New development fund to assist small tourism businesses

 Winning Board Development Fund members; Ebrahim Osman and Rene Moses (Cape Town Tourism). 

Cape Town Tourism’s board of directors has launched a Board Development Fund to support SMMEs with the development of their tourism businesses.

Following a request for applications and a selection process, the first two beneficiaries of the fund – Ozzie’s Golf Guide and Travel with René – have each received R50 000 to support the growth of their businesses. They’re also receiving non-financial support in the form of complimentary Cape Town Tourism membership, mentorship by board members, training, skills development and marketing support until 31 August 2014.

Ozzie’s Golf Guide provides a personalised service to local and international guests to ensure that they experience a memorable round of golf in Cape Town, including securing tee times, transportation and golf equipment.

Ebrahim Osman, owner of Ozzie’s Golf Guide – which is just more than a year old – says being a recipient of the Board Development Fund has given his business a great boost in terms of a cash injection, mentorship, networking opportunities and industry exposure. ‘Most of all, I have a greater sense of confidence in what I do because an organisation like Cape Town Tourism is behind me and believes that I have a great product to offer visitors,’ he says.

Travel with René is a niche tourism business that offers two specialised vehicles to assist with the transportation needs of people with disabilities and their families. Owner René Moses has been a wheelchair user for more than 18 years and successfully started her business to fill the access gap. ‘Having been selected means my dream of accessible transport for all, including people with disabilities, is attainable. It has instilled confidence in me to continue fighting so that every visitor to our beautiful country feels at home,’ she says.

Cape Town Tourism board member and mentor Jonathan Jacobs says the board is looking to support high-growth companies that can also enhance ‘Brand Cape Town’. 

‘One of the greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs is how to access capital, and the Board Development Fund makes it easier for small business owners to access small amounts of capital. We hope that when the new BEE codes come into effect that tourism businesses consider this fund to enhance their enterprise development points,’ he says.

Enver Duminy, Cape Town Tourism CEO, says mentorship is central to growing skills and confidence in the tourism industry: ‘While tourism is a vital economic driver for our city, province and country, its real impact still needs to reach a broader base of participants and beneficiaries.’

The next request for proposals will go out in November 2014, and the two selected winning businesses announced in December 2014.

For more information on the criteria, application process and terms and conditions, click here.