AWS: AWS opens applications for equity investment

Amazon Web Services (AWS) South Africa is inviting black-owned tech SMEs to apply for its Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP).

The Amazon subsidiary launched the AWS EEIP in SA in 2019, as part of its broad-based black economic empowerment programme, which seeks to support 100% black-owned local small IT businesses.

According to a statement, EEIPs are South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition-approved initiatives, aimed at enabling and accelerating businesses that want to build their operations on AWS offerings and grow as partners in the Amazon Partner Network (APN).

The initiative also provides multinational companies an opportunity to take part in local societal development and contribute towards economic advancement and inclusion of black people and black-owned businesses in SA, says the company.

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“Amazon fosters diversity and inclusion globally and looks for ways to amplify underrepresented voices and empower diverse communities,” says AWS in a statement

“Our AWS EEIP is an 18- to 24-month enablement and acceleration programme for South African SMEs that want to build their AWS business and grow as partners in the APN. We recognise the challenges that SMEs have in accessing low-cost funding, accessing markets and connecting with buyers, building networks and developing and enabling their people.”

Applicants must be 100% black-owned; generate between R500 000 and R50 million per annum revenue; have at least two full-time employees, including a technical lead; have a valid B-BBEE level one certificate or affidavit; and been trading for a minimum of 12 months.

To find out more about the application process and the criteria, visit the initiative’s website.

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