Everything you need to know about National Gazelles. A question and answer guide

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1 Everything you need to know about National Gazelles A question and answer guide

2 Q: What is the National Gazelles? The President s Gazelles is a new programme specifically designed to support and accelerate the growth of SMEs which have shown that they have real growth potential. Every year, 200 finalists will be chosen, with the top 40 benefitting from a range of support activities and interventions to ensure they operate as close as possible to their maximum potential. Q: Why is Seda running this programme? Globally, researchers and policymakers now agree that the highest impact in terms of growth, employment creation and contribution to the economy can be obtained by actively supporting small businesses which have successfully survived their first few years of trading and are now positioned for growth. Seda, as the primary agency responsible for small business development in South Africa, is launching a three-year pilot programme to give effect to this strategic shift. Q: How are the National Gazelles selected? Any business which meets the basic criteria (turnover of between R1m and R30m, and trading for at least two years) is eligible to enter via an open, on-line application form. With reputable audit firms KPMG and EY overseeing the adjudication, the top 200 scoring entries will be chosen as finalists. Finalists will then be interviewed by a selection panel in each province. The selected top 40 are then invited to participate in the core Gazelles High Care programme, with the remaining 160 becoming members of the Gazelles Academy programme to assist them to enter the core programme in future. Q: How do we know the selection process is fair? Every application is adjudicated by business experts in their field. Not only is the selection process overseen by KPMG and EY, but the well known firm of Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo will independently verify the selection process from start to finish. Q: Will my business information be kept confidential? All information provided during the application process will be kept strictly confidential on our secure database, which uses bank-standard encryption. All adjudicators and panel members will be required to adhere to sign and adhere to a strict non-disclosure agreement. Furthermore, during the entire programme, your business information will be handled according to a strict information security policy which will ensure that only those directly involved in providing you with business advice, support and related interventions, will have access to information on a need-to-know basis. Q: Who is eligible to apply for the programme? Any business which is not a franchise or a branch of an offshore company, and which is majority owned by South Africans, is eligible to enter, provided it has been trading for more than two years and has a turnover of not less than R1m and not more than R30m. Every application is adjudicated carefully and independently. Q: If my application is unsuccessful, can I re-apply? If you are not selected as a participant, you will be able to re-apply for the following year s intake. Q: What are the benefits of being part of the programme? The Gazelles programme offers a unique and integrated business growth acceleration programme for the business owner(s) who have successfully navigated the start-up phase and are now positioned for growth. What makes the programme different is that it does not offer a standardized set of one size fits all services, but provides customized and tailored interventions based on a detailed understanding of the business. This detailed analytic-based approach ensures that relevant and high-impact interventions are delivered, while also assisting with other important growth processes such as access to funding. The mere fact of being a Gazelle will mean that the business will be seen as a professional, growing and high-potential business that operates to a high standard and can compete effectively in the market. This prestige will also assist in securing new business. Access to opportunities and decision-makers, entrepreneurial networking and many other benefits also await the Gazelles business owner.

3 Q: Does the programme focus on specific industry sectors? The National Gazelles is focusing on 10 industry sectors which have been selected in line with the National Development Plan and other government development plans such as IPAP. These sectors are: Agriculture and Agri-processing Construction Energy and the Green Economy Health and Bio-Sciences Information and Communication Technologies Manufacturing Media, Marketing and Creative Mining, Metals and Engineering Tourism Transport and Logistics Businesses in other sectors may enter and will be accepted on a case by case basis, subject to their score. Q: How will you know what kind of support a business needs? Every Gazelles business will benefit from a detailed gap analysis an intensive business diagnostic process that identifies and prioritises what the business needs in order to realize its full potential. This process, which will be undertaken individually with each business, will form the roadmap for the various interventions and activities that will be undertaken for that business. This will be reviewed on a regular basis. Gazelles business owners will be able to request advice, assistance and advice covering various aspects of business. Although we will not actively participate in the management or operations of your business after all, it is YOUR business and ultimately its success is YOUR responsibility we will, directly or via accredited partners and providers, deliver the necessary support. Q: Are there any costs involved? There are no costs involved in applying for or participating in the programme. The various business support services and interventions are subsidized by the programme. However, from time to time there may be certain business networking or opportunity-related events or activities which may take place outside your area; if you wish to attend you may be requires to cover transport and accommodation costs. Q: Once it is in the programme, what does a business need to do? Your first action after being accepted into the programme is to sign the Gazelles Participation Agreement. This is an agreement that is the framework for the relationship between the Gazelles and the project team, so that everyone involved understands their respective roles, rights, obligations and benefits. After the initial induction workshop and presentation, your role is to work with us through the diagnostic process and to then agree on your customized support plan. Once the various support activities are under way, you are then expected to pro-actively engage with the Gazelles team, and communicate with us on a regular basis. You will need to provide some monthly reports (which will take minimal time) so we can track your business performance and identify any early warning signs so we can provide the necessary advice and support. We will be communicating with you throughout the programme to bring you news of opportunities, events, activities and Gazelles incentives. You will also be able to approach us at any time with specific support requests, and we will do our best to assist you within the scope of the programme. Q: Can a business participate anywhere in the country? Any business, anywhere in South Africa, that meets the criteria, may apply for the programme and if selected, will be able to take part. Q: Does the programme offer business funding? Neither Seda nor the Gazelles programme itself offer direct funding. However, Gazelles participants will be assisted with the process of applying for funding from the most appropriate institutions, many of which have committed themselves to fast-tracking Gazelles applications.

4 Q: Do I need to be a Seda client to participate? No, any business can apply, whether a Seda client or not. Once you have been accepted as a Gazelle, you will automatically be registered as a Seda client and have access to all Seda services, via your nearest Seda branch, as well as the more intensive and customized Gazelles programme which is exclusive to the Gazelles participants. The customized Gazelles services are tailored to your specific business needs, and are more specialized and geared to driving business growth. Q: Will this programme help me to get tenders? While there will be no specific preferential treatment for tenders submitted by Gazelles businesses, due to the legal and technical complexity of the procurement processes used by different organisations and government departments, the programme will as one of its main aims position Gazelles participants as highly desirable SME suppliers. This will be supported by the on-line Gazelles procurement platform, which will be a searchable database of the top 40 Gazelles participants. Q: Who can I contact for further information? You can contact us via: Q If I am successful, how long will my business be in the programme? Each business that takes part in the Gazelles will be part of the programme for a three-year cycle. The first year will focus on strategic interventions to ensure your company is positioned for growth and able to operate as closely to its maximum potential. These could include (but are not limited to) developing a strong strategy, mentorship, specialist technical or business advisory services, innovation and competitiveness development, facilitating opportunities and networking, access to decisionmakers, facilitated access to numerous government incentives, grant and funding programmes, and more. Thereafter, you will continue to participate in various Gazelles growth-focused activities, including our exciting Circle of Excellence programme, which is a way for you to collaborate with and benefit from the experiences of other successful entrepreneurs. Q: What is the process after I have submitted my application? Once you have submitted your application, you will receive regular updates on its progress. If selected as a finalist, you will be invited to a provincial selection panel meeting, which will make the final selection decisions for that province. phone on the Gazelles Hotline, (011) on visiting any Seda branch (see for branch details) You can also contact us via social media. Just search for National Gazelles on Twitter, Facebook or Linked in.

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