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Access to Finance

Keeping finance simple for SA’s small businesses: new Asset- and Short-term Finance solutions to cater to the need for growth-stage funding

Article written by Jeremy Lang (Business Partners Limited Spokesperson)

Turning a small business into an empire in a high-risk environment with a high failure rate, is no small feat. In South Africa, access to funding can bridge the seemingly insurmountable gap between what it takes to get a venture off the ground and what’s needed to reach the next phase of strategic growth. And part of offering true value in terms of access to market and sustained growth, is simplifying finance for business owners – meeting entrepreneurs where they are.

Business Partners Limited launches new energy fund to address the pressing need for small businesses to invest in alternative energy solutions

According to data published by the South African Reserve Bank, the accumulative loss of stage 6 loadshedding amounts to between R204 million to R900 million per day. A proportion of these losses are incurred by the thousands of small businesses who simply do not have the resources to install back-up sources of energy to continue operations during power cuts. In a bid to provide business owners with much-needed relief and finance to invest in viable alternatives, Business Partners Limited launched a R400 million Energy Fund for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on 20 April 2023.

Understanding what’s on your credit report

Article written by Ans Gerber (Head of Data Insights at Experian Africa)

If you have taken out a loan or a store account, or have a credit card or a home loan, you have a credit record. Having a good credit record could make things easier when buying a car, financing your dream home or getting a loan.

A good credit report is summarised into a credit score, which indicates your risk of failing to pay back a loan. If you are a risk, your score will be low. Conversely, if you are less of a risk, your good score will be high, and could help you receive loans quickly and at a favourable interest rate. This is why it’s a good idea to understand your credit report, which is freely available to you from credit bureaus, especially if you are planning to apply for a loan in the foreseeable future.

Women entrepreneurship on the steady rise in SA but access to funding is still lagging

The South African Women Entrepreneurs Job Creators Survey found that women gravitate towards industries whose development supports job creation. The financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs as active contributors to the South African economy is therefore one of the most important building blocks of a more equitable and economically active society. Collective and systematic efforts towards making this vision a reality is beginning to produce promising results, with more South African women becoming business owners.

Advice for entrepreneurs: what you need to know about securing financing for commercial property

Several advantages make owning commercial or business property a viable prospect for small businesses. These include the benefit of asset appreciation, enjoying full control over interior design and renovations, security of tenure and avoiding above-inflation rent hikes. As a first port of call, small and medium enterprise (SME) owners need to be aware of the various steps in securing finance for commercial property and to be as prepared as possible to put forward a strong application.

Commenting on this topic is Shane Padayachy, Area Manager at Business Partners Limited who explains that the process of acquiring funding for business property “involves more rigorous vetting procedures and due diligence than applying for residential property.

Nine questions to ask to improve your chances of getting business finance

To anyone doubting the availability of finance for South African business owners, consider this: Business Partners Limited has provided business loans totalling R19.5 billion in over 71 600 transactions with business owners since its start in 1981, totalling  R19.5 billion’s worth of finance. 

“Finance is clearly available, but entrepreneurs have to meet certain criteria to access these business loans. They also have to follow processes set out by each financier”, says Jeremy Lang, chief investment officer at Business Partners Ltd. 

SME financing 101: Knowing your options is key to survival

Despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions being a thing of the past, small and medium enterprise (SME) owners across the country are under pressure, thanks to a sluggish economy, which the pandemic only served to compound.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, Chief Investment Officer at Business Partners Limited, who urges business owners to be realistic about their expectations and plans for the rest of the year, but not to give up hope; “While we still have a long road to economic recovery, we implore SMEs who might be tempted to throw in the towel to reconsider their financing options.” 

Fund offers relief for SMEs in agro-processing and manufacturing sector

A recently-launched fund is offering qualifying small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the agro–processing and manufacturing sectors access to much needed debt funding. The South African SME Debt Fund –  a partnership between Sanlam Investments and the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) – was launched in the second quarter of 2022 with initial capital of R400-million available to help SMEs in these sectors reach their full potential.

Eligible businesses should have a three-year track record, high-growth potential and stable business strategies. The loans are priced at a maximum interest rate of prime, with an equity upside to yield a further 5% return. Loans will be repaid within a maximum period of 60 months. The fund is focussed primarily on supporting black-owned businesses; however, all eligible applications will be considered.

4 alternative ways to secure small business funding

Article written by Charlotte Danby (Sage)

South African small business owners are a brave and resilient group of people. Our country is particularly blessed with an enormous entrepreneurial spirit – sometimes driven by necessity, other times by personality, and often, by a bit of both.

Owning and running one’s own business is an increasingly popular choice of earning a livelihood. But, of course, securing small business finance to start your own business is challenging at the best of times – and now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pretty tough out there.

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