Is 2020 the year you finally get started on that business idea or take your business to the next level? We showcase some of the country’s biggest and best support organisations offering a wide range of acceleration, incubation and support services.
The support networks in this series are:
– Township Entrepreneurs Alliance
– AlphaCode Incubate
– Tshimologong Precinct
– Youth Ideas Development Tech Program
– Proudly South African
– Riversands Incubation Hub
– Fetola – Business Growth Professionals
Finfind is an online platform that helps business owners apply and gain access to business finance, with an up-to-date database of more than 530 SMME finance offerings from the public and private sector funders in South Africa.
The platform was founded in 2015 by Darlene Menzies and launched together with the Department of Small Business Development, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and USAID.
Darlene Menzies, CEO of Finfind, spoke to SME South Africa about the “access to funding portal” and how it assists entrepreneurs.
What kind of businesses/sector does your programme target?
Finfind targets all SMEs irrespective of their industry sector. The comprehensive database of funds includes sector specific funds and general small business funding. That said, there are some funds that require sole proprietors to convert to a (Pty) Ltd company.
In general, funders prefer to finance SMMEs that have been trading for at least a year, although there are a few niche funders that will consider funding innovative startups.
What kind of entrepreneur are you looking to support?
Finfind is a great tool for entrepreneurs who are serious about their business and need funding to grow their footprint. From a funders’ perspective, they are looking for entrepreneurs who are committed to making their business work, and who are prepared to be accountable for the money borrowed.
Most funders are wary of lending money to entrepreneurs who have a poor credit record, as they are considered too high a risk.
What are some of the resources that entrepreneurs will have access to as part of Finfind’s programme?
We offer two key services to SMEs:
1. Match SMEs seeking business finance to appropriate funders. Once a match has been found, SMMEs are given a comprehensive summary of the fund, how it works, the application process and full contact details.
2. Funding education. Finfind offers 41 educational modules that help entrepreneurs understand how small business funding works. These modules are categorised into the following categories:
- Challenges to accessing finance.
- What do you need finance for?
- Different types of finance products.
- Different types of funders.
- Government funding.
What costs are involved for the entrepreneur?
Finfind is free for SMEs.
What kind of time commitment will entrepreneurs be expected to make?
As Finfind is not a programme, but an online tool for SMMEs to use to access small business funding, time restrictions do not apply.
The only commitment SMMEs need to make is to complete the access to funding assessment form. This data is then used to match them to available funds. In return, they receive full details of the funds that are appropriate for their business, including details on the eligibility criteria, the application process and full contact details.
What can the entrepreneur expect to learn/gain from the programme?
Entrepreneurs wanting to learn about small business finance, will find Finfind an invaluable resource.
Entrepreneurs wishing to raise funds for their businesses will save themselves hours of research and hard work by completing the access to finance assessment, and being matched to the most appropriate funds.
Any case studies/testimonies you would like to share with our readers?
Sipho Maluleke of Ekaya Group shared his experience: “Finfind was helpful in helping me find a financier, Business Fuel. I run an office furniture company that does space planning and designs as well. Their interest rate is also good. I was given R120,000.”
What is the best way that they can approach your organisation?
The free, web-based platform can be accessed anytime and anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. Visit www.finfind.co.za.