About us

 

A 75-year-old, not-for-profit organisation

A Member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)

Constituted to promote the economic and business interest of its more than 100 chamber organisation members and thousands of SMEs in the wider economy. 

Stands for sustainable, market-led job creation, inclusive economic growth, transformation and ethical leadership 

Positioned as the Big Voice for Small Business

More than 95% of registered businesses in the world are small in size, employing fewer than 250 people and account for 60%-70% of the entire working population.

Not in South Africa. That should worry us and we need to change that.

To create employment for over nine million unemployed people, policy makers and regulators must support in practice, an enabling environment for SME to grow and flourish. We must engage on potential solutions in open discussions using facts and evidence

Vision
SBI stands for a free-market approach to grow SMEs, create jobs, and provide ethical leadership. We envision a country where small- and medium-sized businesses are supported by thoughtful, evidence-based policy that limits obstacles to their success and sustainability and the private sector works to eliminate structural obstacles to competition, access to markets and effective entry into supply chains.

Mission
We advocate for policy makers and big businesses to ‘think small first’. We lobby for government to consider and support SME sustainability in legislation, regulation and procurement policies. Our campaigns include big businesses where SME-supportive supply chain management and payment terms contribute to a thriving sector.

2017 in review

The organisation spent 2017 envisioning a role to give it more relevance, visibility and impact. SBI has laid the groundwork for a more noticeable presence – in the media (social and traditional), with its core constituency and ultimately with policy makers. The board restructured the organisation to ensure financial sustainability and its resources will be deployed in line with the new vision.

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SBI held five Indabas around the country and participated in panel discussions hosted by other organisations. Influential role-players delivered keynote addresses to SBI’s members, including former Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen, Corruption Watch’s David Lewis, DSBD DG Edith Vries, Magda Wierzycka, Mosiuoa Lekota and Business Leadership South Africa CEO Bonang Mohale as well as presidential contenders Matthews Phosa and Zweli Mkhize.

Panels exploring the political economy included editors, political analysts, economists and academics. Inspiring entrepreneurs reminded us that challenges are overcome with the right attitude and aptitude. Each Indaba was covered by television, digital and print reporters. In addition, newspapers and digital platforms promoted SBI opinion pieces and press statements throughout the year. Various television and radio stations interviewed the president and the CEO on a regular basis and we grew our social media followers by nearly six fold.

The organisation has registered a new Memorandum of Incorporation to entrench proper governance and is raising funds to ensure its sustainability. In addition, SBI signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the SBP (www.sbp.org.za) to collaborate. SBP is a not for profit company specialising in developing policy and conducting innovative research to improve the enabling environment for doing business, especially small business as vehicles for growth and job creation, since 1998. Together we will undertake research and track relevant data to spearhead a new movement for small business in South Africa at this critical time in our country’s history.

The year ahead
In 2018, SBI will continue on this path to become the authoritative voice of the small and medium business sector in South Africa on issues relevant to inclusive economic growth, transformation and job creation and to:

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• advocate on all regulatory issues pertaining to small businesses with special emphasis on the management and reduction of red tape and opening up access to markets;

• facilitate the provision of value-adding services to all its members to meet their respective identified needs; and

• initiate, fund and facilitate key research projects that will act as a platform from which evidence-based advocacy can be performed, including South Africa’s first authoritative baseline study of SMEs;

• continue to participate in discussions and debates, host national Indabas as well as initiating Town Hall meetings in rural and township areas and youth outreach events. A new board has been constituted to drive the strategy of the SBI. Individuals with appropriate skills were invited to join the newly transformed board. Each director will be matched with an appropriate portfolio to ensure both clarity and accountability. Directors will be paid a small stipend to cover expenses and will be allocated paid interns to assist with the work of their portfolios, which include:

• President and Chamber Liaison • Chairman, Board co-ordination and Public Relations • Deputy to Chairman and President • Research and Advocacy • Communications • Government Liaison • BUSA Representation • Corporate Member Relations • Entrepreneurship and Youth • Sectoral Co-ordinator • Finance Other volunteers will oversee: • The Desk of Expertise • Provincial Organisations • The Junior Mining sector • Events and conferencing • General administration (See below for board members’ profiles and portfolios)

Research: As a priority, the SBI and SBP will raise sufficient funding to undertake South Africa’s first, and only rigorous baseline study ever to be conducted on the small business segment of the economy during 2018. The SME baseline study will systematically capture the size, nature and characteristics of all small firms operating in South Africa. It will provide evidence to promote more effective public positions on all matters concerning enterprise development, as well as a platform for a more cohesive voice for small business in the country’s public policy debates.

SBI will also work with SBP to produce an index tracking monitor, evaluating the operating environment for SMEs; a minimum of four position papers and a monthly policy brief. The work they do for us and other funders will contribute to our Indabas and our advocacy. The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) will be continuing its work examining barriers to entry into the South African economy and proposing ways the government can regulate for competition. We will explore ways to amplify that work and plan to conduct a ‘hackathon’ to enlist technology developers to innovate apps and other tools for the benefit of SMEs.

We will explore how to use existing platforms to measure and hold local government entities accountable for services they are charged with delivering as well as for the legally required integration with local business chambers when budgeting. Legislation exists to compel government to consider the impact of any new legislation and regulation on SMEs. We may consider taking the necessary legal steps to enforce this neglected safeguard against over-regulation and unnecessary red tape. Other relevant research, articles and papers will be posted on a newly-designed website to highlight studies from academics in South Africa, multi-lateral institutions and our research partners.

Communications and Advocacy SBI will continue its Indabas; we plan to hold five in cities around South Africa. These are platforms for discussion and provide participants an opportunity to challenge the status quo. They inform, showcase, and inspire. We will also expand our events into townships and rural South Africa to listen to our chamber members, SMEs and entrepreneurs at Town Hall meetings. What we hear about their successes and concerns prohibiting them from growing their businesses and creating jobs can feed into our research and in turn we can test what we are learning at these events. Using our research, SBI will have more to contribute to the public debate and our national spokesperson will perform an invaluable function with proactive interviews and participation in our Indabas and Town Hall meetings.

SBI also plans to proactively seek opportunities to speak on other platforms when issues pertinent to SMEs are discussed. One of our new board members visits schools to inspire and encourage entrepreneurial impulses in our youth. Children and young adults facing an over 50% unemployment rate need to believe they can be job creators rather than job seekers. We will strengthen our relationship with all universities, especially the departments focusing on entrepreneurship and enterprise development. Other forms of advocacy work will take place in the task teams and reference groups formed by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and with public servants in Parliament and in relevant ministries such as the National Treasury and SARS, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Small Business Development. A Director for sectoral co-ordination will work with representative organisations in sectors where opportunities exist for SMEs to grow and become sustainable, particularly in tourism, agriculture, education, manufacturing, construction and mining.

SBP will be participating in a national conference in March to promote a sectoral approach to red tape reduction and their work will tie into ours.

Our Board of Directors

Winda Austin-Loeve

Winda Austin-Loeve

SBI President

The president will work with Chambers, GrowSA and other organizations to promote a more sector-based focus for the SBI. Expanding membership, canvassing and satisfying demands of the regional structures and reporting to them regularly is the responsibility of the president.

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Winda is a Financial Planner with over 30 years of experience in corporate and private practice. She is involved in several business organizations, attributable to her passion to assist in the empowerment of businesswomen and make a positive difference in the lives of young South Africans. Winda serves on the management team of the Tygerberg Chamber of Commerce, is a founding member of the CT branch of the SA Council for Businesswomen and served as national chairperson. She’s been involved with the SBI since 1997.
Bernard Swanepoel

Bernard Swanepoel

SBI Chairman

The chairman is responsible for overall strategic guidance, ensuring that proper governance procedures are followed, especially in respect of financing and the auditing thereof, and that directors deliver on their mandates. He will champion and direct the Indabas. Initial endowment fundraising and peer-level corporate interaction will also fall to the chairman.

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A partner at To-The-Point Growth Specialists & THINKspiration, Bernard serves as non-executive director on the boards of Impala, Zimplats, Eqstra, & African Rainbow Minerals Limited. He was previously the CEO & Chairman of Village Main Reef Limited & CEO of Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd. He is currently chairman of the Joburg Indaba & Managing partner of MMC.
Sipho Nkosi

Sipho Nkosi

SBI Vice President and Vice Chairman

Sipho will substitute for either president or chairman as the need arises

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Sipho most recently served as the CEO of Exxaro Resources Limited. He is founder & CEO of Eyesizwe. He is past-president of the Chamber of Mines. He currently serves on the boards of Sanlam, Exxaro Resources, Anooraq Resources, Eyesizwe Holdings.
Ernest Messina

Ernest Messina

Director Corporate Relationships

The director of corporate relationships is tasked with expanding corporate sponsorship and membership and is responsible for reporting to these constituents. A particular focus for 2018 will be to obtain sponsorship for SME owners attending Indabas and the town hall meetings in more rural/impoverished areas SBI will host in the year ahead.

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SBI’s former CEO, Ernest serves as chairman of Groot Constantia, as co-chair with Anant Singh of Smile 90.4FM and sits on the boards of the Du Toit Group and Isipani Construction. Ernest has chaired the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and the Franschhoek Valley Transformation Charter.
Hettienne Von Abo Moolman

Hettienne Von Abo Moolman

Director Sectoral co-ordination

With a renewed focus on sector-specific interventions SBI can make to foster more sustainable small and medium enterprises, the Director of Sectoral Co-ordination’s portfolio will play an integral role in SBI’s work for its chamber members.

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Hettienne serves her local community on the board of Nala Hospital, the local Tourism Forum as well as the Maize Capital Business Chamber. Hettienne joined the SBI as Free State AHI chairperson since 2000, was elected in 2014 as chairperson of the AHI Provincial Board, joining the AHI Board at the same time to help manage the provincial structure. She is committed to the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture for Business Organizations, honoring Madiba’s dream for business to speak with one voice. “It is when small business takes hands with big business that we can grow the economy, she says.”
OCTAVIA MATLOA

OCTAVIA MATLOA

Non-Executive Director: Finance

The Finance portfolio will ensure that the commitments in the new Memorandum of Incorporation are ensured in respect of governance, financing and auditing.

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Octavia is a CA(SA), and serves on various boards and audit committees (previously): Great Basin Gold, Village Main Reef (and currently): Petra Diamonds, Extract Group and Avior Capital. She has also served the public sector, including National Treasury, Co-Operatives Banks Development Agency, GTAC, SALGA, and IDT. Her passion for entrepreneurship has seen her building her own businesses in sectors ranging from auditing to mining, among them: Tsidkenu Chartered Accountants, Mukundi Mining Resources, LaBoBo Beauty Salon & Spa, Vibe Group, Jireh Transport & Aviation.
ASHWIN WILLEMSE

ASHWIN WILLEMSE

Director: Entrepreneurship and Youth

The Entrepreneurship and Youth portfolio Director will promote the activities of SMEs as a way for many to enter the mainstream economy. Visiting schools and inspiring young people to choose a constructive, creative career in business forms part of his responsibilities. He will be coordinating with university departments focusing on entrepreneurship development.

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Founder and Director of the GreenSmile Group, Ashwin is a former South African rugby player of the year. He played for the Springboks during the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and won numerous awards as a professional rugby player. Ashwin has been an analyst on SuperSport for eight years. He is currently completing his Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation at the Wits Business School. His passion for entrepreneurship and small business is lived out through the various businesses he has established since his retirement from professional rugby. “Being able to contribute by adding a voice of advocacy – particularly to young people – on behalf of the SBI, is something I see as a duty and a privilege.”
SIKI MGABADELI

SIKI MGABADELI

Director: Communications

The Communications Director will act as National Spokesperson for the SBI, build relationships with reporters and editors on the organization’s behalf, drive coverage of statements, research findings, op-eds and Indabas. In addition, she will be hosting Town Hall meetings to engage with SMEs and our chamber organisations in rural and township settings around South Africa both to collect anecdotal evidence of successes and challenges and disseminating information on behalf of the SBI. She will also source opportunities for various Directors to participate in relevant seminars and panel discussions focusing on issues of importance to SMEs.

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Siki is an award-winning financial journalist. She has worked for various broadcasters in South Africa as a reporter, producer, anchor and editor and continues to host the nightly business show ‘Moneyline’ on eNCA. Her well-rounded grasp of business and politics has seen her anchor other TV current affairs programmes, most notably, the acclaimed program, The Big Debate. She holds an Honours Degree in Journalism from Rhodes University and is studying for a Master’s degree in financial journalism. She has been featured in the M&G SA Book of Women, and the M&G Young South Africans publications.
JENNIFER COHEN

JENNIFER COHEN

Director: Research and Advocacy

This portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.

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With a background in legislative and policy work in the US (eight years on Capitol Hill in the offices of a congressman and a governor) and in South Africa (researcher and speech-writer in Parliament). Jennifer also owned and operated two small businesses: she ran Washington DC’s oldest general bookshop and was Managing Director for over a decade of a media and investor relations firm with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. In the last few years, she has been responsible for developing strategies and managing work-streams for a policy think tank and for both Business Leadership South Africa and the SBI.
CHRIS DARROLL

CHRIS DARROLL

Alternate Director: Research and Advocacy

This portfolio will conduct the required research to develop policy recommendations and responses to requests for public comment or policy proposals. Findings will be packaged for different audiences, including individual business owners, chamber members, the media, sister business organisations, public servants and policy makers. The SBI is raising funding to conduct a comprehensive baseline study of SMEs in South Africa to support evidence-based decision making. In addition, the directors will deliver a ‘landscape index’ of the SA business environment and regular policy briefs and talking points as a basis for advocacy work.

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Chris is the founder and Chief Executive of SBP (Small Business Project), a not for profit company working in sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging economies since 1998. She has over 26 years experience in private sector and enterprise development combining research, regulatory reform, project design, program management, impact measurement and policy advocacy. She has provided consulting services and monitoring and evaluation to amongst others, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, GtZ/GiZ, USAID, Danida, DFID, ILO, Norad, African Development Bank, OECD and many other leading bilateral and multilateral organisations to promote private sector growth and small enterprise development. Chris has also provided specialist advice to many large corporations and multinationals operating in Africa in designing and establishing multi-purpose enterprise development and supply chain development programs. She has also served as an adviser to government ministers on addressing constraints to enterprise development and the investment climate..
IVAN PILLAY

IVAN PILLAY

Director: Government Liaison

The director will work with appropriate government departments to encourage ‘thinking small first’ and exploring ways to limit red tape, access to markets and unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to the sustainability of SMEs. Feedback from ministries and SARS will inform research and policy papers.

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From his early years Ivan has participated in many community and political organisations. In the years prior to the new dispensation, he served in various roles for the ANC and the SACP in Swaziland and Zambia. After the unbanning of the liberation movements, he participated in CODESA, the Transitional Executive Council and the amalgamation of South Africa’s intelligence and security services. Ivan is currently an independent consultant after spending 16 successful years at SARS. During this period he held a number of positions that included, but were not limited to, Deputy Commissioner and Acting Commissioner. Ivan was a key player in the team that implemented the turnaround strategy that saw SARS become a world-class organisation.”
JOE MWASE

JOE MWASE

Director: BUSA Representation

As a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), the SBI has the opportunity to sit on task teams and reference groups to provide the Big Voice for Small Business while engaging with other business organisations influencing national and their own policies in reference to their supply chains. This portfolio will disseminate our research, advocate for positions that accommodate the needs of SMEs and assist BUSA and members articulate our positions in NEDLAC.

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Joe has held leadership and executive management roles in business, public and civil society organisations and served on a number of boards. He has just completed a Masters degree in development finance and is working toward a PhD. He has managed financial analysis, commercial negotiations, strategy development & execution, corporate & regulation affairs, stakeholder relations and sustainability in a range of industries that include motor manufacturing, food and clothing retail, financial services, tourism, non-government organisations, the public sector and the National Nuclear Regulator.
YOLISA PIKIE

YOLISA PIKIE

Alternate Director: Government Liaison

The director will work with appropriate government departments to encourage ‘thinking small first’ and exploring ways to limit red tape, access to markets and unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to the sustainability of SMEs. Feedback from ministries and SARS will inform research and policy papers.

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Yolisa is now a consultant to BCPS, a private investigations firm based in Sandton, Johannesburg. Previously, he was an advisor to the SARS Commissioner. At SARS, he had held several positions including, among others: • Senior Manager in the Legal and Policy Division at SARS. Specific responsibilities included drafting, reviewing and publication of Interpretation Notes and Users Guides on specific aspects of the Income Tax Act. • South Africa’ representative on the Global Forum for Transparency and Tax Information Exchange which sets the global standards for bilateral and multilateral Double Taxation Agreements and Tax Information Exchange Treaties. • The Commissioner’s Special Advisor. • South Africa’s representative on SACU Customs Technical Liason Committee which was responsible for disbursement the Customs Revenue Pool amounting to nearly R50bn every year at the time. • Before SARS, he was the investment research manager for the Community Growth Fund, South Africa’s first socially responsible Unit Trust Fund, which was jointly owned by 7 pension funds. • He has been involved with various NGOs and trades union in various capacities.
WILMA ALANT

WILMA ALANT

Manager: Events and Conferences

SBI held five Indabas around the country in 2017 and participated in panel discussions hosted by other organisations. Influential role-players delivered keynote addresses to SBI’s members, including former Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen, Corruption Watch’s David Lewis, DSBD DG Edith Vries, Magda Wierzycka, Mosiuoa Lekota and Business Leadership South Africa CEO Bonang Mohale as well as presidential contenders Matthews Phosa and Zweli Mkhize. Panels exploring the political economy included editors, political analysts, economists and academics. Inspiring entrepreneurs reminded us that challenges are overcome with the right attitude and aptitude.

Read more

SBI will continue its Indabas; we plan to hold five in cities around South Africa. These are platforms for discussion and provide participants an opportunity to challenge the status quo. They inform, showcase, and inspire.  We will also expand our events into townships and rural South Africa to listen to our chamber members, SMEs and entrepreneurs at Town Hall meetings. What we hear about their successes and concerns prohibiting them from growing their businesses and creating jobs can feed into our research and in turn we can test what we are learning at these events.
LEANDRE SWART

LEANDRE SWART

SBI General Manager

 

KENAN PARDEY

KENAN PARDEY

Intern: Marketing assistant

The marketing assistant intern assists with communications to SBI Members and assists with the SBI SME Indabas.

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Kenan is a hard working person who wants to make a difference. He aspires to be an influential leader and has dived right into the work of the SBI with character and passion.
BONGA ZWANE

BONGA ZWANE

Researcher: Policy and Advocacy

Bonga assists the SBI in conducting evidence based research on the current trends and challenges Small Business face in South Africa. Through this research the SBI aims to be an effective advocate for a better policy and business environment for Small Business with evidence based positions to strengthen the growth and contribution of Small Business. The policy and advocacy portfolio develops policy recommendations in response to policy positions taken by government and other stakeholders – impacting on Small Business. His work contributes our advocating to both the public and private sector, by improving their understanding of the business dynamics faced by small firms –their diversity, characteristics, needs and constraints.

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Bonga is currently an intern researcher with our research partner SBP (Small Business Project) under the Policy Advocacy Portfolio. He is passionate about the art of information gathering, analysis and helping organisations change behaviour. He hopes to help Small Businesses Owners and Organisations make informed decisions for investment and growth.
SIBONGILE NKOMANA

SIBONGILE NKOMANA

Researcher: Policy and Advocacy

Sibongile assists the SBI in conducting evidence based research on the current trends and challenges Small Business face in South Africa. Through this research the SBI aims to be an effective advocate for a better policy and business environment for Small Business with evidence based positions to strengthen the growth and contribution of Small Business. The policy and advocacy portfolio develops policy recommendations in response to policy positions taken by government and other stakeholders – impacting on Small Business. Her work contributes our advocating to both the public and private sector, by improving their understanding of the business dynamics faced by small firms –their diversity, characteristics, needs and constraints.

 

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Sibongile is currently an intern researcher with our research partner SBP (Small Business Project) under the Policy Advocacy Portfolio. She is passionate about ‘numbers’ and the picture they paint in assisting policy making. Sibongile is delving deeper into the numbers and she hopes to reveal unknowns, such as how big SMMEs are and how they can better contribute to growing South Africa. She would like to see better employment opportunities for graduates and hopes her research into Small Business can assist in South Africa’s youth employment challenge.

Contact us:
Tel: 012 348 5440
Email: leandre@smallbusinessinstitute.co.za

Initiatives relevant to SME’S:

Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) direct lending: financing to SMEs and cooperatives

Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) indirect lending: financing to intermediaries, joint venture, partnerships and other collaborative relationships

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) grant funding: grants to young entrepreneurs

National Empowerment Fund (NEF) funding: various funding instruments to promote black-owned SMEs

National Empowerment Fund (NEF) non-financial support: technical support and assistance to SMEs

Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) general support: technical support to SMEs

SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) Technology Programme (STP): support to technology-based SMEs, with a stress on preventing early stage failure

DSBD Co-operatives Incentive Scheme: cash grants to co-operatives in manufacturing, retail and services

Export Market and Investment Assistance (EMIA): cash grant to promote exports of South African goods

IDC/DTI Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII): manufacturing: cash grants to private enterprises and SMEs in IT and manufacturing projects

DTI/CSIR National Foundry Technology Network: provides services, skills and R&D to develop a globally competitive foundry industry

DTI/IDC Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP): cash grant to encourage manufacturers to upgrade their production facilities

DTI Small Enterprise Development Agency Technology Programme: supports early stage ventures in technology

NRF Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP): cash grant supporting research, technology and training

DSBD Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP): cash grant for black-owned businesses to gain access to business development services

Export Credit Insurance Corporation: underwriting export credit loans and investments outside the country

DTI Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP): cash grant for enterprises investing in infrastructure

 

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