Running a small business can be a lot of work especially without some kind of financial support. Business owners are constantly searching for a cash injection to give their businesses a boost. 

Businesses that are in search of a cash injection that will enable them to scale up and create much-needed jobs in the country, finally have the opportunity to do so through the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) Growth Fund which is currently open for funding applications.

The fund is mandated to allocate R12,8 million to SMEs (country-wide, and across sectors). Submissions will be accepted until 12 July at 17h00. 


The fund is managed by CDI Capital, a CDI subsidiary. Financing comes from the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). 

“We made the call for applications on 12 June and received 60 submissions within a fortnight from businesses that are growing,” said CDI Executive Director Erica Elk.  

She added, “We are delighted by this response, and we expect to receive considerably more applications. Our experience with the previous funding round shows that the bulk of submissions are received during the final week. Businesses shouldn’t wait until the last day though as there are a few uploads required, so the sooner they apply the better.”

Over half of the applications received to date (12-28 June) are from Gauteng, with the remainder from Limpopo, KZN, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. They represent craft, design, light manufacturing and other enterprises that range from tourism and logistics to vehicle security and retail.

Ryan Rode the project coordinator for CDI Capital, said funding is open to South African-owned businesses which operate within South Africa, have been established for at least a year, and have turnover or assets over R1 million. Applicants must demonstrate their year-on-year growth and/or the potential for sufficient growth.


Applicants must also match 20% of the grant contribution of the Fund through a cash contribution and achieve agreed objectives. The funding is a grant and is not paid back to the Fund.

“The CDI Growth Fund is very specific in its focus – we are looking for SMEs that are about to employ new staff to meet growing demand and which need the capital to expand their operations,” said Rode.  

He added, “Unemployment is a national crisis and this is an opportunity for small businesses to grow in a supportive, mentored environment and create desperately-needed jobs.”

In the previous funding round (2012-2015) the fund helped create 464 jobs in 45 businesses. Participating SMEs grew their combined annual revenue by 73% during those three years.


Shortlisted applicants in the current round will be notified by 12 August, and they will proceed to the Investment Committee for further interviews and assessments before the final selection is made. To find out more or to apply head to: Applications close on July 12. 

-Adapted from a press release