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Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs, arguably, find it more difficult when it comes to starting and growing a business when compared to their more seasoned counterparts. However, by partnering with the right development enterprise or seeking advice from a funding specialist, you may be able to achieve your goals sooner than trends dictate.

Nicole Crampton

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Young-entrepreneurship

Calling all young Entrepreneurs

young-sa-entrepreneurs

For young entrepreneurs – this guide is exactly what you need.

According to a recent report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), South Africa scores poorly when benchmarked against youth entrepreneurship in fellow BRICs countries. The report states that only 7% of South Africans between the ages of 18-24 and 10% between the ages of 25-34 start their own businesses.

One of the leading causes of the culling of entrepreneurial spirit amongst the youth remains access to finance; however there are a number of entities that are willing and able to finance youth ventures.

Here are a few establishments, which could assist you in strutting down the path to business success.

Content in this guide

  1. National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
  2. Gro-E Youth Scheme
  3. The Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (YEF)
  4. Umsobomvu Youth Fund
  5. Free Mentorship Programme: The Mara Foundation
  6. Mentorship Programme by Application: Bizco Business Consulting
  7. Acceleration Programme: New Ventures Studio
  8. Free online courses for young entrepreneurs

Grants and Funding

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)

National-Youth-Development-Agency-logo

NYDA

This government grant aims to supply funding to the youth of South Africa, and is currently broadening its offering by creating mentorship and development programmes.

Types of NYDA Funding

NYDA awards grants to both formal and informal businesses that are in the start-up or development phases. These government grants are also awarded to co-operatives; an autonomous association of people united to meet common economic and social goals through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Additionally, the NYDA awards grants to youth that are actively involved in community development and facilitation projects.

Do You Qualify for NYDA funding?

  • You need to be eighteen years old at the time of application.
  • The grant needs to be for business start-up or growth.
  • You need to be between the ages of 18-35 years with the necessary skills and experience, or display the potential skill appropriate for the enterprise.
  • Only South African citizens residing within the borders of South Africa are eligible.
  • You will need to be part of the day-to-day operation and the management of your business.
  • Require a grant from NYDA of not less than R1 000 and not more than R100 000.

Once you’ve received the grant, if you’re still employed full-time, you might need to resign and present your grant officer with proof of resignation. This is a requirement of the grant because the NYDA requires you to focus completely on your venture and not split your focus with other obligations, such as a full time job.

How to Apply for NYDA Funding

Entrepreneurs or co-operatives that meet the following criteria are eligible for NYDA government grants:

  • Applicants must be between 18 to 35 years old. They must also have the necessary skills and experience or show the potential skills for the business and industry in which they wish to operate.
  • Applicants must be South African citizens with ID documents and operate their business within South Africa.
  • The applicant must need the grant to start or grow their business. The applicant must not need the grant as any other source of capital.
  • Applicants must involve themselves in the operation and management of the business on a day to day basis and must work on their venture full-time.
  • The business may be formal or informal, and categorised as a micro-enterprise.
  • The company must show potential to be commercially viable and sustainable.
  • Applicants should be sole traders or in the case of groups have a minimum of five people.

Contact Details for NYDA Funding

Read more about NYDA funding.

Gro-E Youth Scheme

Gro-E Youth Scheme

Gro-E Youth Scheme is run through the IDC

The Gro-E Youth Scheme offers both financial and non-financial support to youth initiatives. The aim of this scheme is to help young entrepreneurs contribute towards sustainable job creation. R1 billion has been set aside to assist with funding of businesses owned by individuals, under 35 years old.

This scheme provides loans at prime less 3% to enterprises that operate in the industries that fall within its mandate and aims to create new jobs for South Africans. Only South African citizens or permanent residents are eligible for funding.

Do You Qualify for Gro-E Youth Scheme funding?

  • A least 50% of the ownership needs to be by an individual under the age of 35.
  • Your business needs to be a start-up and the funding can go towards purchasing a building, machinery or working capital.
  • Your intention could also be to expand your existing business.
  • A business that demonstrates economic merit and has prospects of suitable profitability to be able to facilitate their funding obligation.
  • While the business is within the funding period, the cost per job cannot exceed R500 000 relative to the total funding required.
  • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment certification from an accredited verification agency, where applicable.
  • Ventures that are operating or expanding within South Africa.
  • Your funding period will need structure in order to meet the cash flow needs of your business.
  • Appropriate capital and interest payment holidays are a requirement that you must apply depending on the financial needs of your specific business.
  • There is no prescribed minimum for owner contribution.

In order to support the government’s New Growth Path (NGP) and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), businesses in the following sectors can apply for funding:

1. Green industry

  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Pollution mitigation
  • Waste management and recycling.

2. Agricultural value chain

  • Agro-processing.

3. Manufacturing activities

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Automotive, components, medium and heavy commercial vehicles manufacturing
  • Clothing, textiles and footwear, and leather
  • Forestry, paper and pulp, and furniture
  • Fabrication, capital and transport equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics and chemicals.

4. Strategic high-impact projects

  • Logistics
  • Industrial infrastructure
  • High-impact cross-sector projects.

5. Mining value chain

  • Downstream mineral beneficiation
  • Mining
  • Mining technologies.

6. Tourism and high-level services

  • Business process services
  • Tourism.

7. Media and motion pictures

  • Motion pictures production
  • Media value chain – broadcasting (radio and television)
  • Media expansion – including new media
  • Film production and animation.

8. Knowledge economy

  • Healthcare
  • ICT
  • Biotechnology.

How Does Gro-E Youth Scheme Work?

  • Funding is at prime less 3%, to businesses that will create jobs.
  • A maximum of R50 million per project is available.
  • The funding will be available over a five-year period or until the scheme depletes, whichever occurs first.
  • You will need to use your funds within one year from the approval of funding. If you miss this deadline, pricing reverts back to normal IDC pricing.
  • Reduced loan pricing will be available for five years, after which normal IDC pricing will apply.
  •  If you require finances in excess of the scheme’s limit you can access more capital through traditional IDC funding.
  • Pre- and post-investment support and mentorship is available where needed.

Gro-E Youth Scheme offers programmes that provide non-financial support for entrepreneurs. This backing is available during pre- and post-approval stages. The support also includes services such as assistance to distressed clients.

Contact Details for Gro-E Youth Scheme Funding

Call Centre on 086 069 3888 or email callcentre@idc.co.za.

Free-Ebook-download-for-funding

The Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (YEF)

Youth Entrepreneurship Fund

Youth Entrepreneurship Fund

The Youth Entrepreneurship Fund aims to promote businesses led by youth. The fund aims to achieve this by providing grant funding and business development programmes. Youth pay in a commitment fee for the assistance package that suits their needs.

Do You Qualify for Youth Entrepreneurship Funding?

This fund is open to all South Africans irrespective of race or gender, who are still in or outside of the schooling system. Candidates need to be within the ages of 18-35. There is encouragement of black youth to actively partake in this opportunity to create businesses. The fund also encourages parents, guardians and corporates to invest on behalf of the youth to create wealth.

How to Apply for Youth Entrepreneurship Funding

Starting a business is not a single moment but a process and there are no shortcuts. As a result of this, YEF places a priority on training, mentorship and business coaching.

This is the process leading up to its grant disbursement:

First you chose the package that you need and complete the necessary documentation online.

Second, the business validation process starts. Included in the validation processes are the assessment of your business, guidance and the refinement of your business plan. There is an emphasis placed on business validation, which means your business will need to be innovative and commercially viable. Existing businesses should display the potential of being scalable.

Third, once they’ve evaluated your business for market readiness, the dispersal of the grant will begin. You can only use the grant for the business and nothing else.

Fourth, to ensure the success of your business, mentors will guide you in the process of building your business. Numerous platforms can ensure that your business receives as much support as it needs, both physically and virtually.

What are the Required Contributions and Benefits?

The YEF have created two types of support for youth-led business. This includes financial and non-financial support. The financial support comes in three packages depending on what your business requires. Each package has a corresponding fee structure, as follows:

  • Silver: R166 over a 12-month period = R2 000
  • Gold: R333 over a 12-month period = R4 000
  • Platinum: R500 over a 12-month period = R6 000 

Non-financial support:

Its non-financial support is equally as important, therefore the YEF pays particular attention to this element of business. A reputable academic institute will offer you non-financial intervention, and a network of mentors. These mentors all boast core competencies in the realm of business development.

Contact Details for the Youth Entrepreneurship Fund

  • Office Address: 1st Floor, Block C4, 150 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Sandton
  • Email address: info@yef.co.za 
  • Office Number: (010) 001 6170
  • Call Centre Number: (010) 001 6171
  • Website: yef.co.za

Related: Attention Black Entrepreneurs: Start-Up Funding From Government Grants & Funds

Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF)

Umsobomvu Youth Fund

Umsobomvu Youth Fund

Umsobomvu Youth Fund is a government initiative that creates opportunities for South African youth in entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs. This voucher programme is not a loan programme. The voucher programme provides support services to both new and existing youth-run businesses.

Do You Qualify for Umsobomvu Youth Funding?

You will need to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Males between 18-35 years of age
  • Females 18-65 years of age
  • Unemployed graduates
  • Rural and urban youth
  • Youth in conflict with the law
  • Previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI’s) – 90%
  • Only South African citizens are eligible
  • Non previous disadvantaged individuals – 10%.

Your business should also be within the following sectors:

  • Tourism
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agro-processing
  • Service
  • Franchise.

How Does the Umsobomvu Youth Fund Work?

The voucher programme provides support in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping – once off clean-up
  • Business plan development
  • Business and financial administration
  • Feasibility
  • Due diligence
  • Legal services
  • Marketing planning
  • Tender application support
  • Web-based marketing
  • Branding and design of business forms
  • CC and PTY registrations.

Contact Details for the Umsobomvu Youth Fund

Every Wednesday morning at 10:15am, a UYF Information Session transpires and after this session you will receive an application form that will allow you to apply for support services.

For general queries you can also visit its headquarters at The Business Place, 7 Anton Anreith Arcade, 1st Floor, Cape Town on weekdays between 09:00 to 16:30 or call +27 (0) 21 425 7816/7/8/9.

Resource: How to Write a Funding Proposal

Free mentorship programmes

The youth of South Africa are on the back foot with regards to access to education. According to the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation report, young people tend to lack the skills or experience to navigate the business world.

How can unskilled and inexperienced youth create a successful long-lasting business venture? The UYF’s solution to this problem includes: Mentorship programmes, online courses and accelerator programmes.

Free Mentorship Programme: The Mara Foundation

The Mara Foundation

The Mara Foundation

The Mara foundation is offering a free online mentoring platform, called Mara Mentors. This mentoring programme allows ambitious entrepreneurs and global business leaders to connect, while business experts can engage with entrepreneurs via the Mara Mentors web-based platform and mobile application.

Mara Mentor enables ambitious and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect with international peers and business leaders. This platform aims to empower entrepreneurs through the provision of resources that comprise of:

  • Discussions and debate forums
  • Industry news and updates
  • The knowledge of world class mentors.

Entrepreneurs gain encouragement, support, guidance and vital feedback that will help you to evolve your business idea and plan.

Contact Details for The Mara Foundation:

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

Mentorship Programme by Application: Bizco Business Consulting

Bizco Business Consulting

Bizco Business Consulting

Bizco Business Consulting (BBC) offers a consulting programme that is unique and allows it to work exclusively with a limited number of start-up companies on a one-on-one basis. BBC expects a commitment from entrepreneurs of at least three months, as it is extremely selective and the programme is highly intensive.

Do You Qualify for Bizco Business Consulting’s Mentorship Programme?

  1. You must be a South African Citizen over the age of 18.
  2. Only applications from individuals.
  3. There is no fee to submit an application.
  4. Only online, electronic, applications accepted.

Contact Details for the Bizco Business Consulting:

Related: Have a Mentor in Your Back Pocket

Acceleration Programme: New Ventures Studio

New Ventures Studio

New Ventures Studio

Accelerator programmes aim to jumpstart businesses. You will increase your chances of raising venture capital from a third-party after graduating from the programme. Mentorship, is another advantage of an accelerator, as you’ll be in contact with other entrepreneurs working within the accelerator.

New Ventures Studio is a platform for young (16-35) individuals, aimed at those who are working towards being successful entrepreneurs. It specifically focuses on those who have realised the importance of upskilling themselves before trying to navigate unfamiliar territory in entrepreneurship.

The programme is an eight-week long insightful course and the five individuals who successfully complete it join the incubator.

You do not need to have a business in order to apply for this opportunity and each of the 20 successful applicants will receive a R35 000 scholarship to attend the eight-week entrepreneurship course.

By taking advantage of the various funds and incubator programmes on offer, young entrepreneurs are able to realise their goals faster, and more efficiently. However, acquiring funding and being part of a mentorship programme isn’t enough to excel in your sector. The programmes highlighted here serve to motivate and drive entrepreneurs to explore new skillsets, push proverbial boundaries and empower people around them by offering employment opportunities and the prospect of a better life.

Contact Details for New Ventures Studio:

Related: 3 Things To Consider Before Meeting A Mentor

Free online courses for young entrepreneurs

Education doesn’t always have to cost you a fortune; you can now undertake courses from leading academic institutions in the comfort of your own home, for free. From these online courses you can learn about business and starting up.

The courses offer self-paced modules, which means you can do it when your diary accommodates; either four, six, eight, 12 or 20 week periods.

Related: 15 Free Online Courses That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Here are four online course platforms that you and any other entrepreneurs can benefit from:

1. Udacity

Udacity-logo

This platform can teach you key tools and steps to building a successful start-up. It has a comprehensive course on acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to see your business grow towards its next milestone.

This platform has an emphasis on tech-based courses including:

Visit www.udacity.com for other course options.

2. Coursera

Coursera-logoWith this platform you get the added benefit of learning all the content you can for free. This site offers a variety of courses that you will need to establish and grow your business, such as:

Visit www.coursera.org for other course options.

3. edX

edx-logoedX offers free online courses from the world’s best universities including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, Microsoft and The Smithsonian. Some examples of what this platform has to offer are:

Visit www.edx.org for other course options.

4. lynda.com

lynda.com-logoExplore a wide range of business skills from project management and negotiation to leadership skills and online marketing strategy. lynda.com’s Professional development tutorials can help you learn SEO, spreadsheets, word processing, including:

Visit www.lynda.com for other course options.

Nicole Crampton is an online writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa. Nicole has also completed several courses in writing and online marketing.

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Company Posts

SAB Transforms Supply Chains

Supplier Development Programmes grow black-owned suppliers and create jobs.

South African Breweries (SAB)

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The South African Breweries (SAB) has invested more than R200 million into creating an inclusive supply chain that incorporates black-owned and black women-owned SMEs through its supplier development programmes, SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive. In addition, more than 100 jobs have been created through these efforts.

SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive aim to create a diversified and inclusive supply chain by supporting the growth of black-owned suppliers through business development support and funding. The programmes are two of four entrepreneurship development programmes run by SAB to help create 10 000 jobs in South Africa by 2022 — SAB KickStart, SAB Foundation, SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive.

SAB’s agriculture programmes also contribute towards the aim to create jobs by growing emerging farmers.     

Related: SAB-Commissioned Research Shows SA Poised To Reap Entrepreneurship Rewards

“From rural entrepreneurs to big business, SAB has laid the foundation to support entrepreneurs and to contribute towards government’s efforts to grow the economy and reduce unemployment in the country,” says Ricardo Tadeu, Zone President, SAB and AB InBev Africa.

“We recognise that one of the major hurdles for SMEs in South Africa is the ability to gain entry into big business and form part of their supply chains. This requires a symbiotic relationship with big business working alongside smaller suppliers.”

SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive cohesively solve the challenges of creating a healthy pipeline of suppliers that represent the demographics of the country. SAB Accelerator has piloted ten businesses that have created 29 permanent and 79 part-time jobs in a period of just six months, and is currently incubating 24 businesses as part of the official post-pilot intake. SAB Thrive has invested R100 million in seven businesses, which have created 46 new jobs. In addition, the programme has contributed R140 million in new B-BBEE preferential spend.

The SAB Accelerator is an in-house programme dedicated to developing black-owned and black women-owned suppliers. Geared towards fast-tracking participants’ growth, the programme employs ten highly experienced business coaches and ten engineers, offering both tailored business and deep technical coaching to the participants.

It has a three-phased approach consisting of:

  1. Diagnostic: Screening the business’s current situation and systematically identifying gaps and opportunities for growth.
  2. Catalyst: Proposing an intensive three-month coaching intervention addressing key business functional and technical areas of improvement or growth.
  3. Amplify: Providing additional business development to support graduates of the Catalyst Programme.

The SAB Accelerator strongly focuses on enhancing market visibility and access of its participants.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Existing black-owned or black woman-owned suppliers currently servicing SAB’s supply chain at the time of application.
  • Existing black-owned or black women-owned businesses that have potential to join the SAB supply chain based on their product or service.

The SAB Thrive fund is an enterprise and supplier development (E&SD) fund set up to transform the company’s supplier base. The fund was established in partnership with the Awethu Project, a black private equity fund manager and SME investment company. The aim is to invest in and transform SAB suppliers to represent our country’s demographics. SAB Thrive investees benefit from 100% black equity capital and business support.

Related: 6 SAB Entreprenurship Programmes That Provide Business Management And Support

The fund invests growth equity capital into SAB’s existing high-growth black-owned suppliers, furthering their profitable expansion into the SAB supply chain without diluting the black-ownership of these businesses.

Existing white-owned suppliers are provided equity capital to support the enhancement of their black ownership, while facilitating the introduction of black entrepreneurs to their business. The intention is to apprentice the individual to take over the business in the near future.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Black-owned suppliers in the SAB supply chain that want to grow their business through access to black-owned growth equity capital.
  • Existing white-owned suppliers in the SAB supply chain that want to transform their B-BBEE ownership.

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How to Guides

6 Money Management Tips For First-Time Entrepreneurs

That R25 coffee every morning isn’t taking you to the next level any faster than brewing a pot at the office.

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How many times have you been told that saving money is a good thing? Financial specialists recommend that you save a bit of money every month, but that’s easier said than done. After all, it’s not uncommon for people to live paycheck to pay cheque.

However, if you want to start a company, you’ll need to break away from this cycle and start budgeting and saving. At times, this will be a trying task, but it must be done if you want to invest in your future as an entrepreneur.

If you want to start managing your money more effectively and set yourself up to become an entrepreneur, follow the six tips below. With these techniques in your arsenal, you’ll start so see immediate changes, and you’ll set good behaviours in motion that’ll serve you throughout your career as an entrepreneur.

1. Prioritise organisation

When you are organised, you can track every facet of your finances. Record all of your financial information in one place so you can refer to it and keep track of your progress.

When you chronicle all of your financial information, you may want to try and organise it by category. For example, when you are recording your current costs, you can categorise them as “urgent” and “future.”

Not only will this system help you stay on top of your personal finances, but it’ll prepare you for entrepreneurial success because it’s a directly transferable skill.

Related: Smart Money For Small Businesses

2. Check your credit

According to a recent MoneyTips survey, nearly 30 percent of people don’t know their credit score. If you are among this group, it’s time to request a free credit report. Once you know your number, assuming money’s tight, feel free to use a few do-it-yourself credit repair techniques to quickly improve your score.

Understanding your credit score and improving it to the best of your ability is paramount when it comes to money management. A little-known fact among aspiring entrepreneurs is that the funding a new business receives is often dependent on the founder’s credit score.

3. Save where you can

People often cringe when they think about cutting back. Fortunately, there are several painless ways to save. Look at your daily habits and see if you have any spending trends. For example, if you spend $5 every day on lattes, you might consider cutting back and only having the expensive latte every other day. Slowly, you’ll get used to this new habit, and your bank account will reap the rewards.

Related: Time Is Money: Tips To Help You Use Yours Well

4. Search for additional information

The Penny Hoarder

Have you heard of The Penny Hoarder or Dough Roller? These are just two personal finance blogs that can help you better manage your money, but there’s a whole lot more out there.

Subscribe to websites and follow podcasts that offer advice on money management. Also, keep your eyes peeled for informative outlets that speak directly about entrepreneurial finances and follow them, too.

5. Set long- and short-term goals

Have you ever noticed that people want to reach their goals in as little time as possible? If you pick up almost any given health magazine, it’ll claim that it can help you achieve extreme results in little to no time.

Unfortunately, crash diets are often ineffective, and “get rich quick” money management techniques often lack substance.

It’s hard to accept that your goals will take time to accomplish, which is why you create short- and long-term goals. In either case, aim to make goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Ideally, accomplishing your short-term goals will give you the positive feedback that you need to continue striving for your long-term goals.

Related: If You’re Trying To Raise Money, Doing Any Of These 9 Things May Scare Off Investors

6. Find a mentor

If you manage your personal finances and entrepreneurial finances, one thing is certain – at times, it will feel like you can’t keep up with everything. Financial planning can be difficult, and it’s not uncommon for it to feel overwhelming.

As an individual, you can seek out mentors that can help you with personal finances. As an entrepreneur, you can continue to work with these people or seek out more established financial consultants that provide you with guidance you need to run your business.

Managing your finances is a trying and rewarding experience. It will feel messy at times, but the more you practice, the more you’ll improve your personal finances and set yourself up for entrepreneurial money management success.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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How to Guides

How To Raise Working Capital Finance

There are more than 150 working capital funds available for SMEs in South Africa. Here’s what you need to know to access them.

Darlene Menzies

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working capital finance

A healthy cash flow is the life blood of a business. The reality is that most businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time, which could be caused by a structural problem in your supply chain, inadequate debtor controls, poor pricing structures, bad planning, too much capital being tied up in stock or possibly the impact of unplanned growth on your existing resources.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that there are more than 150 different working capital funds available for SMEs in South Africa. Working capital loans are short-term loans that are designed to provide financial bridging to address cash flow needs.

The more you understand about how these funds work, the better you will be able to identify the most appropriate option for your specific needs.

What’s available

Overdrafts and credit cards

Overdrafts and credit card facilities are a good option for relatively small, short-term cash flow problems. Most banks are willing to provide profitable businesses with overdrafts and credit facilities and you will only be charged interest on the money you use. Some banks charge a small monthly fee for these facilities even if you don’t use them, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience of being able to meet financial obligations.

Related: Equity Crowdfunding In SA Explained

Contract finance

Also known as getting upfront cash to fund the work for an approved contract. If the reason for the cash flow problem is high sales volumes that result in a temporary cash flow issue, contract finance can be a good option. Contract financiers want to know that your client is reputable and has a good payment history. They’ll also want assurance that you have the knowledge and experience to fulfil the terms of the contract.

First prize is contract finance that enables you to control both the finance and the contract work although in some cases the lender will insist on controlling the finance and may even want involvement in managing the project. Most contract financiers charge an interest rate linked to prime and you will also be charged for drawing up cession documents if this is relevant.

Debtor finance or invoice financing

Also known as getting cash while waiting for customers to pay invoices. If the cash crunch is caused by customers who will take a long time to pay you, debtor finance can be useful. In this case, unlike contract finance where the finance is provided prior to the work being completed, debtor finance requires that the work has already been done and that the customer has been invoiced. As with contract finance, the credibility and credit history of the client is key to lenders as they rely on their ability to pay your invoice.

On average you can raise between 75% and 80% of the value of the invoice within a day or two of sending the invoice to your customer. There is usually an administrative fee to be paid plus interest on the loan — it can be an expensive way of getting finance but it is better than waiting 90 or 120 days for your customer to pay you if you have cash flow constraints. Debtor financiers offer two options — invoice discounting and factoring. Factoring is when your client pays the lender who then returns the outstanding portion of the invoice to you (less their fees).

Invoice discounting is where the customer pays you and you pay the lender i.e. the client does not know that you have borrowed against their invoice. There are usually big penalty costs for late payments. Be aware that if the client does not pay by the specified date agreed with the lender, you will incur additional penalty costs.

Retail Finance

For businesses that operate in the retail sector and generate their revenue from debit or credit cards or EFTs there are lenders who provide loans that are repaid by deducting a small percentage of daily sales. You will need to generate a regular income of at least R30 000 monthly to qualify for this type of finance. The useful aspect is that repayments vary according to income generated. During busier months, you’ll pay more, and less during quiet periods.

Terms Loans

Term loans are another popular way of raising finance to cover cash flow gaps. The money is loaned for a fixed period and you agree to repay at regular intervals. Interest charges are usually linked to prime and the rate is linked to your risk profile. The duration of term loans varies according to the business’s needs and lender’s terms.

You will be expected to provide collateral to raise a term loan. Lenders will also check your credit rating and financial statements, business plan and possibly the order book before they agree to lend you money.

Related: The Truth About Venture Capital Funding

What working capital funders expect

What working capital funders expect

The key to obtaining working capital funding is understanding the lenders’ risk. To minimise their risks, lenders will require security for the loan. Providing collateral is often difficult for entrepreneurs who do not own property or have assets or investments that can be ceded to the lender for the duration of the loan.

Lenders will ask you for a list of personal assets and liabilities and based on this information, they may ask you to sign personal surety for the loan. If you do not own sufficient assets, you’ll need to find someone who does who is willing to stand surety for your loan. This means that if the business fails to repay the loan, the lender will approach the person who signed surety, to settle the debt.

For terms loans, retail finance, overdrafts and credit cards, the lender will focus on the financial strength of your business and its trading history. They usually only consider companies that have been in operation for at least a year and can show that the business is profitable, has a regular income and achieves good credit scores. For contract finance and debtor finance, lenders focus on the quality of your client and may fund working capital advances to businesses that are not yet profitable.

Working Capital Loans

Working capital loans are short-term loans that are designed to provide financial bridging to address cash flow needs. The more you understand about how these funds work, the better you will be able to identify the most appropriate option for your specific needs.


Resource

Finfind is SA’s leading access to finance solutions for SMEs. This revolutionary online platform links finance seekers with matching lenders, providing easy access to over 200 lenders and over 350 loan options. Finfind is supported by USAID and sponsored by the Department of Small Business Development.

Go to www.finfindeasy.co.za to find the business finance you need. It’s free and easy to use.

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