Business Investment Competition


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.

Business Investment Competition Toolkit


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 are closed.

For more information visit:


Simama Ranta

Since 1995, unemployment in South Africa has risen from 4.5% to a staggering 25% in 2010 and 26.7% in 2018. Many economic experts agree that to address this challenge we need to grow the number and quality of small businesses, and one way to do this is by developing a culture of entrepreneurship.

On a deeper level, it is crucial that entrepreneurship education is supported in order to ensure that the youth play a part in strengthening the country’s economy through entrepreneurship. The Eskom Development Foundation aims to encourage this through its Eskom Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition.


Loosely translated, “Simama Ranta” means strengthening the South African economy through entrepreneurship education. This competition aims to identify, honour and showcase those South African secondary schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education. The competition encourages learners to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice, taking charge of their career path by becoming job creators rather than job seekers.


Simama Ranta is managed by Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET) – a non-profit organisation that has devoted their knowledge, skills and talent to improving enterprise education in high schools over a number of years. They work in over 800 schools throughout South Africa, empowering educators to promote entrepreneurship and enhance teaching and learning in economic and management sciences.

The competition is judged by a diverse panel representing the Department of Basic Education, the private sector, as well as experts in entrepreneurship education.

With great prizes up for grabs in the competition, schools get to compete to win their share, which they must use to improve their businesses. The overall winner takes away a whopping R100 000 cash prize. Winners in each province receive R50 000; the first runners-up in each province receive R25 000 while the second runners-up each receive R10 000.

Awards: All finalists are invited to the Simama Ranta Awards on 5 September 2018 in Johannesburg, where the overall winner and provincial winners are announced. Following this, all finalists get to exhibit their enterprises (as part of their prizes), at the annual Small Business Expo (SBE) at the Ticket Pro Dome from 6 - 8 September 2018, as well as attend several business training workshops.