Calling all KZN-Based Furniture Businesses – This Game Changing Competition is For YOU!

Competition is a gamechanger for the Furniture Sector

@home, CLM Home, and Homewood call for new local furniture, packaging, raw material, and componentry suppliers

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Do you have a bold business idea that has the potential to be a gamechanger in the regional furniture industry? Do you want to grow in the retail value chain? If you are a small business based in KZN that currently supplies, or could supply, goods or services to the furniture sector, enter the eThekwini Furniture Cluster (EFC) Business Accelerator and put yourself in the running to gain a lucrative business contract with leading South African furniture retailers, @home, CLM Home and Homewood.

This event provides a unique platform for SMMEs to showcase their potential to large retailers. It also creates the opportunity for local retail to access previously unseen local suppliers. Paige Sherriff, the Project Manager for the EFC, says that with its focus on linking innovative products and services such as packaging, raw materials, componentry, technology and furniture to larger markets, the Business Accelerator aims to fast track the growth of innovative businesses driven by passionate South Africans.

“KZN is home to an abundance of SMMEs that have innovative business concepts, yet these often go unfulfilled as they simply don’t have the opportunity to engage with large customers or the resources to develop their ideas,” Paige explains.

“For these businesses, the EFC Business Accelerator promises to be a gamechanger. It offers a unique platform for high potential SMMEs to pitch their innovative ideas to some of South Africa’s leading furniture retailers. Our panel comprises @home, CLM Home, and Homewood who are actively looking for KZN-based businesses to showcase their products and services and unlock their growth potential,” Paige explains.

The EFC Business Accelerator is open to all KZN-based small, medium, and micro businesses that are current or prospective manufacturers or services providers to the regional furniture industries. To enter, candidates need to submit their innovative ideas and projects by completing an online application by Friday, 14 May 2021. These will be screened and top candidates will be invited to submit a video pitching their ideas.

The top pitches will qualify for an online pitching platform which will take place in mid-June. Paige explains how this will work: “This virtual ‘Dragons’ Den’ of sorts will give our retailers the opportunity to engage with the SMMEs and ask them questions about their products or services. After they have reviewed all the pitches, our judges will select the winning companies and they will receive a letter of intent to procure their goods or services from these large customers along with a list of requirements to convert this intent into physical sales.”

In addition to this market opportunity, the winner will automatically qualify to receive intensive mentoring and support from industry professionals with over 30 years of experience, training and development for themselves and their employees, and membership to the EFC for one year.

“We leverage experience, expertise, and partnerships to create a winning mentorship programme as this is the magic that will turn the winning idea into a viable, growth-oriented innovation,” Paige explains.

The intention of the Business Accelerator is to be a vehicle for industry transformation in the regional furniture sector, to promote small Black-owned enterprises, and thus to further develop the sector, economy, and employment.

For more information on the EFC Business Accelerator or if you want to enter, visit https://furniturecluster.org.za/the-business-accelerator/. Entries close on Friday, 14 May 2021.

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