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The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) is requesting individual companies and intermediaries currently assisting businesses that are exporting or export-ready but are facing technical challenges to access international markets to apply for financial assistance and support through the Export Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (ECEP) Fund.

The ECEP Fund 2023 aims to provide comprehensive support to businesses and organisations that are dedicated to implementing programmes and projects fostering their export initiatives. The programme support will focus on the following services:

  • Product reformulation and refinement.
  • International packaging, labelling and printing requirements.
  • International product certification and standards for international market access.
  • Product or service registration with relevant international bodies in export markets.
  • International nutritional analysis.
  • Specialised shipping requirements.

Funding Criteria
Priority will be given to companies operating in industries with high export potential identified in the Western Cape economy. The financial support provided will be capped at R200 000.00 per company and per intervention. The planned intervention intends to develop successful exporters meeting client needs in a professional manner.

Qualifying Criteria 
Qualifying businesses must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be a registered legal entity;
  • Trading for a minimum of 3 years;
  • Two years’ financial statements;
  • Based in the geographic boundary of the Western Cape;
  • Require assistance to grow exports; or
  • Expanding into new export markets.

Submission of Applications
Applicants must complete the online registration form below and upload their supporting documents. Once submitted a reference number will be issued.

The following exclusions should be noted when applying for the fund:
a) Operational and working capital.
b) Contributing to production costs or purchase of stock.
c) Building any kind of infrastructure.
d) Enterprises not based in the Western Cape.

Priority will be given to companies operating in industries with high export potential identified in the Western Cape economy.
Please note even though the Furniture Industry is not explicitly mentioned, the fund is open to ALL manufacturing sub-sectors. 
Participating in this fund may position the Furniture Industry as a focused sub-sector going forward, therefore we encourage Furniture Manufacturers who are exporting or are considering exporting and meet the criteria to apply.

The fund is contingent upon budget availability, which will be made accessible through an open fund which will be valid until 31 March 2024. The allocation of funds will be at the discretion of the Department, based on evaluation criteria and the availability of budgetary resources.

For more information, contact Mr. Goodwell Dingaan on 021 483 9315 or e-mail us at

(Source: Western Cape Government)