The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) plans to disburse over R737 million to more than 15 000 small firms – most of these micro enterprises – by the end of the 2013/14 financial year.
Sefa chief executive Thakani Makhuvha said the targeted funding will help create over 18 000 jobs.
Sefa’s five-year plan
In five years, the agency aims to have more than doubled lending and the number of business owners financed – with disbursements reaching almost R1.6 billion to over 34 000 small firms.
Sefa lends between R500 and R5 million to small, micro and medium enterprises in one of three ways:
- Directly to business owners
- Via retail finance intermediaries
- Via banks through its using credit guarantee scheme.
Makhuvha said the agency will meet with banks to hold a roundtable discussion on what the challenges are to expanding the scheme. Retail finance intermediaries are also expected to attend the meeting.
Sefa also aims to complete the development of its direct lending product – which is currently still being piloted at a number of sites around the country – by the end of the year.
Greater access to finance
Sefa aims to:
- Investigate the possibility of partnering with retail chain stores as well as government feeding schemes, as a way to expand its reach further into rural areas.
- Improve a pre-loan support programme in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and improve the uptake of its poorly performing credit guarantee scheme by July.
- Partner with more provincial development finance agencies to add to the current partnership with the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.
- Expand the pilot project it has with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) in a programme that trains young graduates.
- Roll out nine branches or satellite offices per year, which would be co-located within Seda or IDC branch offices, to add to the 11 regional offices the agency already has.
Makhuvha said the cost of Sefa lending finance to business owners is also expected to fall – from 44c for every rand disbursed in 2013/14 to 25c for every year lent out in 2017/18.
Sefa will run awareness road shows with financial intermediaries – starting with Alexandra and Sandton in Gauteng this month and running to February next year with two road shows to be held in North West.