Issue Date: 
Friday, July 27, 2018

How can a start-up business win a tender?

In the tender process, it is essential that an enterprise be knowledgeable of the supply it wants to bid for. In fact, the more knowledge the enterprise has of its supply, the better its odds are of being awarded a tender.

The question is ‘where or how do start-up enterprises gain experience?’ or, ‘can a start-up enterprise win a tender?’ The simple answer is yes, start-up enterprises can win tenders.

Organs of State have identified certain industry sectors such as cleaning, grass cutting, security and a few others where they will try and award tenders to start-up enterprises. Furthermore, the new Preferential Procurement Regulations 2017, have got three specific Regulations that Organs of State can apply, to the advantage of designated groups, through sub-contracting 30% of a tender to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s).

An alternative to overcome the lack of experience would be to go into a Joint Venture. Collaborate with an enterprise that has the necessary expertise and that complies with the Functionality of a specific tender. Finding enterprises to go into a joint venture with can be difficult but if a start-up enterprise can bring unique skills or Black Ownership to a joint venture, it will be easier to find a joint venture partner.

It is practical to start a business in something that you have experience in, so we advise start-up entrepreneurs to use their experience, gained through studying or working in a specific sector, in their tender responses. Use personnel references and ask the supplier/s that you dealt with in your previous job/s to be your references.

The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act dictates that Organs of State enforce certain minimum requirements when awarding tenders, in order to verify that an enterprise is legally operating and is tax compliant.

The minimum requirements any enterprise must met in order to respond to tenders are:

  • Being tax compliant;
  • Be registered on the Central Supplier Database;
  • Have an B-BBEE certificate or an EME Affidavit (in the case of a startup);
  • A Fixed address;
  • Bank account;

If you want to learn more about the tender process and how to complete a tender correctly and hopefully successfully, we advise that you attend one of our tender courses. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender which specializes in tender consulting and tender training. (04/05/2018)

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Supply and delivery of liquid aluminum sulphate for a three (3) year period 2018-10-19 12:00 SMT24/18/19
Supply and Installation of 3 sluice plate vertical rising valves for the Sewerage Treatment Plant, Swellendam 2018-11-02 12:00 SMT25/18/19
Civil Engineers for the Heritage Bus Rehabilitation. 2018-11-15 12:00 JDA/HBR 001
Supply Asphalting Services for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019 2018-11-09 12:00 T14.18.19
Bid for the appointment of a service provider for the design, installation, supply and delivery of branding material for the Department of Public Works as per specification. 2018-11-13 11:00 SCMU5-18/19-GS0021
Supply and installation of a 1,8m high welded mesh fence at Sirkel street Park Moorreesburg and Jasmyn street Park Riebeek Kasteel. 2018-11-01 11:00 SCM 56/18/19
Bid for the appointment of a service provider to undertake a risk assessment on security systems at selected government buildings in the Eastern Cape as per specification. 2018-11-13 11:00 SCMU5-18/19-GS0022
Supply and Delivery of Breathing Apparatus for Firemen 2018-10-25 11:00 SCM 55/18/19
Appointment of a service provider on a 36 month contract to supply and deliver blankets to The PDMC. 2018-11-13 11:00 ZNT1904/2018LG
Supply and Installation of a Fully Functional Standard Audible Fire Alarm System at Darling Outreach Centre, Darling 2018-10-18 11:00 SCM 54/18/19
Provision of security guards at the access control points plus patrolling of premises. 2018-11-13 12:00 SEC1/2018/2019
Automatic Real Time License Plate Recognition Service 2018-10-18 11:00 SCM 51/18/19
Appointment of co-operatives for the maintenance of roads within Lekwa Local Municipality for a period of 8 months. 2018-11-13 12:00 DTS 03/2018/2019
Replacing of Existing Gutters at Rosenhof Community Hall, Moorreesburg 2018-10-18 11:00 SCM 50/18/19
Supply and delivery of chemicals for purification of Water and Waste Water in Standerton and Morgenzon. 2018-11-13 12:00 W1/2018/19
Design and installation of sewer odour control system in the international basement at O.R. Tambo International Airport. 2018-11-13 12:00 ORT 195/2018
Vehicle Financing 2018-10-22 12:00 TD07/2018
Speed Humps on P32 & P33-1. 2018-11-20 11:00 ZNT373T/C238/1100/S/17
Speed Humps on P208 & P325. 2018-11-20 11:00 ZNT373T/C238/1100/S/18
Supply and Delivery of Aggregates to Schmidtsdrift Road Building Project 2018-10-22 12:00 Q19/18


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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