the UIF, we will continue embracing technology to improve our services to our clients,” said Yawa.

Service delivery will be enhanced with the launch of the e-Compliance Certificate system because of the faster turnaround times for applications.

Yawa urged small businesses, companies and entrepreneurs to register on the system using their UIF reference number and apply for the UIF compliance certificate (tender letter).

“If you are up to date with your UIF compliance requirements, the system will issue you with a compliance certificate immediately, which you can download or print. If you are not compliant, the system will issue a non-compliance letter with reasons for the rejection,” Yawa explained.

He said companies and entrepreneurs will also be able to apply for potential business opportunities faster, including government tenders, as the UIF compliance certificate is often one of the requirements for doing business with the government.

Benefits of the new system include:

  • Improved turnaround times (certificate is issued within minutes compared to the previous turnaround time of 10 working days).
  • Elimination of human error and fraudulent activities.
  • Improved employer compliance with UIF legislation regarding declarations and contribution of its employees.
  • Improved authenticity of the compliance certificates produced.
  • Improved debt collection.
  • Reduction of photocopying and printing costs.
  • If a client loses their certificate, they can generate a duplicate of the original on the system.

More info here.

Chat-based Business-recovery Resource Launched on WhatsApp to Help SMEs During COVID-19 (ALL)

A chat-based service called SMMEstart has been launched on WhatsApp to provide SMMEs in South Africa with instantly actionable information, guidance and resources to help business owners restart and grow their businesses during the Covid-19 economic recovery period and beyond.

The SMMEstart service on WhatsApp has been developed by in partnership with Arifu and Jozihub with funding support from

Designed around an easy-to-navigate menu, SMMEstart is a service that is activated by simply texting the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to +27 60 011 0110 to get started (or click this link)

The automated welcome message allows users to get started by replying with any of the words in bold from the menu.

Find out more here.


Tourism Equity Fund (Tourism)

The Department of Tourism, in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), has launched the R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) to encourage the participation of black-owned enterprises in the sector.

In her opening remarks at the launch, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the Tourism Equity Fund is a dedicated fund that will provide a combination of debt finance and grant funding to facilitate equity acquisition as well as new project development in the tourism sector by black entrepreneurs.

Kubayi-Ngubane explained that during this three-year period, the Department of Tourism will capitalise the fund with an amount of R540 million.

She added the funding from the department will be matched with a contribution of R120 million from Sefa and R594 million from commercial banks that will be participating in the programme. –

More info on how to apply here.

SEE ALSO: Unlock Digital Opportunities with .ZA Domains

Food Lover’s Market Seeds Of Change programme (Food & Beverages)

Food Lover’s Market is giving local small businesses and social enterprises the opportunity to join its supply chain.

The aim of the initiative is to positively impact local South African communities. Selected small businesses will also have the opportunity to work with a business coach.

To apply, your business should already be trading. Your product or service should also be suitable to be used or sold in the Food Lover’s Market environment.

Deadline for entries is 14 February 2021.

Visit to apply.

SEE ALSO: SME South Africa Launches Online B2B Service Marketplace for SMEs

Automotive Aftermarkets Support Scheme (Automotive)

Auto mechanics can apply with the Department of Small Business development to take part in this programme.

The scheme is targeted at motor mechanics, heavy equipment mechanics, tractor and forklift mechanics, diesel fitters, panel beaters, glaziers, tyre and glass fitment and auto spares shops.

To join this programme your business must:

– Be a registered legal entity and 100% South African owned.

– 70% of your employees must be South African.

– Have a bank account.

To apply, register here:

Africa Prime’s Request for Completed Productions of Africa-Centric Video Content (Film)

Africa Prime is appealing to independent video producers and filmmakers to submit completed productions of Africa-centric video content which can be purchased or leased.

Your application must include an outline of your documentary or film, as well as a synopsis, theme, genre, target market, and script.

Nominate a Youth Entrepreneur for the Anzisha Prize (Youth)

The Anzisha Prize is looking for 20 young women entrepreneurs to become Anzisha Prize Fellows. Promising entrants can be nominated by an educator, mentor, parent or community leader. Nominees must be between the ages of 15 and 22 years old.

Nominees should meet the following requirements:

– Run an established venture, delivering value to a few customers.

– Involved in the strategy and operations of their venture.

– The venture has demonstrated some impact already.

– Already earning a revenue, or reaching beneficiaries with the potential to improve (both ‘for-profit businesses’ or ‘not-for-profit’ ventures qualify).

Submit your nomination here

SEE ALSO: Where to Access Funding For Women-Owned Businesses in South Africa

Sunbox Ambassador Learnership Program (Youth)

Sunshine Cinema is looking for 20 South African Sunbox Ambassadors (SBAS) for a nine-month full-time learnership. The program starts in March 2021.

The organisation is Africa’s first solar-powered cinema network that aims to train youth from rural and peri-urban areas.

Selected youth will be trained in media facilitation, digital marketing, and host screenings of African films in their communities.

SBAS must attend a boot-camp where they are trained in basic photo, video production, and audience facilitation techniques.

Requirements include:

– Participants must be between 21- 35 years old, have a Matric Qualification and Computer Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel.

– They must also have a track record of experience in community mobilization and two contactable work and character references.

– They must own a smartphone with recording, video, photo capabilities and have access to Whatsapp.

Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge (Fashion)

Businesses are invited to submit project proposals that focus on creating an inclusive fashion value-chain.

Applicants will be narrowed down to six finalists who will be invited to virtually develop their project plans with the support of dedicated Tommy Hilfiger and external subject-matter experts.

The final event of the challenge is hosted in early 2022.

The winner of this challenge will be awarded the prize fund of €200,000. Another €15,000 will be awarded to the finalist who wins the “Audience Favourite Vote.” The winners will also receive a year-long mentorship with Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP).

The deadline for entries is on 8 March 2021.

More about the competition here

The 7th Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (SMEs)

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment.

Its mission is to identify, train, provide mentorship and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, who are capable of changing the face of business across Africa.

According to the programme website, this year’s intervention prioritises the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs, following the COVID-19 disruption to economic activities.

The pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme are:

1. Mentoring

2. Start-up Enterprise Toolkit

3. Online Resources

4. Meetups

5. Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum

6. Seed Capital Funding

7. TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Alumni Network

Applications to apply for this programme close on 31 March 2021.

Apply here

2021 AFF Accelerator Program (Tech startups)

Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF) is an Access Bank initiative that aims to nurture, fund, and accelerate the growth of FinTech startups in Africa. They are looking for the continent’s next unicorn.

The programme offers mentorship and accelerator programmes to help fast-track the growth and maturity of startups. They are looking for solutions to provide greater access to financial services to the financially excluded across the continent.

Find out more here.

Bakeries and Confectioneries Business Support Scheme (Food & Beverages)

The scheme, funded through the Township Entrepreneurship Fund, focuses on small-scale, micro, informal and cooperative enterprises based in townships and villages. The target is owner-managed micro, informal (home-based) and cooperative bakeries and confectioneries.

Bakeries and confectioneries with turnover of less than R500, 000 can apply for both financial and business development support. Small-scale bakeries and confectioneries with turnover of more than R500, 000 only qualify for business development support.

Visit to register your business and apply

Find out more here.

SEE ALSO: A List of 100% Local South African Franchises

Butcheries Support Programme (Food & Beverages)

This scheme supports entrepreneurs with a formal registered butchery business with CIPC, SARS and have Municipal Trade Permits operating in townships, rural areas and CBD areas.

The programme is a blended funding model of portion loan and grant funding. They aim to support 9,500 enterprises. Each enterprise will be allocated R10, 000.

The following is covered under the scheme: limited equipment/ refurbishment of existing equipment, stock, access to a partial loan and partial grant financing solution, training on compliance and technical skills improvement, and more.

Register your business and apply on

Read more here.

The Fruit and Vegetables Vendors Support Scheme (Food & Beverages)

The scheme is aimed at supporting informal and micro fruit and vegetables vendors.

As part of the scheme, vendors will receive focused support packages (financial and non-financial) to strengthen operations during COVID-19 lockdown and as part of Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme interventions.

A once-off grant will be allocated to 40, 000 entrepreneurs valued at R1, 000 each via Nedbank.

Entrepreneurs must be in possession of Municipal Trade Permits selling fruits and vegetables on designated spots in townships, rural areas and CBD areas demarcated in terms of municipal by-laws for trading purpose.

To register and apply, visit the website

More info found here.

Informal and Micro Personal Care Services Support Scheme (Beauty)

The personal care scheme supports informal and micro-businesses in these sub-sectors:

– Hairdressers & hair salons;

– Beauty therapists, make-up artists & beauty salons;

– Nail technicians; and

– Massage therapists & massage spas including mobile spas

Financial support covered by the personal care scheme is a blended funding model of portion loan and grant funding to the maximum of R10, 000 per enterprise. This covers working capital and cost of equipment.

Visit to register your business and apply.

­Find out more here.

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Webinar: Business Collaboration Session: Bridging the Gap Between SMME Businesses and corporates (All)

The webinar is hosted by the Transformation Legacy and aims to discuss solutions on how small businesses can gain exposure to corporates and how corporates can identify and partner with the right small business suppliers.

It takes place on 5 February at 10:00.

22 On Sloane Mentorship Programme (All)

22 On Sloane Mentorship Programme, in partnership with Jozi Angels, is looking for business mentors. The provides startups with valuable guidance and support from corporates, academics, business leaders and/or industry experts. In exchange for their time and expertise -22 On Sloane will reward them by moving them up the mentorship levels. At level 3, participants are recognized as certified GEN Africa Mentors, and are offered entrance into the Angel in Residence Programme.

A minimum of five years’ experience in some field is preferred. Participants must be willing to commit 3-6 hours a quarter to the programme.

Apply here

SEE ALSO: Unique South African Business Ideas [Updated]

Grow with Google (All)

The Google digital hub provides free tools and resources to businesses and individuals. It has initiatives like Google My Business, Marketing Kit tool and Market Finder tool.

Examples of tools is the free marketing kit from Google My Business which allow users to create custom posters, social posts and more; from reviews and highlights on your Business Profile on Google.

The Market Finder recommends the best market for your business.

More info here

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22 On Sloane Accelerator Programme (Tech)

This programme is targeted at tech startups looking to scale.

The criteria for the accelerator programme is that the businesses must over 18 months old and have generated over R2 million (USD$135k) in revenue. The product or service must address current and future demand and is technology enabled.

Read more here


January 2021

– November 2020

– October 2020

– September 2020

– August 2020

– July 2020

– June 2020

– May 2020

– March 2020

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