Access to funds for small business a click away

Friday, October 30, 2015
By: 
Nosihle Shelembe

Johannesburg – A web-based service, which will empower small business with knowledge and tools to access finance, has been launched by Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

“We are very excited about the Finfind solution and trust that it will result in the provision of adequate financial assistance to Small Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) nationwide, thereby ensuring the long term prosperity of the sector and the country as a whole,” Minister Zulu said.

She was speaking on Friday in Johannesburg during the launch of the web-based solution which brings together financiers from the private sector, government and consultants.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided financial support for the development of Finfind - a concept developed by the Department of Small Business Development in collaboration with the Human Resource Development Council.

Minister Zulu said the programme is vital for small business growth as currently more than 80% of loan applications are rejected due to lack of finance readiness on the part of the SMMEs.

“I trust that the private sector, especially the commercial banks will take advantage of this tool as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of sustainable SMMEs in South Africa,” Minister Zulu said.

The web-based service went live on Friday morning and can be accessed by all South Africans throughout the country.

Finfind CEO Darlene Menzies said the service provides detailed information about available lending products and institutions as well as answers frequently asked questions by small business owners.

It also works with the owner to become financially ready and assists them with linkage to matching lenders based on the information they provide about themselves as the owner and their businesses.

Additionally, Finfind provides assistance to SMME owners with links to experienced business advisors through the Institute for Business Advisors South Africa as well as a variety of small business support services through the Small Enterprise Development Agency throughout the country.

“After a two-year pilot project we are particularly pleased to officially launch Finfind in South Africa,” Menzies said.

Minister Zulu said since the beginning of the year the Black Business Supplier Development Programme has been able to disburse over R95 million to 376 enterprises supporting over 10 399 jobs.

Furthermore, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency has supported over 38 000 enterprises to the tune of R616 million since the beginning of the year.

“My message is that we shall overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality through entrepreneurship and enterprise development if we foster strategic partnerships as government, private sector, academic institutions, civil society, the international community and other key players,” Minister Zulu said.

Finfind was launched at the second National Small Business Policy Colloquium. – SAnews.gov.za

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