Tender awarded to SA Franchise Warehouse by the Department of Small Business Development

Kobus Oosthuizen, Mzi Memani,
Jayshree Padayatchey and Chris Strydom
When the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) put out a request for tender to identify small businesses in peri-urban and rural areas that can be micro-franchised, SA Franchise Warehouse (SAFW), understanding the responsibility that this programme will entail, decided not to shy away from the challenge. Being awarded the tender would be an opportunity to uplift communities and make a difference in the lives of possibly thousands of people.

By awarding the tender to SAFW the DSBD confirmed our position as a leader in this field. The crux of this project is to identify current viable small businesses, and franchise them. In addition to being profitable and sustainable with a proven trade record over an extended period, qualifying businesses must also be replicable. The programme will run over a 3-year period and in total package 15 micro-franchise businesses; i.e. five business each year over the term of the programme.

These ‘diamond in the rough’ business is to be located amongst the many small businesses operating in the rural and peri-urban areas of Gauteng and the Free State.  To source these businesses SAFW has joined forces with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and hosted briefing sessions in various areas.

Visiting the potential businesses to assess their suitability for participating in the programme, we were blown away and happily surprised at the high calibre of business operating in the rural communities. In fact, the choice of which businesses to incorporate into the programme became rather more difficult than anticipated.

In October, 14 businesses were invited to Sebokeng to present their business to the selection panel made up of representative from the DSBD, Seda, SAFW, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) and the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA). The high quality presentations delivered by the participating businesses meant that it took some time to reach consensus on who the finalists should be.

Looking at the calibre of the business who presented, SAFW felt it was almost a ‘crime’ to take on only five business and to risk ‘diamonds’ getting lost in the sifting process. In the end it was decided to take on eight business instead of the intended five.

Being part of this programme if so much more than business as usual, it is an opportunity to be part of something bigger; something that will add value and change lives by creating business and jobs.