R1bn for SME Development

R1bn for SME Development


In an effort to grow and foster the local economy and develop business within South Africa, Business Partners Limited has earmarked more than R1 billion for the advancement of SMEs within the region for the upcoming 2013/2014 year.

According to Christo Botes, executive director at Business Partners Limited, the company’s main objective in 2013 is to develop the SME sector by financing SME undertakings and providing business infrastructure, advice and after-care service.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, we are finding that South African SMEs are still growing and that there is still an appetite for SME finance. For this reason we are aiming achieve finance approvals of over 1 billion over the financial year.”

Shift in investment strategy

Botes says that in 2013, a major focus will be placed on its latest development, a venture capital fund for entrepreneurs with businesses, concepts, products or services with high-growth potential. “Our R400 million Venture Fund, launched late last year, is testimony to our belief in the potential of the South African community of entrepreneurs, despite the difficult times we may be facing.”

High growth SMEs targeted

The company is also looking to boost both its profits and development impact by investing in high growth businesses with high job growth potential in the technology, bio-technology, renewable energy and agro-processing sectors.

“We currently see a great deal of growth opportunity for SMEs within these sectors. These sectors are growing at a rapid rate in South Africa and the opportunities for businesses active in, or servicing, these sectors are vast. We aim to enable SMEs in these sectors to gear up, in order to take advantage of future economic opportunities.

“We predict that specialist businesses in fast-changing industries such as IT and communications will still have many opportunities to pursue. The dynamism in these industries will also ensure constant growth for innovative players.”

Africa a good prospect for SMEs

He says that the rest of the African continent is also providing opportunities for SMEs. “The rest of Africa, with its consistent growth of more than 5% over the last few years, is opening up to South African businesses like never before. Every local service provider hired, or every supermarket that a South African retail chain opens north of the Limpopo, provides opportunities for supply chains back home.”

Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.
  • Mokgehle Silas Leboho

    I’m a 28 year old young south african who resides in Polokwane, Limpopo Province. I would like to know what are the steps and channels to follow for getting funding, as I currently have a registered IT company(not operational due to lack of funding) and I’m in the process of registering another company(with a friend) in the bio-fuel industry. Both companies they have the potential to be big things and create jobs, but in my quest to apply for funding I’ve been told that they require security and if I dont have it I wont be helped
    Can i get funding from business partners even if i dont have securuity, if yes how do i access the funds? what are the channels to follow?
    Please let me know and help me
    Cell: 076 861 4325
    E-mail: mokgohleit@gmail.com

    • Entrepreneur Mag SA

      Hi Mokgehle. Our suggestion would be to approach the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). At this point the NYDA has made a formal announcement about the change from loans to grant funding. This is estimated to be in effect from September 2013.

      According to the NYDA, the website with this information should have been live last week, and will hopefully be up and running within the next few days.
      Placeholders will clearly state the change in funding options, with FAQs. As
      soon as the website is up we will make an announcement as well.