The new BBSDP offers fresh thinking and great support

The Black Business Supplier development Program (BBSDP) was re-launched by the DTI during the second half of 2010.

Before you assume that this assistance is just offered to black entrepreneurs, have a close look at the parameters.

  1. Companies with at least 50%+1 black shareholding are eligible to apply.
  2. A subsidy of 35% is available in respect of investment in equipment. The maximum amount any one company can claim over the lifetime of the program is R800,000.
  3. A subsidy of 50% is available in respect of investment in professional services. (The maximum amount any one company can claim over the lifetime of the program is R200,000).
  4. The subsidies can be paid directly to suppliers.
  5. The subsidies are offered to applicants who can demonstrate how their investment would improve their competitive positions. Examples of typical qualifying situations would be, where a business cannot compete due to its lack of capacity or because it does not have the equipment to produce what his customers require; where better systems, training or marketing would enhance the competitive position of the applicant.

To make things even more attractive, DTI has implemented a system of accredited network suppliers (NF) to handle applications and they are paying the NF's bills.

The end of the SPII era?

The support program for Industrial innovation (SPII) has had a long run. As far as I know it started in the late 80's as the SVE and was converted to SPII early in the 90's.

In recent years SPII began to falter. This was due mainly to a lack of leadership after the departure of Darryl Aberdein in the early 2000's. It was to my mind also the result of too much interference by DTI officials, the stagnation of the scheme's rule book as well as a culture of very, very poor client service and administration setting in.

The SPII grant became rather irrelevant and finally the SPII management apparently sat down to do some introspection. This resulted in the suspension of the scheme and the launch of a rationalisation project in an effort to streamline the various grants and subsidies on offer to technology innovators and developers.

The latest indication, given to us during January 2011, was that a final decision about the future of SPII will hopefully be taken during February.

Theo Meintjes
Managing Director: Dectra

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