1. What is the MultiChoice Innovation Fund?

The MultiChoice Innovation Fund (the Fund) is an enterprise development fund administered by the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust (the Trust), which is aimed at empowering qualifying small-medium enterprises in the Information and Communications Technology industry.

Since inception, The Trust has, invested in over 69 black-owned businesses investing well over R405 million. Through the Innovation Fund, the MultiChoice Group aims to reinforce its commitment to uplifting and investing in South Africa and communities it operates in

The Fund seeks to empower South African entrepreneurs. As such, we consider South African businesses with an annual turnover threshold of between 0 and R50 million with at least 51% black-ownership, start-ups are welcome to apply.

The Fund considers businesses operating or intending to operate within the film, television and media space, as well as the broader ICT Sector, with a specific focus on innovation in:

  • Broadcast Technology
  • Innovative Content
  • Digital and Internet Solutions
  • Business Processing

In line with the objectives of enterprise development, the solutions must have the potential to create jobs, create positive community impact and supported by a viable business model

We provide grant and loan financing depending on the specific circumstances of the business cases.

Amounts considered for funding vary and are assessed based on the individual business cases and needs. The loans are capped at R50 million whilst the grants are capped at R1 million.

There are no upfront security requirements, although security may be taken on the underlying funded asset as a condition of funding. Additionally, further assets may be considered for security purposes where it is possible to do so, depending on the nature and degree of risk assessed.

Repayment durations vary dependent on factors such as the purpose of the funding; future financial projections; and business development cycles. All investment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of the Trustees.

Successful beneficiaries are enrolled into a Post Investment Programme that focuses on assisting the entrepreneur/s to realise their business objectives as presented to the Fund; comply with all key regulations and laws; practice good governance; develop robust sales and marketing strategies; and ultimately graduate as successful independent businesses that are able to compete within the market.

Entrepreneurs can apply online by following the link on the MultiChoice Group website. The following information will be required from entrepreneurs looking to apply:

  1. Shareholder Information
  2. Director Information
  3. Key management information
  4. Tax clearance certificates and statements of account
  5. Historical financial statements (if applicable)
  6. Five-year financial projections
  7. Latest B-BBEE certificate or affidavit
  8. Description of the business and product/services
  9. Assistance required
  10. Expected market opportunity and/or community impact

Entrepreneurs can expect that a detailed due diligence will be performed on their businesses, as well as background and conflict of interest checks on the directors and/or shareholders.

Entrepreneurs who are unsuccessful during the process will be communicated to and provided with reasons. In cases where the Trustees believes there is potential in the proposal, entrepreneurs may be offered an opportunity to address any such reasons provided and re-apply in future.

The Fund’s objective is primarily that of enterprise development. Entrepreneurs are therefore offered support to ensure that they can ultimately meet their repayment obligations. Where they are unable to do so, the Fund – as a Lender – will firstly alert businesses to any defaults and undertake initiatives to assist with business development. Should businesses still be unable to meet repayment obligations then the Fund may pursue several courses of action within the applicable laws of South Africa to recover the outstanding loan balance.

For more information please visit https://www.multichoice.com/innovation-fund/ or email innovationfund@multichoice.co.za. Funding applications are considered on a quarterly basis.

Applications are first shortlisted to take into account the basic eligibility criteria. Management Consultants appointed by the Trustees then work closely with shortlisted entrepreneurs during this period to develop and review their business proposals for ultimate consideration by the Trustees.

The submission portal went live on 19 February 2020 and can be accessed by visiting https://www.multichoice.com/innovation-fund/and follow the Enterprise Development link. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis