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CDI members showcase at local and international trade shows

Monday, 10 September 2018  
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This August and September, CDI members who are part of the ‘Development by Design’ programme have been out in full force with their new ranges at top local and international trade shows.


The ´Development by Design´ programme enables small and medium businesses in South Africa to develop, grow and sustainably enter new markets. The project is an initiative of The Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), and their local partners, the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).

Over 50 entrepreneurs have been participating in this programme, taking their design studio, workshop or manufacturing company to the next level, and onwards to the export market. The programme focuses on the professional development of entrepreneurs, providing training and coaching to prepare them for entry into the European market. To put into practice the trainings and workshops, they participate in leading local and international trade fairs


Nineteen CDI members showcased their new product ranges of small furniture, lighting, home textiles, and fashion and home accessories in the NEXT18 stand at SARCDA 2018 from 23 – 26 August 2018 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg; five members took part at NY NOW 2018 in New York City; while nine companies participated in Maison & Objet 2018 this month.


Of participating in SARCDA this year, Christine Daron of African Jacquard said that it was great to be part of the trade show with the other participating entrepreneurs. 


“It is multiplying the attraction when we are grouped as we have been with this programme; it’s therefore good for everybody. I must say that African Jacquard took great benefit from it as many people have discovered us, and were attracted by our latest development, our 100% linen throws. I think it works both ways, as our customers could discover the other businesses sharing the space – the fact we are grouped at trade shows made the difference. Thank you once again to have let African Jacquard be part of this show – our initial sales figures show we had sales of over 200 throws!”


Willard Musarurwa, Founder of Feeling African Studio also extended his thanks to the CDI and CBI for providing his business with an opportunity to exhibit at SARCDA 2018.


“When I only look at our order book before the show and after show the difference is astonishing, and I am very thankful,” says Willard.

“At the show there were a number of new buyers who were placing orders and expressing interest in our products, and there were also clients we knew through the ‘Development by Design’ programme over the years, who also visited the stand and placed orders – the common demand was for one of our new products, our sun loungers. We are expecting more orders till end of the year.”


Binky Newman, founder and owner of Design Afrika, one of the participants at Maison & Objet this month, said she had a great trade show.

“I have had a great Maison & Objet trade show; we made new contacts and met with existing customers too. Participating in a group  ̶  there are eight other South African designer manufacturers here  ̶  worked so well. In the European market, there is a lot of interest in handmade products, but coming to a trade show like this can be overwhelming: there is so much product out there! But since my baskets are unique and organic, there is much interest. Not just from buyers: I also met with journalists and trade watchers, and my Kalahari basket was selected for the trend show Nouvel Aire.”


More about ‘Development by Design’

‘Development by Design’ provides quality export training to businesses which has proven to lead to more export-ready companies with high quality, well defined, unique products. The innovative approach has not only created tangible results – an average of 56% increase in export sales (from 2016 – 2017 to EU/EFTA markets) – but also co-creation and collaboration between the participating entrepreneurs. Most of the creative entrepreneurs on the programme are women (60%), and 52% of their staff are women.

More on the CBI

The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and is commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. CBI’s mission is to contribute to sustainable economic development in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these countries.

CBI focuses on the link between producing exporters and European buyers. The centre contributes to the sustainable strengthening of the competitive position of exporters, assisting them in trading in the European market, thereby positively contributing to poverty reduction and alleviation.

CBI’s Export Coaching Programme in South Africa focuses on exporters in the home decoration, home textiles, and small furniture sectors. The market entry phase of the project, titled ´Development by Design´, started in 2013. 

See: For market intelligence to access the Dutch and European export markets, please see



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