CDI’s SCALE project on track to uplift 200 entrepreneurs

The project brings together a suite of triedI to support the growth of self-employed business owners in the informal segment of the craft and design sector

©Shameema Brown

The Craft and Design Institute’s (CDI’s) SCALE (Supporting Creatives + Accelerating Local Enterprises) project is on track to uplift 200 craft and design entrepreneurs with training and a R23 000 (US$1200) grant fund.

The project’s first call for businesses garnered significant interest and nearly 400 applications – the first cohort of businesses is now signed up, and a further call for 100 more will take place in July. This project provides bespoke training, mentorship, and a grant of R23 000 to 200 South African craft and design entrepreneurs in 2023.


The initiative, supported by the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, seeks to reduce barriers for informal businesses and entrepreneurs, including those who are not registered formally, and enables them to grow their revenue, personal income, and even employ new staff.

Successful applicants receive support in accessing markets, finance, and capacity development, along with administrative and data support.




“The SCALE project offered by the CDI is a comprehensive initiative aimed at supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in enhancing their competitiveness and profitability through a range of services including training, mentoring and networking.”


Shameema Brown,one the project participants



Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund, said at the project launch that: “Millions of South Africans rely on the informal economy to earn a living; they are either self-employed or employed by informal businesses. The Jobs Fund acknowledges that growth in this area is important in building an inclusive economy. The SCALE project acknowledges the value of the ideas and services that informal/micro entrepreneurs bring to communities and to the economy as a whole.”

The project is also supported by contributions from existing funding partners of the CDI, such as the City of Cape Town. It adds value to the agglomeration of services supported by other funders of the CDI, such as the national departments of Small Business Development and Sports, Arts and Culture, the V&A Waterfront and others.



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