The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) promotes, fosters and develops small enterprises in Gauteng thereby implementing the policy of the Gauteng Provincial Government for small enterprise development.
It is an agency of the Provincial Department of Economic Development in Gauteng. The main objective of the Agency is small business development. GEP started operating in 2005 and its formation was informed by the province’s Growth and Development Strategy (GDS), which identified SMME development as one of the key levers to addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
It aims to provide unique, tailored financial and non-financial services that enable SMMEs and Co-ops to become active participants in Gauteng’s mainstream economy.
The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP)
GEP is a one-stop-shop for SMMEs and offers personalised service. It offers financial and non-financial support to qualifying SMMEs and Co-operatives. GEP delivers customised business solutions that assist entrepreneurs to run their businesses efficiently, which also includes facilitating CIPC registration, providing business advice and commissioning business development support interventions.
It provides assistance with the development of a business plan, project preparation and due diligence (handholding). It also provides post investment and aftercare services to the supported SMME. GEP supports eleven sectors under the Gauteng Provincial Government’s Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation (GPG TMR) protocols.
Objectives of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller
- Strategically lead, monitor and evaluate GEP’s policies, programmes and projects.
- Plan and implement timeously all GEP’s policies, programmes and projects.
- Ensure prudent, compliant and efficient financial, accounting and supply chain services.
- Create awareness of GEP’s services and products through comprehensive marketing and communication.
- Efficiently and effectively manage GEP’s information communication technology and general facilities services.
- Provide sound legal, governance, risk and compliance services.
- Deliver efficient and effective corporate services.
These objectives will be reached through the following: strengthening and improving debt management function; greater focus on resource mobilisation and partnerships; improving business development and after-care support; greater focus on township-based businesses in line with the Gauteng Provincial Government Township Revitalisation Strategy; tailor-made interventions to support informal businesses as the Gauteng Informal Business Upliftment Strategy (GIBUS); developing policies and processes to deal with security cover; and implementing a management information system.
Financial support by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller
To be considered for financial support, businesses need to submit all the standard mandatory documents such as CIPC registration; tax clearance; FICA requirements; company profiles and management profiles.
Businesses also need to submit a business plan (GEP will assist in the development where applicable within GEP’s qualification processes) where funding is for start-up, expansion and franchise purposes.
For contract finance, a business plan is not required. The viability assessment of contract financing is based on the actual contract or purchase order. Business plans are not required for micro-finance applications below R50 000. All products under financial support will be assessed and funded based on assessment report.
Financial offerings include:
- Start-up Finance
Start-up Finance Programme is dedicated to helping SMME’s and cooperatives to secure the finances they need to jump start your business.
- Contract Finance
This type of loan caters for entrepreneurs and SMMEs who secure contracts from government departments, public entities and private sector companies.
- Franchise Finance
GEP Franchise Finance Programme assists with funding to acquire a new or existing franchise, as well as the much needed working capital.
- Growth & Expansion Finance
This programme assist viable existing businesses looking to expand their operations by securing additional capital.
The Micro-finance Loan Programme offers co-operatives, micro, very small and small businesses, access to much needed finance. The programme is specifically geared towards start-ups and existing businesses who demonstrate growth potential and contribute to the broader economic objective of job creation and poverty eradication.
GEP may also provide sponsorship to organisations that promote the economic participation of women, youth and people with disabilities.
GEP works with qualifying entrepreneurs over a period of time to prepare them for sustainability over the years. The handholding approach intends to create sustainable and productive SMME’s that would add value to the Gross Domestic Product of Gauteng and to a greater extent, South Africa.
The following services have been introduced:
- SMME and Cooperative Eco-System Centres
SMMEs and Cooperative Eco-System Centres refer to an Integrated Entrepreneurship Value Chain Model which consists of interventions geared towards all stages of the SMME’s business life cycle. Among others, the business life cycle will entail project identification in line with priority sectors, technical interventions, business development interventions, including access to markets.
- Project preparation
Project preparation involves pre-funding interventions. In line with the handholding process, GEP would focus on assisting SMMEs and Cooperatives with project preparation. This will entail further development of a business plan, business assessments, matching of funding needs, feasibility, due diligence, market and competitor analysis, as well as business pitching. The stages of project preparation will serve as a catalyst in developing their full potential as we shift towards production (manufacturing).
- SMME and Co-Op Ombudsman
Provides SMME’s and co-ops with independent investigative, arbitration and negotiation support for situations where they experience unfair treatment and injustices that directly affect the growth and sustainability of their businesses. The services of SMME’s and Co-operatives Ombudsman are available at the Department of Economic Development Consumer Court.
- Oversight Bodies
A Sector Advisory panel of experts will develop and capacitate SMME’s and Cooperatives to become sustainable and competitive businesses. The sector specific approach would assist in stimulating the ailing sectors and assist in
creating manufacturers. This will in turn move a number of SMME’s operating within the distribution and services space to productive and decent employment. This is part of GEP’s handholding approach to produce sustainable and productive SMME’s and co-operatives.
Co-operative support programme
The Co-operative support programme aims to reinforce the initiatives of the government to develop and promote co-operatives as a form of small enterprise within the scope of SME support and development in the province.
Objectives of the programme are to increase the competitiveness of the co-operative sector so that it is better positioned to take advantage of opportunities emerging in the markets. It also promotes greater participation by black persons, women; persons with disabilities; and the youth in forming and managing co-operatives.
The supported sectors by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller are:
- Information technology
- Creative industries
- Mineral beneficiation
- Real estate
As part of changes at GEP, a new strategy has been developed which supports the notion that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy-boosting productivity, creating employment and prosperity and revitalising our communities.
At DTC we understand the complexities of the various funding agencies and the unique application criteria for each. We have assisted thousands of entrepreneurs through the application process to access funding for businesses, and we can assist you with the same.
Contact us for more information on funding through the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.