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 & deliver Sodium Lamps 250watt G.E.S. SONT. High pressure. Phillips,Osram or approved equal. 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181287
Supply and delivery of Refuse bags for a period of 36 months as and when required. 2018-11-14 11:00 LNM053/053/2018
Supply & deliver Photo Electric Cell Relays.Photo control Model AA 1068 208/277 volt,1200watt with cord for use in POST TOP PANEL type P 16.SA. 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181287
Supply & deliver Photoelectric Cell Relays Complete Wih Mounting Bracket switch for conduit fitting on/off switch ratio 1 = 1'5.Spectrum LSN-15-240 or approved equal. 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181287
Supply & deliver Carrier Fuse Bake Lite for 400watt units type CJ235 (shrouded) with fixing centres 82.5mm. 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181286
Appointment of service provider for hiring of plant for a period of 36 months as and when required. 2018-11-14 11:00 LNM033/2018/19
Supply & deliver Cable Ties T50 I.Hellerman or approved equal 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181286
Repairs to various cables & power receptacles - as & when required (36 months). 2018-11-14 12:00 DBN/OPS (RTPC) 794
Supply & deliver Padlocks Wky Lt substation 50mm with nylon base hardened stainless steel shackles 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181286
Construction of Polini to Turweni Rising Main and 500kl Reservoir. 2018-11-15 12:00 ORTDM SCMU 18-18/19
Supply & deliver Bass Brooms 380mm complete with handles & stays 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181286
Construction of Mdoni to Ntilini Gravity Mains and Njezweni Rising Main and Ntilini and Njezweni Reservoirs (500KL and 250KL). 2018-11-15 12:00 ORTDM SCMU 19-18/19
Construction of Mantanjeni, Ndidimeni and Matolweni Gravity Mains and 1ML Reservoir. 2018-11-15 12:00 ORTDM SCMU 20-18/19
Supply & Deliver Lamps B3 Vandle Proof post top with DLS. Beka zela 55watt or approved equal 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181288
Construction of 8.7km DN 315 TYRA Gravity Main and 8.3km DN 200 Empangala Gravity Main. 2018-11-15 12:00 ORTDM SCMU 21-18/19
Supply & deliver SODIUM LAMPS 250watt eliptical SON E high pressure 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181288
Construction of Emapeleni to Bomvini Rising Main and 1ML Bomvini Reservoir. 2018-11-15 12:00 ORTDM SCMU 16-18/19
Supply & deliver LAMPS 100watt High Pressure sodium son e eco arc. OSRAM or approved equal 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181288
The provision of specialised security services within the NWOU for 12 months period with escape clause. 2018-11-15 14:00 PTA TEN 2434
Supply & Deliver Gloves, Cow Hide Type 2018-10-24 11:00 SQ10181288


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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