Sourcing funding requires a lot of work from the entrepreneur. You need to prove your business works using the little resources that you have. Open a bank account and make sure that whatever cash you generate goes into that account, and every cent that is spent comes from that account. The idea is to show activity, to show that your products are selling and you are investing in the growth of your business. This activity will reflect in your bank statement. It is the proof that funders want.
Seda is my preferred SMME development agency. Take your company business registration certificate, tax clearance and BBBEE certificate to your SEDA branch and tell them you want assistance with building your business plan. You will be interviewed to assess if your business is compelling enough. Again, that proof I always talk about comes in handy here. Entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park, lest you forget. If you are approved, they will allocate you a consultant to help you build your business plan.
The NYDA provides the same services, however, the focus is on youth. Provincial development agencies such as the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the Free State Development Corporation, the North West Development Corporation and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency will also help you develop your business plan at a subsidised cost.
Armed with your business plan, you are ready to submit it to funders.
Seda has a grant fund called the Technology Transfer Fund that targets emerging small businesses that have been in operation for at least a year. The fund provides funding up to R600 000 for machinery & equipment and for business development services such as branding. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
The NYDA has an attractive grant programme of up to R100 000 that can be used as seed capital to kick-start your business. You can use the money to buy machinery, equipment and stock. To apply, visit your local NYDA offices, you can also visit their website at www.nyda.gov.za/grantprogramme or call their call centre at 0800 52 52 52.
The National Empowerment Fund has various funds that target small businesses. It has entrepreneurship finance for startups up to R10 million. It also provides capital to buy franchises. Get application forms from their provincial offices or download them from www.nefcorp.co.za.
The Small Enterprise Finance Agency offers startup loans. You can get their application form from their regional offices or download it from www.sefa.org.za. Alternatively, call their call centre at 012 748 9600 or email them at email@example.com.
The Cooperative Incentive Scheme is a grant up to R350 000 that targets cooperatives. The money can be used to buy machinery equipment and vehicles. Download their application form from www.thedti.gov.za, call them at 0861 843 384 or contact your Seda branch.
The Black Business Supplier Development Programme BBSDP provides grants up to R1 million for machinery, equipment and marketing. Visit your Seda branch to apply.
Anglo Zimele is an Anglo American Enterprise Development Agency that I have found to be very receptive to small businesses. Interest rates are low at 6% per annum and turnaround times for applications are short. It has various funds that support different types of startups and existing businesses. Visit Zimele Business Hubs located across the country. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.angloamerican.co.za . You can also call them at 086 ZIMELE (946353).
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