Overview of the DAC Debut Programme

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in partnership with BASA and the National Lotteries Council (NLC) provides knowledge and skills development to emerging artists on the cusp of “making it,” to support them with launching/implementing their first album, film, book, etc., and allowing them opportunities to pitch for funding to further support their venture. The programme combines DAC Debut Funding with BASA’s Education and Mentorship Programmes, as well as opportunities to apply for BASA Supporting Grants should applicants be eligible. Partnerships and collaborations are important for maximum impact and improved sustainability.

BASA identified and collaborated with community arts centres within each province which are supported by the DAC. These centres serve as programme anchors in each province, providing support and a local point of contact between the delegates, BASA and the DAC; assisting with marketing and recruitment channels. One of their staff members is trained to co-facilitate the programme with BASA facilitators initially, to support the delegates between workshop visits, and later be able to take on more facilitation within their community after completing this programme. The centres, ideally, are resourced so that delegates are able to access information, telephones and internet at their premises in order to maximise their participation and success in the programme.

The first series of workshops, the Kickstarter Training, introduces delegates to discovering and mobilising the resources already available to them, basic business communication skills that will be an asset to them as entrepreneurs or employees, understanding their venture idea, the needs it is meeting and how to communicate it. Once they settle on a venture idea, delegates gain an understanding of how to collect data in order to see if their venture is viable and has the ability to succeed, before planning and implementing such market research.  After this stage, delegates have the opportunity to pitch their ventures for a Catalyst Grant and participate in Hlanganisa Training to ensure their readiness to manage the grant and roll out a pilot or early phase of their venture. This training focuses on mobilising resources, including opportunities and potential partners to engage with, and Business Model Canvases. At the end of the workshop programme, they will have the opportunity to pitch their refined ventures for a Launch Grant, and to implement their ventures with guidance from a mentor.


"I just wanted to thank you and your team, BASA and the Department of Arts & Culture for the Debut Programme. The BASA DAC Debut Programme has equipped us with the necessary skills to better run our company within the creative arts industries. Since the first workshop in 2017, our company income has grown by over 300%. Additionally, the funding we received from the programme assisted in the purchasing of equipment, the DJI Mavic Pro drone. This increased our product value greatly. Due to the equipment, our production company entered into a specialised field within the film industry and we were able to increase company revenue streams and rates. We have also updated our marketing strategies and grown our clientele to include big brands such as Mercedes Benz, East London. It has been our most successful year yet!" - Khanya Ngumbela and Alano Grooves.

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Content produced by Slice of Life Productions 

For more information on the DAC Debut Programme, please contact Onthatile Ditshego on onthatile@basa.co.za or 011 447 2295.