In an effort to boost enterprise development, the Eskom Development Foundation has been running the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) since 2008. The BIC provides a great platform for South African owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs as they look to build on their businesses’ solid foundation and realise their true potential.
Black-owned, registered small and medium enterprises in the engineering/construction, manufacturing, agriculture/agri-processing as well as trade/services sectors that have been in operation for at least 24 months are eligible to enter.
All the BIC’s winners, runners-up and finalists get to enjoy the awesome prizes on offer along with other benefits, which include increased awareness through media coverage and exhibiting of their businesses at an exclusive expo for small businesses, where they can network and share valuable experiences with other entrepreneurs as well as connect with some 7000 potential investors and visitors.
With R1.3 million worth of prizes up for grabs in the competition, finalists get to compete to win their share, which they must use to improve their businesses. The overall winner takes away a R150 000 cash prize. Winners of each sector receive R100 000; the first runners-up in each of the sectors receive R50 000 while the second runners-up each receive R25 000. All other finalists each receive R5 000.
Application and adjudication process
Applicants must submit an online application. This is followed by two rounds of adjudication to select the winners and runners-up.
First round adjudication: Following the submission of all entries our panel of adjudicators reviews the businesses entered and draw up a shortlist of successful entrants.
Second round adjudication: All shortlisted business owners are invited to Johannesburg to make a presentation to a panel of adjudicators about their business and showcase why they are deserving of the prize. At this second round of adjudication all applicants (business owners) are interviewed by a team of writers.
Awards: All finalists are invited to Johannesburg to the BIC Awards on 30 August 2017, where the overall winner and category winners are announced, after which they all exhibit as part of their prizes, at the annual Small Business Expo (SBE) at the Ticket Pro Dome from 31 August to 2 September 2017.
Small Business Expo (SBE): Following the BIC Awards, all finalists remain in Johannesburg for three days to attend and exhibit at the SBE as well as attended several business training workshops.
Entries for the competition open in May and close in July.
To enter the Business Investment Competition online: www.eskombic.co.za