In this and upcoming editions we look at business support opportunities available to emerging Hot Shots in the industry. The Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) allows South African companies to grow their export potential through market research, participation in out- and inward missions and marketing support in foreign markets .The scheme is available to companies involved in the film and TV industries.

In 2008, almost 600 small medium and micro enterprises benefited from the Department of Trade and Industry's Export Marketing & Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme. The EMIA programme seeks to partially compensate South African companies for certain costs incurred in respect of activities aimed at developing international markets for their products and services.

The scheme provides assistance in the form of the identification of new international markets through market research, mission and marketing support to facilitate joint ventures, and technology transfers for increased Foreign Direct Investment. EMIA is available to qualifying companies involved in the film and TV industries and allows, for example, filmmakers to participate at official national pavilions such as is held at the annual Cannes Film Festival.

According to Donald Mabusela, the dti's Director for EMIA, a large percentage of applicants are approved. In addition, EMIA will assist emerging enterprises with their applications. The EMIA directorate also provides regular workshops for companies on a range of export-related topics including emerging market profiles and business opportunities, how to cost products for international markets, managing export documentation, exhibition marketing skills and more.

Activities that are supported in terms of EMIA include:

  1. Participation at officially recognised national pavilions, i.e. Cannes Film Festival
  2. Individual participation at recognised international exhibitions
  3. Individual inward-bound missions
  4. Outward-selling missions
  5. Inward-buying missions
  6. Outward-investment missions
  7. Inward-investment missions
  8. Primary market research
  9. Registration of patents, trade marks and quality marks
  10. Foreign Direct Investment research
  11. Sector-specific assistance

Assistance given includes partial compensation for travel costs, a daily subsistence allowance, transport of sample materials, development of marketing materials for events, and exhibitions costs related to stand rental, design and set up costs.

In order to qualify the applicant must be a registered South African enterprise and must show capability in terms of production capacity, export marketing competency and local sales performance. Applications will also be assessed on the nature of the products and services sold. In addition, EMIA encourages enterprises to be affiliated with a relevant export council or industry association. South African industry associations or Joint Action Groups representing at least five South African entities can also apply for EMIA support.

The annual EMIA fund is worth in excess of R100 million per annum.

For more information, contact the dti's regional office at +27 (0)12 394-0000 or visit www.thedti.gov.za