Business Opportunities Monthly – March 2021

Posted on March 2nd, 2021
Articles Business Opportunities Entrepreneurs
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Please note: Visit the organisation’s website for more information.

[UPDATED – 8 March]

Airbnb Launches Initiative to Support Joburg SMEs

To support local businesses during COVID-19 and beyond, Airbnb has partnered with SnapScan on a cashback campaign called Support Jozi, Shop Local which makes it a little easier to support small businesses in Johannesburg.

Featured in the Support Jozi, Shop Local map are over 20 small businesses recommended by hosts, including coffee shops, cinemas, bookstores and boutiques.

Using SnapScan at these businesses visitors can earn cashback vouchers called ‘Jozibucks’, which are funded by Airbnb and can then be used in the shops throughout March.

More information available here.

Sekela Hospitality Support Programme Offers Support for Hospitality Businesses (Black-owned)

Struggling black-owned hospitality businesses are the target of the Sekela Hospitality programme. The relief initiative was launched by Marvello and Meadowland owned by Siqalo Foods, together with RCL FOODS, Your Food Partners and Bidfood. Businesses have until the end of April 2021 to apply.

Valued at a R2 million investment per year, the Sekela Hospitality initiative is a phased programme that provides black-owned hospitality businesses such as restaurants, catering companies and accommodation businesses, with back of house training, business coaching, access to capital and business stimulus packages.


(Maximum 50 Beneficiaries)

• Purchase Discounts (Orders must include at
least 1 x RCL FOODS Product)
• Max 10% off your entire food basket
purchased via Bidfood (T&C’s apply)

Glencore Ferroalloys launches Enterprise Supplier Development Programme (Mining)

Glencore Ferroalloys, a mining company has launched their first Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Hub in Rustenburg with the intent of developing small businesses through business skills development, infrastructure, opportunities and funding.

The Glencore ESD Programme will focus mainly on business and technical skills development and the long-term sustainability of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs).

To qualify to be part of the programme, SMMEs must meet the below requirements:

  • They must be at least 51% black owned
  • Ensure that they are an employer of locals and/or able to show the capacity to create jobs for locals as a result of participating in the Programme
  • They are an exempted Micro Enterprise (EME) or a qualifying small enterprise (QSE)
  • Show growth potential and the ability to become sustainable through business plans
  • They must have majority shareholders involved in full-time management of the business
  • They emanate from the local communities where Glencore Ferroalloys operates
  • They must be interested in and commit to the Programme

Any interested enterprises need to physically visit the hub so they can be assessed by the staff who will then make the relevant recommendations for that particular business.


SEDA Call for Funding Proposals from Business Incubators & Accelerators (Hospitality)

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) is calling on food technology and beverages incubators that support and develops startups and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry to submit their proposals for funding.

The deadline for submissions is 8 March 2021.

The proposal must include an executive summary, business plan, fundraising plan, project organisation, and market assessment

Proposals can be emailed to or

SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and 6th Annual Disability Empowerment Awards (Social entrepreneurs, social enterprises)

Innovative thinkers, including social entrepreneurs who develop products and services that helps the country’s vulnerable communities, can apply.

Prizes range from R200 000 to R1.3 million to be invested in the innovation or business.

Winner can also qualify for business coaching and technical support.

The Social Innovation Awards are aimed at innovators, social entrepreneurs, institutions and social enterprises with prototypes or early-stage businesses that can solve social problems.

The Disability Empowerment Awards seek and award social enterprises with innovative solutions that improve access to the economy and/or solutions for people living with disabilities, while generating enough revenue to become sustainable over time.

Online applications close on 31 March 2021.  Only applications submitted on the SAB Foundation portal will be accepted, visit the website here to apply.

The Small Scale & Micro Clothing, Textile & Leather Business Support Scheme (Clothing and textile)

The department of Small Business Development is calling on businesses to apply for the Small Scale & Micro Clothing, Textile & Leather Business Support Scheme.

The programme covers the cost of production inputs, access to credit, assistance with compliance, business and financial management training, and facilitated market access.

Entrepreneurs in the following sub-sectors can apply:

– Seamstresses

– Pattern makers

– Designers

– Art designers

– Knitters

– Machinists

– Tannery

– Fabric manufacturers

– Shoe and handbag makers

The criteria for the scheme:

– Businesses must be registered with CIPC, SARS & UIF 

– 100% owned by South Africans

– Employees must be 70% South African

– Businesses must operate in a township or village

– Turnover below R 500 000 per annum

– Must own a business license

Conditions for participating in the Small Scale & Micro Clothing, Textile & Leather Business Support Scheme:

– Register on

– Employ or have potential to employ a minimum of 3 workers

– Participate in the business development process

Business development support for small scale & micro clothing, textile & leather business support scheme:

– Compliance with Department of Health guidelines

– Compliance with SABS standards

– Business & financial management training

SEE ALSO: Download 25+ business ideas for all industries in South Africa

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COVID-19 Business Support Guides

Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge (Publishers, news startups)

The Middle East, Turkey & Africa GNI Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content, whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem.

According to Google, the challenge focuses on reader engagement and new business models in any form. Selected projects will be funded with up to USD $150,000 and will finance up to 70% of the total project cost.

Applications can be submitted online. The deadline for applications is on 12 April 2021.

Assisted Self-Publishing programme (Writers)

WritePublishRead accepts manuscripts in previously under-published languages for their Assisted Self-Publishing Programme for ebooks. Manuscript submissions are open from 1 to 14 March annually. This is a Via Afrika, NRF Chair African Languages and ALASA initiative.

Applications are open for manuscripts from South African writers who have not been published before. The programme accepts a maximum of 12 manuscripts to participate in the programme.

They accept manuscripts under the following South African languages:

– isiZulu

– isiXhosa

– Sepedi

– Setswana

– Sesotho

– Xitsonga

– SiSwati

– Tshivenḓa

– isiNdebele

– South African First Nations Languages (For example, ‡Khomani San, Khwe-, !Xun-, Nama, Koranna , Griqua, Cape Khoekhoe)

The 12 authors will work with Via Afrika, the NRF Chair in African Languages and ALASA through the process of getting their manuscripts digitally print-ready, up to getting it published and promoted.

SEE ALSO: Township Business Ideas and Opportunities [UPDATED]

SAMRO Music Creation Support Fund (Musicians)

SAMRO members and associates can apply for a micro-grant of up to R20,000, which can go towards their music projects. The grant will contribute towards the creation of new and original music works.

A total of 100 members will be selected to receive a grant. Interested candidates have until 12 March 2021 to submit their applications.

More information here

Sunshine Cinema Call for Participation (Film)

The US Embassy South Africa and Sunshine Cinema are partnering to train aspiring storytellers in Gauteng through a five-day virtual workshop. Journalists, activists, media professionals, local leaders and others who want to tell truthful and valuable stories about their communities, can apply to take part in the workshops.

Participants must be between the ages 21 and 35 years old, live in Tshwane, Soweto or Johannesburg.

They require that participants have a good quality smart phone with a camera to shoot video and be able to connect the device to a computer and headphone. They must also have a have a notebook and pen, laptop with an up-to-date operating system.

The deadline for applications is 10 March 2021.

Shining Light Awards (Jewellery designers)

The Shining Light Awards forms part of the De Beers Group Designers Initiative (DBGDI), a youth beneficiation skills development initiative aimed at giving young jewellers world-class diamond jewellery design and manufacturing skills

Three winners will be selected from each producer country.

Selected participants will win:

– A 12-month post-graduate programme at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, the design and fashion capital of the world

– A 12-month artisanal goldsmith training programme in South Africa

– A three-month exposure campaign in a De Beers Group business unit.

Entries for the awards close on 31 March 2021. For more information, visit

Tourism Equity Fund (Tourism)

The Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) is an equity acquisition fund managed by SEFA on behalf of the Department of Tourism. The purpose of the Fund is to promote the participation of Black enterprises within the tourism industry.

Required documents to apply:

– Your business profile

– BBBEE Certificate or affidavit, in line with the Amended Tourism Sector Codes

– Company statutory documents

– FICA documents

– 12 month bank statements

– Certified ID copies of Directors/ Members

– 5-year Cash Flow Projections

– Relevant industry certification – where applicable

SEE ALSO: How to Launch an Executive Coaching Business

new local south african business opportunities

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

Apply for the Anzisha Prize Fellowship Program (Youth)

Applications have are open 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 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.

SEE ALSO: Download the ‘Female Entrepreneurship & Funding’ Case Studies

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new local south african business opportunities


ACT Building Blocks Programme (Arts and Culture practitioners)

The Arts and Culture Trust’s Building Blocks Programme is a capacity building programme with a focus on small (micro-business) to mid-level organisations and arts practitioners. The programme will run a series of Masterclasses for SMEs.

The Masterclasses will focus on:

– Digital Skills

– Marketing

– Governance and Monitoring & Evaluation

– ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) in the arts

Participants can apply the masterclass learnings to a current project that they or their organisation are conducting through assignments given throughout the course.

Each participant will also receive individual mentoring on the development of the project that was put forward in the online application to the Building Blocks Programme.

You can apply for the programme here. For more information visit the website:

Educo Academy Launches Free Sales and Marketing Programme (Youth)

This course offers a range of practical sales and marketing skills, and is designed to empower youth and put them in a position to start earning an income. It is free to qualifying students between the ages of 18 and 28.

The programme’s subjects range from understanding target markets and meeting marketing objectives, to evaluating customer satisfaction levels, according to

All courses are conducted online.

Interested individuals can apply at A full overview of the Sales and Marketing programme is available at

See also: +20 Business Funding Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in the Agricultural Sector

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new local south african business opportunities


I’m In Accelerator Cohort 4 (Black Women)

This is a 10-month acceleration programme for black women-owned technology startups. According to its website, the Accelerator’s mission is to produce a pipeline of investment ready startups for follow-on capital, commercial opportunities, and market growth for the ecosystem.

The benefits of the programme are pre-seed capital, business growth mentorship, access to markets and follow-on investment, and technology improvement support and commercialisation enablement.

The criteria include:

– Each team must consist of two or more members that are fully invested in the business and have the skills to complement the nature of the business.

– Tech startups must be South African black women-owned (51% BLACK-OWNED according to BBBEE)

Applications for the program close on the 5th of March 2021.

OceanHub Africa’s online acceleration program (Innovative ocean-minded startups)

OceanHub Africa has opened applications for the second edition of their six-month online acceleration programme. The programme will take place in April 2021.

Their aim is to shape better interactions between people and oceans in support of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water.

According to its website, the selected applicants will be given access to OceanHub Africa’s partners’ service packages and its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, who will help startups devise sustainable pathways yielding stable profits and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa.

Participants will get access to the following:

  • Hands-on mentorship from their team of mentors
  • Tailored business skills and personal development training
  • Sales, administrative and HR support
  • Up to $25k worth of cloud service throught partner AWS Activate
  • Free access to IoT prototyping thanks to our partner SigFox (Sqwidnet)
  • Over $40k worth of mechanical engineering design software licences for
    prototyping and virtual testing, thanks to our partner 3DExperience Lab
  • Access to Dassault Systèmes, Amazon Web Services and SigFox international marketplaces and/or salesforce for finished products of accelerated startups

Startups have until 5 March 2021 to apply.

Apply here

The Hub @ Goethe Mentorship Programme (Cultural-, Social startups)

Entrepreneurs with businesses in the ideation and validation phase should apply for this programme. The aim is to take entrepreneurs on a journey of developing the foundation of their companies.

Participants can look forward to:

– Support and development, including one-on-one and group mentorship, masterclasses, workshops, business coaching and strength building by top business leaders and coaches.

– Community management. Members will be part of a vast network of likeminded creative entrepreneurs ready to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects.

– A fully equipped workspace, accessible six days a week with a boardroom table, flat screen, lounge area, unlimited internet connection and a library membership

Applications are open until 8 March 2021.

GIZ – SAIS Investment Readiness Program (FoodTech, AgriTech)

Foodtech and AgriTech startups entering the scaling stage, can apply to join this nine-month fully-funded Investment Readiness Programme. It includes weekly thematic webinars, individual coaching sessions, integration in one of GIZ-SAIS’ partner hubs, and a demo-day with investors and business partners.

The criteria includes:

– The startup team should consist of at least two people.

– Applicants must have a viable digital product with a clear positive impact on its users’ income (launched at least six months ago) and provide evidence of good traction.

Apply here

See also: A Guide to Successfully Securing Business Loans and Financing

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February 2021

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