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Friday, April 12, 2024
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New Digital Enablement Fund for the Western Cape

Applications are now open for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s (DEDAT) new Digital Enablement Fund.

Open to individual businesses or business support intermediary organisations, the fund aims to support Western Cape-based businesses to digitally transform.

In so doing, the Fund aims to help businesses reduce costs, increase productivity, offer better products and services, expand and diversify offerings by adopting digital technologies – all to increase competitiveness, profit and ultimately to enable job creation.

The adoption of technology and innovation lead to improved competitiveness, create value and generate income in the economy and are a driver of economic growth. This Fund is aimed at improving competitiveness and importantly, to narrow the ‘digital divide’.

Speaking about the launch of this novel fund, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said, “The Digital Enablement Fund is yet another practical outcome in sync with the Western Cape Government’s ambitious Growth for Jobs Strategy. We are on a mission to enable a R1 trillion provincial economy that is growing by 4% and 6% by 2035 – and we aim to do this by enabling the private sector to do what they do best: create jobs. I’m excited to see DEDAT’s work deliver results in the positioning of the Western Cape as a leader in technology and innovation, contributing to the growth and competitiveness of businesses in our region.”

The fund is open to businesses in two key growth categories:

  1. Category 1: Individual Businesses – The fund will provide support to qualifying businesses in the process of digital enhancement or transformation towards better productivity and competitiveness.
  2. Category 2: Business Support Intermediary Organizations – The fund will support businesses via qualifying intermediaries implementing programmes that focus on improving productivity by adopting technology and digitally transforming.

Focus areas of the Fund include:

  • E-commerce Development: Assistance in establishing or enhancing online presence, including the development of e-commerce websites.
  • Technology Infrastructure: Support for the implementation or upgrade of technology infrastructure to enhance overall business efficiency.
  • Cybersecurity Measures: Implementation of measures to ensure the security of digital assets and data.
  • Automation of Processes: Introduction of automation tools to streamline business processes and improve operational efficiency.
  • Digital Marketing Strategies: Development and implementation of strategies to enhance online visibility and market access.
  • Innovation and R&D: Encouragement of innovation through support for research and development initiatives.
  • Financial Technology (Fintech) Solutions: Introduction of solutions facilitating secure and efficient financial transactions.
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics: Implementation of tools and systems for data analytics to optimize operations.
  • Collaboration Tools: Introduction of platforms and tools to enhance communication and collaboration within and outside the business.

“The Fund is now open, so I encourage qualifying Western Cape businesses to apply without delay. When our businesses succeed, we all succeed and this Fund is specifically set up to help businesses boost productivity, compete on the global stage, and grow from strength to strength, so that they can create many more jobs along the way,” concluded Minister Wenger.

For more information on the Digital enablement Fund (Business Technology & Innovation Programme for Productivity Boost Fund), please visit https://www.westerncape.gov.za/site-page/business-technology-innovation-programme

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