Fund­ing for small busi­ness de­vel­op­ment

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Su­laiman Philip

IN A BID to grow en­trepreneur­ship in South Africa, a num­ber of gov­ern­ment fund­ing plat­forms are avail­able to qual­i­fy­ing en­ter­prises and in­di­vid­u­als.

Be­tween June 2015 and May 2016, the Depart­ment of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment (DSBD) trained 1 037 in­for­mal traders, es­tab­lished 29 satel­lite of­fices and five cen­tres of busi­ness ex­cel­lence.

The depart­ment’s man­date is the pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of sus­tain­able and com­pet­i­tive en­trepreneurs, small busi­nesses and co-op­er­a­tives that con­trib­ute to job cre­ation and eco­nomic growth.

As long as your busi­ness or co-op­er­a­tive meets the cri­te­ria, you can ac­cess fund­ing or grants through the DSBD or one of its agen­cies. Bear in mind, pub­lic sec­tor fund­ing in­volves a thor­ough and care­ful process, so be pa­tient and plan for longer time­lines.


Es­tab­lished in 2012, the Small En­ter­prise Fi­nance Agency (SEFA) helps start-ups and small busi­nesses. They will ei­ther fund grants or loans or help en­trepreneurs ac­cess fund­ing from other sources. SEFA ser­vices are de­signed to help mi­cro, small and medium-sized busi­ness en­ter­prises. Co-op­er­a­tives and sur­vival­ist en­ter­prises that need help to grow are es­pe­cially en­cour­aged to seek as­sis­tance.

Loans from SEFA can range from as lit­tle as R500 up to R3 mil­lion, with the loans paid di­rectly to own­ers. This direct pay­ment is im­por­tant in a busi­ness sec­tor that is often not part of the tra­di­tional bank­ing sys­tem.

Mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises and co-op­er­a­tives with a vi­able busi­ness plan can ap­ply for a loan. SEFA staff will eval­u­ate the ap­pli­ca­tion to de­ter­mine the vi­a­bil­ity of the loan, and at what rate it can be re­paid with­out dam­ag­ing the com­pany.


Call cen­tre: 086 000 7332 Web­site:


If you are di­rectly in­volved in your busi­ness and need fund­ing be­tween R250 000 and R75 mil­lion, the Na­tional Em­pow­er­ment Fund (NEF) may be able to help. It is man­dated to of­fer fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to black-owned busi­nesses.

Fund­ing de­ci­sions are guided by the In­dus­trial Pol­icy Ac­tion Plan across a va­ri­ety of sec­tors. Start-ups can qual­ify for fund­ing up to R10 mil­lion. The NEF also of­fers as­sis­tance for ru­ral and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, fran­chise fi­nance and new in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment.


Call cen­tre: 0861 843 633 Web­site:

You can get help in start­ing up a small busi­ness.

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