Do you have a bold business idea that has the potential to be a gamechanger in your industry? If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or you are already running a small business, enter the Durban Chemical Cluster (DCC) Business Accelerator Programme and put yourself in the running to win R50 000 seed capital for your business.
In addition to the grand prize, the first runner up will receive R20 000 and the second runner-up, R10 000.
Meghan King, Executive of the Durban Chemical Cluster Business Accelerator Programme says that while the cash prizes are a great incentive, the real win for the top three businesses is the opportunity to participate in a 4-month hands-on mentorship programme with some of South Africa’s business leaders. Upon completion, this can unlock up to R2 million for each business in preferential loans.
“South Africa is home to an abundance of individuals who have worthy business concepts, yet these often go unfulfilled as the people with the ideas don’t have the means to develop them,” Meghan explains. “The Business Accelerator Programme aims to identify innovative products and services and fast track the time needed to market or scale these ideas by giving the entrepreneur access to the expertise and resources they need to unlock massive growth potential,” says Meghan.
The DCC Business Accelerator Programme is open to all entrepreneurs, small businesses and established SMME’s nationwide. To enter, candidates need to submit their innovative ideas and projects by completing an online application by Friday, 4 December 2020. These will be screened by a panel of judges who will identify and invite the top 20 candidates to a capacity building workshop in Durban on Tuesday, 8 December.
“The full-day, highly interactive session is an extraordinary opportunity for the candidates to network with leading business people and learn about their experiences of launching successful businesses. These experts will also be helping the candidates fine-tune their business pitches which they will present at the end of the day,” says Meghan.
“The top 10 pitches will qualify for the second round of judging which is modelled on the “Dragon’s Den” concept. These finalists will have the opportunity to deliver their pitches the following day to a panel of business experts and investors who will select the three winning businesses concepts,” Meghan adds.
While the top three will automatically qualify for the mentorship programme, the panel of judges also have the option to nominate additional candidate for this prestigious prize. “Last year, five of the top 10 candidates were awarded the business mentorship programme so even if you aren’t selected as one of our winners, there is still a huge opportunity to develop your business,” Meghan explains.
The 2020 DCC Business Accelerator Programme is certain to repeat the success of the previous two programmes. Started by the same companies that are still the main sponsors today, Ferro Polymers and NCS Resins, their intention with the programme is to make a meaningful difference to the development of small enterprises. This is achieved by driving more impact, transformation and going above and beyond to ensure a partnership for development with these small enterprises.
“It takes more than money to turn an idea or innovation into a viable growing business. That’s why we leverage experience, expertise and partnerships to create a winning mentorship platform as well as meaningful business opportunities over and above the financial prize,” Meghan says.
For more information on the DCC Business Accelerator Programme or if you want to enter visit https://durbanchemicalscluster.org.za/business-accelerator/. Entries close on Friday, 4 December 2020.