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Eastern Cape Exporter Development Programme


The pilot phase of the exporters development programme involved 10 emerging exporters or SMEs drawn from Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City Metros. The participants were drawn from a pool of 47 applicants and the final 10 were in the following sectors: office furniture, agro-processing, creative and textile arts, footwear, chemicals, engineering, wool and mohair. The programme ran
between April 2018 and February 2019, attaining most of the planned outcomes. In particular, the programme bridged the knowledge gap amongst the SMEs through addressing the key constraints that companies face before entering the export market. More importantly the SMEs had an opportunity to develop an export marketing plan for their businesses with expert advice at hand. The programme was lauded for having a very practical emphasis which assisted the SMEs to resolve their immediate business concerns

The major challenges encountered on the programme were aligned to what had been envisaged from the beginning which included:
• the circumstantial challenges of attendance faced by SMEs, the owners being allergic to
course work and class work, leading to poor attendance levels
• budget constraints as we had to work with a pre-approved budget.
• Combining the Buffalo and Nelson Mandela Bay regions also presented challenges for the
travelling businesses as it meant they lost 6 hours travelling to and from. This led to
reluctance to attend last sessions.
• Mentorship sessions equally had challenges around mismatch of expectations.
• Selection of mentors was randomly done on the basis of willingness.


The Exporter Development Programme is aimed at assisting local companies to start exporting. The programme seeks to provide assistance to the different levels of companies and ensure that the exports contribute to the company’s growth. The programme aims to address the key constraints that companies face before entering the export market. In the recently commissioned EC Export.

Strategy constraints faced by exporters in the province include: foreign market too competitive/unprofitable; making contact with potential buyers; cost of marketing the product; transport/logistics costs; export documentation; changing product for export market etc. The
Exporter Development Programme is designed to assist companies with such challenges. The exporter development programme is targeted at those firms that are on the cusp of exporting, but require some additional incentive or support to enter and explore new markets.


Modular Training Sessions - Export Market - Mentorship

Dsc 6813


  • Regulatory compliance i.e. CIPRO, SARS
  • Must be an SME based in Eastern Cape
  • A viable business minimum 18 months in operation
  • A viable product or service
  • Willingness to grow into the export market
  • Commitment to 12 months intervention
  • Agreeable to SITE INSPECTION from steer com
NB. No direct financial cost outlay to SME


Export Marketing Plans

Advice and assessment @ 1.5 hours per company up to a maximum of 22.5 hours

Export Readiness Assessment

1hr 30 minutes export readiness assessment for each company

Participate in outbound Trade Mission or Exhibition

Eligible if SME has successfully completed programme


To download the Eastern Cape Exporters Development Programme Application Invite, Click HERE.

To download the Eastern Cape Exporters Development Programme Application Form, Click HERE

Programme Partners: