Top Business Funding Platforms for Small Business

Updated on 21 June 2024

Subscription Form (#66)

Funding is a key area in business development. For small businesses, funding can unlock opportunities and help them move past barriers. Thankfully, the top business funding platforms have solutions for small businesses.

Funding platforms provide various financial services. These services are loans, crowdfunding, cash advances and credit cards amongst many others. Banks and private institutions are where the money is.

Of course, getting funding is hard. You need to have a good turnover (usually over R 500 000), collateral and the correct documentation. These are business registration documents, your ID and any other required documents.

Let’s look at some of the top business funding institutions in South Africa.

1. Old Mutual

Old Mutual has been providing financial services to large corporations, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals since 1845. Recently, the organisation has launched an online platform for SMEs called, SMEgo. The platform provides various tools like accounting but also as a funding section.

The SMEgo funding section allows users to apply for funding. You can apply to multiple lenders at once, and SMEgo will help you refine your application. To improve your chances of getting funding, your business should have:

  • A minimum annual turnover of R500 000.
  • A track record of at least 6 months.
  • Registration documents and bank and financial statements.

2. Lula (LulaLend)

Lula has a range of unsecured business funding options. The company’s funding amounts range from R 10 000 to R 5 million. The funds are paid out within 48 hours of approval. Lula provides financing to businesses in the following industries: Manufacturing, Construction, Professional Services, Retail, Hospitality and Restaurants.

Lula has six financing options for SMEs namely, Bridging Finance, Credit Facility, Equipment Financing, Inventory Finance, Offer trade credit, and Refinancing. To qualify for funding, you need a minimum turnover of R 500 000 per annum and be actively trading for at least one year.

Lula will ask you for your latest three months’ bank statements. Loans can be paid back in standard instalments over a three- or 12-month period. Simply apply online and enter your information.

3. Retail Capital

Tyme Bank-owned Retail Capital is a funding platform for SMEs. The company provides alternative lending solutions for SMEs. Funds are made available within 48 hours once your application is approved. Funding amounts are tailored to each business’ requirements. The company caters for various sectors including retail, restaurant, wellness and medical industries.

To apply for funding, you need a turnover exceeding R 50 000 – R 5 million per month, a trade history of at least three months, and a minimum of six months of business ownership. There are no restrictions on the funding, so you can use it for anything.

Payment terms are flexible on Retail Capital. You can choose to repay a fixed amount or opt for a percentage of your turnover to be collected. Payments can be made on a daily or weekly basis. Fees are calculated based on your turnover, the duration of the loan and how often you would like to make payments. For Asset Finance the repayment period ranges between 12 and 60 months.
If you want funding from Retail Capital, register online and create a profile, or you can book an appointment. Retail Capital does not ask for a lot of documentation, only bank statements.

4. ThundaFund

Launched in 2011, Thundafund is a crowdfunding platform focussing on getting creative and innovative projects funded. The platform works on a rewards system. People make donations and in return receive a reward. Entrepreneurs can raise funds for businesses or charitable causes or to support a creative endeavour.

Projects on the platform average between R 5 000 – R 50 000, but at the extreme, can go into the millions. The platform caters for businesses in these categories: art and photography, community, crafts, design, events, fashion, film and video, food and beverages, media and publishing, music, performance; sport, technology and games.

You must be over the age of 18. If you are under 18, they will need a project collaborator who is over 18. You can apply and register on the website. Each application is reviewed by the Thundafund team and must be approved before it goes live. The approval process can take weeks.

5. Investment Network

The Investment Network (South African Angel Investment Network) is a paid membership platform that connects entrepreneurs with angel investors (local and international). The company helps entrepreneurs get funded.

If you want to raise funds on the platform, you will need to pitch your business and outline your capital requirements. The organisation’s system will then match you to a suitable investor. This is based on investment amount, region and which sector you are in.

You do have to sign up for a membership before applying for investment. Memberships range from R 799 up to R 19 999. A full refund is issued to you if there is no genuine interest from investors.


GENFIN is part of the Genfin Holdings Group. The company offers business loans of up to R 5 million. The company has a quick approval process and allows for online applications.
For applications, GENFIN has three main categories that determine your overall application score: business stability, financial metrics and credit history.

Minimum requirements are:

  • Business must be a registered entity (CC or Pty).
  • Trading history of more than one year.
  • Currently have an annual turnover of over R 1 000 000.

The repayment terms at GENFIN begin at six months and go up to 12 months. It is possible to structure your loan over a shorter period or increase your instalments. This helps reduce your interest charge. Repayments are done on a weekly or monthly basis.

To apply at GENFIN, you can submit your applications online or over the phone. Once complete, you will be asked to submit your most recent 12-month bank statement. Depend on the loan amount, you may also be asked for:

  • Latest management accounts.
  • Latest annual financial statements.
  • SARS statement of account (VAT & PAYE as applicable).

GENFIN loans are paid out on the same day.

Remember to ensure all your documents are in order before applying for funding. There are other types of funding available, it is just about picking the right platform for your business. For more information visit the SME South Africa website.

Get Weekly 5-Minutes Business Advice

Subscribe to receive actionable business tips and resources.

Subscription Form (#66)

Feeling Stuck?