The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) earlier in the month announced that as from 01 May 2016 all applications for financial and non-financial support will no longer be assessed at the regional offices, but at its head office in Johannesburg. This move is geared towards providing equitable support to clients.
In 2015 GEP identified barriers that derailed its mandate of supporting small businesses and co-operatives in Gauteng. This affected prospects of SMMEs contributing meaningfully to the provincial economy, but was further exacerbated by poor turnaround times for addressing queries as well as a lack of proper systems to trace applications.
GEP has since developed various tactics in order to change negative perceptions and regain public confidence. The agency will no longer accept applications for approval after the closure of a call for proposals. In Addition, all proposals received through the public process will receive an acknowledgment letter within 14 days after the closing date. Decisions related to the outcome of the assessment will be communicated with applicants within six weeks post the last letter.
SMMES and cooperatives will, however, continue to receive business advisory support at the regional offices. “Applications for financial and non-financial products will proceed to be vetted and assessed for viability. However, no approvals will be done at the regional offices,” said the agency in a written statement.
To gain public confidence and change perceptions about GEP’s failure to assist SMMEs, the following tactics have been adopted:
- Regional Offices: SMME’s and Cooperatives will continue to receive business advisory support from our Professional Information Officers. Applications for financial and none financial products will proceed to be vetted and assessed for viability. However, NO APPROVALS will be done at the Regional Offices.
- The support in the form of information requirements to comply with applications, business plans, and related will continue to be provided in the Regional Offices.
- GEP will no longer accept applications for approval outside the Public Process, that is, after the closure of a call for proposals. Those submitted outside this period will be registered, and only processed in the next round of call for proposal.
- All proposals received through the public process will receive an acknowledgement letter within 14 days after the closing date. Decisions related to the outcome of the assessments will be sent to all applicants within 6 weeks post the last letter.
Ad-Hoc: GEP will process and adjudicate on adhoc proposals under the following conditions:
- The proponent requires cash flow to service a contract
- New accreditation requirement to increase revenue i.e. SABS, Health, etc.
- Expansion as a result of growth of market
GEP, an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, provides financial and non-financial support to SMMEs and co-operatives in the province.
SOURCE: GAUTENG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT