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CDI opens third call for third round of seed fund, launches R12.8m Growth Fund

The Cape Town based Craft and Design Institute (CDI) together with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund today launched a call for applications to a R12.8-million Growth Fund for craft, design, light manufacturing businesses and other sectors and opened a third call to innovators for its Design Innovation Seed Fund.

Applications for both the seed fund and The Growth Fund close on 31 December 2017.

Aimed at firms with over R1m assets

CDI executive director Erica Elk said the Growth Fund is open to businesses with turnover or assets of more than R1-million with the ability to create permanent jobs.

Businesses must be willing to create one permanent job per grant of R21 000 and be prepared to contribute an additional 20% (R4 200) against each job the firm plans to create. The aim is for the fund to help create 600 jobs.

The CDI’s first Jobs Fund project, completed in December 2015, saw 45 participating companies creating 464 jobs off an investment of R14.5-million. Participating small businesses grew their combined annual revenue by 73% over three years – from a combined R60-million to R104-million.

Applications for both CDI’s seed fund and The Growth Fund close on 31 December

Funds were used to improve their products, processes and competitiveness through the acquisition of new machinery or specialist staff, and to expand local and international market reach, said Elk.

Seed Fund grants target innovators

The seed fund, which is run with funds sourced from TIA and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, will make available R15.7-million to 20 successful applicants. It is open to inventors who believe they have protectable innovative technological solutions that could impact on specific sectors and could create permanent jobs.

Funding of R650 000 per proposal will be provided and applicants must be prepared to match 20% of the contribution of the fund through cash contributions.

In the third round the CDI will target innovations from agri-processing, biotechnology, health, manufacturing, water conservation and alternative building materials. However, projects outside these sectors will also be considered.

The CDI completed a first round of the fund last year, which attracted private funding of over R10-million in equity funding into some of the high-potential innovators.

The CDI is currently working with seven innovative small businesses, after announcing the names of the successful applicants in May

The organisation is one of a number — including universities — that are partnering with TIA in its seed fund, which channeled R74.3-million in the last financial year to 133 innovative projects.

Read more: CCDI to back seven innovative Cape projects in second round of seed fund
Read more: TIA seed fund lending to innovators, entrepreneurs grows 12% to R74m

In addition to the grant funding products, CDI Capital will also launch a R3.5-million working capital and term loan facility at reduced rates for the duration of the three-year project to provide access to cash flow during the growth stage of these, and other qualifying small firms.

CDI Capital was specifically incorporated as a CDI subsidiary last year to catalyse funding for small businesses. A level 1 B-BBEE company, it aims to combine government