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.
Speed Humps on P333 & P32. 2018-11-20 11:00 ZNT373T/C238/1100/S/19
Construction of Headwalls on L3150. 2018-11-20 11:00 ZNT373T/C238/1100/S/71
Supply and Installation of Mobile, Portable Radios and Batteries for Fire Department at Moorreesburg 2018-10-18 12:00 6/5/2/1
Laboratory Services Needed for Sanas Accredited Testing of Roads Materials 2018-10-18 12:00 6/5/2/386
Supply: Tools and equipment 2018-10-23 12:00 GD11900446
Supply and Install Lime Feeder, Butterfly Valve and Fasteners at Withoogte 2018-10-22 12:00 6/5/2/384
Supply and Delivery of Water Striker Service Pump End at Moorreesburg 2018-10-23 12:00 6/5/2/340
Supply and Installation of a Robotic Camera 2018-11-08 12:00 RFP/RBF/2018/63
Design, Development, Manufacture and Integration of a Military Mobile Headquarters Vehicle. 2018-11-13 15:00 DLS150651
Replacement of old ICT equipment. 2018-11-14 10:00 DBN/CAP (RTPC) 783
Supply and Delivery of Salga Games 2018 Kits “tracksuit, T-Shirts and Shorts” for the Zululand District Municipality 2018-10-30 12:00 ZDM109/2018
Provision of fire detection system maintenance. 2018-11-14 10:00 MPGXC005354
Supply & delivery of ticketing equipment. 2018-11-14 10:00 DBN/CAP (RTPC) 792
Supply, delivery and Off-Loading of 5 Ton Sudfloc 3860 at Krugerdam Water Treatment Plant 2018-10-18 12:00 Q10.10.18
Supply, Delivery and Off-Loading of 12 Ton Sudfloc 3860 at Vaalbank Water Treatment Plant 2018-10-18 12:00 Q11.10.18
The supply and delivery of Gym Equipment. 2018-11-14 10:00 CORP4588
The replacement of Roof at Eskom Park in Witbank. 2018-11-14 10:00 CORP 4587
Supply and deliver Lamps Tubular metal halide ZDL250 MHT 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181287
Supply & maintenance of a self-propelled on-track wagon with crane - as & when required (12 months). 2018-11-14 11:00 DBN/CAP (RTPC) 789
Supply & Deliver Flourescent Fittings 1.2mm switch start 240 complete with 2 tubes 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181287


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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