State-owned power utility Eskom has opened entries for its Development Foundation’s business investment competition (BIC).
The BIC is open to registered black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa that have been operating for 24 months or longer. Enterprises operating in the manufacturing, engineering/construction, trade/services and agriculture sectors can enter the competition.
Entries will close on January 31.
BIC entrants stand a chance to win a share of R1.3-million worth of prizes.
For the past 12 years, Eskom has been running the BIC to recognise, reward and help boost small businesses that are contributing to skills development, job creation and economic growth.
A report compiled by startup campus GEN 22 on Sloane – which offers startups funding opportunities and access to markets – notes that over 55 000 small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa will not survive the Covid-19 global pandemic. A total of 92% of SMMEs’ business operations have been impacted and at least 42 350 of those working for these SMMEs will lose their jobs.
“This yearly competition is that much more relevant this year, simply because our main purpose with the BIC is to boost enterprise development in a year that has seen small businesses challenged, stretched and some decimated,” says Eskom Development Foundation CEO Cecil Ramonotsi.
He notes that the BIC provides a platform for South African owners of SMMEs to become part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs as they look to build on their businesses’ solid foundation and realise their potential.
The overall winner will receive a grand prize of R300 000, as well as additional business training once the competition is over. Each of the four sector winners will receive R125 000, while first and second runners-up each receive R75 000 and R50 000, respectively.
All BIC finalists will have the opportunity to attend the Business Connect webinar taking place in March 2021 – a platform aimed at affording businesses the opportunity to network with other small businesses, as well as be exposed to business experts in different fields.