South Africa - With support from the government of the United Kingdom, GreenCape and the World Bank's Climate Technology Program (CTP) have launched a cross-border business matchmaking facility that links global companies to local green businesses in South Africa.
Most trade missions fail to focus on individual businesses especially the small and growing ones. South African small businesses in the green space mostly lack adequate financial resources and know-how to deal on a global scale. At the same time big international corporates seeking to partner with South African businesses struggle to obtain helpful information on the local green economy thereby missing out on potential partnerships.
By leveraging CTP and GreenCape’s expertise and connections in the local ecosystem, the program provides market insights and technical support to trade missions organised by embassies and investment promotion agencies, as well as matchmaking facilitation between foreign companies and South African firms. By facilitating partnerships and the diffusion of innovative green business models, the project aims to stimulate and catalyse the growth of local and regional green markets.
High-potential partnerships are identified through a preliminary analysis of the sector and the firms’ market needs. After conducting a first-level due diligence on the local companies identified, the facility provides interested foreign firms with curated lists of potential business matches and proceeds to facilitate connections through events, meetings, seminars, and direct introductions.
For example, in January this year, the matchmaking facility co-created a trade program for a clean-tech business delegation from Finland. The program offered market insights, provided curated list of local ventures, facilitated partnership opportunities, and organized a tailored industry seminar. Over 80 local stakeholders — including companies and municipalities — attended and over 100 connections were made between Finnish and South African firms.
Ultimately, CTP and GreenCape aim to innovate the traditional trade mission and business matchmaking model through a unique service offering that combines market intelligence, business model diagnostics and access to a local and global network of clean-tech firms and green organizations.
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