Article provided by Telkom
The culprit behind most would-be entrepreneurs giving up on their dreams is the fear relating to finance or, more accurately, the lack thereof. Even at a potential entrepreneur’s most motivated of times, such as when he is just a few steps away from the boss’s office about to hand in his resignation and take that daring plunge, that pushy little voice inside his head will almost certainly be taunting him with the same persistent questions.
“Will I be able to access enough capital to successfully fund my venture?”
“How will I even go about doing this?”
“What if my calculations are incorrect and this is going to cost me a lot more than I anticipated?”
And even if he does manage to obtain that magic number that he feels will help to kick-start his business, he’ll undoubtedly be stressing about the one thing that clouds every entrepreneur’s mind when lying awake at night:
“Will I be able to do everything necessary to ensure that my business becomes successful and remains sustainable?”
But more on that one later.
Yes, capital is a big consideration when starting a business – it will always be at the forefront of everything you do and will always have a gargantuan impact on every decision that you make. The good news is that, as long as you know where to look, obtaining access to start-up capital needn’t be as daunting a task as you might expect. Here are a few options to keep in mind.
Our country boasts a multitude of government funding platforms geared towards helping ambitious entrepreneurs, just like you, realise their vision. The Department of Small Business Development is one such platform and is known for training hundreds of informal traders each year. This government sector has successfully funded a number of satellite offices and centres of business excellence over the years, too.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency is another alternative, and while they don’t actively provide funding themselves, they have dedicated their expertise to helping small business owners with the processes involved in accessing funds from other sources, predominantly through providing guidance when it comes to drawing up a viable business plan. Contact them on 0860 103 703 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
A newer initiative, known as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, opened its doors in 2012 and is known for funding both grants and loans. Much like SEDA, they are always happy to lend a hand to entrepreneurs who do not meet their criteria for grant or loan applications. If you do meet their criteria, you can apply for business finance through them online via their website.
There is always the option to seek out a loan from a financial institution or private enterprise. Most South African banks will be able to offer flexible repayment terms to suit your needs and preferences. However, it is important to note that obtaining a business loan isn’t easy. You will need to present a concise and convincing business plan (detailing exactly how you plan to use the money, when, and what returns you expect to achieve in the coming months and years) and let the bank know the exact amount that you would like to borrow. You will also need to ensure that your credit history is immaculate.
Government loans are known to come with substantially lower interest rates and longer repayment terms when compared to the loans offered by financial institutions. Small business owners may choose to apply for a government loan through the Isivande Women’s Fund (as the name suggests, female entrepreneurs only), Khula and the National Youth Development Agency. For more information concerning the types of government loans available, interested applicants may get in touch with the Department of Trade and Industry via their call centre on 0861 843 384 between 8am and 5pm on weekdays.
Much like applying for a loan, you’ll also need to convince potential investors with the help of an impressive business plan. While ‘who you know’ could go a long way towards getting this approach right, there are many platforms out there to help you find capital in this manner. Arguably, the most popular angel investment network is that of the South Africa Investment Network. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to rope in serious investors and set the minimum amount per investor that you are willing to accept.
According to the 2016 State of South African Small Business report (as released by South African research group World Wide Worx) out of the 400 small business owners who were surveyed, 63% relied solely on their own personal savings to start their businesses. With no interest to pay and no stressing over being indebted to your creditors, many will agree that this is the ideal way to go. The good news is that the same business owners, 62% of them in fact, said that they required less than R100 000 to get started.
Remember: once you have successfully accessed your start-up capital, the focus will shift from getting started to actually making your business work. Telkom can help with that. Click through to www.telkom.co.za or visit your nearest Telkom store to learn more about our custom packages and solutions. We are dedicated to being your trusted ICT partner, promising accessibility, affordability and sustainability, and look forward to supporting you on your entrepreneurial journey today, tomorrow and every day thereafter.