Non-repayable business grants are a type of development funding offered by the South African government to support the growth of small and micro businesses. The advantages of these types of government grants is that you don’t have to return the money, or pay interest on it.
There are two types of business grants – those that cover 100% of the financial need, and cost-sharing grants that only cover a portion of the required amount.
For business owners it’s important to note that while you are not required to pay back non-repayable grants, it’s not free money. This is because there are typically stipulations about how the money can be used.
In this guide, we’ll list all the government’s non-repayable small business grants available.
Agro-Processing Support Scheme (APSS) – Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC)
The scheme targets businesses in food and beverage value addition and processing (including black winemakers), furniture manufacturing, fibre processing, feed production, and fertiliser production.
Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) – DTIC
Grant programme of the Black Industrialists Policy that aims to unlock the industrial potential of predominantly black-owned and black-managed businesses within the South Africa economy.
Business and Arts South Africa Supporting Grant Programme
Incentivises business sponsorship of the arts, through the provision of additional funds to a sponsored arts organisation.
Co-operatives Incentive Scheme (CIS) – Department of Small Business Development (DSBD)
A 100% non-repayable business grant to improve the viability and competitiveness of co-operative enterprises. It helps to lower cooperatives’ cost of doing business through an incentive that supports Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.
Programmes makes available non-repayable business grants allocated for the formation of clusters of either similar manufacturing entities or a value chain cluster, comprising e.g. manufacturers, suppliers and retailers.
Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa (IIPSA) – Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA)
Provides innovative financing, involving the blending of EU grants together with loans from participating Development Finance Institutions.
Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) – DTIC
The scheme develops export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.
Pre-commercialisation Support Fund – Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)
Grant enables innovators to evaluate, demonstrate and advance the value proposition and commercial potential of their research outputs.
Tourism Transformation Fund – National Empowerment Fund (NEF)
Funding earmarked to transform the tourism sector. To qualify enterprises must provide services to tourists as its direct clients. The enterprise must be at least majority (51%) black-owned. The grant portion of the funding is capped at R5-million per successful applicant.
National Youth Development Agency – NYDA
Support for young entrepreneurs in the form of non-repayable business grants and non- financial business development support. The programme aims to enable youth entrepreneurs to establish or grow their businesses.
Youth Pipeline Development Programme – Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)
A part of the IDC Special Scheme business support and grant funding programme. This grant assists potential applicants to improve the readiness of their proposal.
Sector Funding – TIA
Programme works to increase the rate of commercialisation of viable intellectual property from South African technologies emanating from higher education institutions.
Support Programme for Industrial Innovation – DTIC
This incentive provides financial assistance for the development of commercially viable products and processes. Similarly, it facilitates commercialisation of such technologies.
Seed Fund – TIA
The purpose of the fund is to increase the rate of commercialisation of viable intellectual property from South African technologies emanating from higher education institutions.
Sector Specific Assistance Scheme – DTIC
This scheme compensates for costs in respect of the approved activities aimed at the development of South African emerging exporters through events. This incentive provides financial support for physical and digital events participation by qualifying emerging exporters.
Seda Technology Programme (STP)
This programme offers non-repayable small business grants. Additionally entrepreneurs can access support services, including incubation, quality and standards and technology transfer services.