If you’re a township-based entrepreneur looking for small business funding opportunities, then TREP might be the answer.
TREP provides business support and funding to help grow the rural and township economies. This is an initiative designed to increase the number of competitive small businesses in townships and to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive.
As long as you meet the right basic criteria, anyone can apply for a TREP scheme. This is an accessible and exciting opportunity for any budding township entrepreneur.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about TREP and how to apply for it.
What is TREP?
The Township and Rural Empowerment Programs (TREP) are initiatives to support informal micro and small enterprises in township economies. TREP offers township entrepreneurs finance and business development opportunities to help them develop their businesses.
This is a form of government funding for SMEs and includes schemes for a wide range of businesses. The fund is managed by the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).
TREP schemes include a one-stop-shop business support service, business incubation to help entrepreneurs develop their new venture, business skills training programs, and product development support. Successful TREP candidates can also access a credit guarantee, access to funding including working capital, and a pitch-for-funding channel.
The TREP initiative is designed to find opportunities in townships and transform these into productive business ventures.
How Do I Apply for TREP?
Any budding entrepreneur focused on rural and township markets can apply for a TREP scheme to help them get their business off the ground.
To apply for a TREP programme, you will need to register here and fill out all of the required application information. You can also find the application form here. Once you have completed your application, you will receive an email with your unique smmesa.gov.za reference number.
Then create an account using the email address that you registered on smmesa.gov.za. This account will be linked to the eService’s platform.
Log into your account. From here, you can apply for the different programmes available in the application dashboard.
When applying for a programme, you will need to submit the required statutory documents, which includes CIPC documentation and proof of address.
If the online portal has issues, you can also apply by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which Industries Can Apply for the TREP Funding?
TREP funding is available for a wide range of different township business ideas and opportunities. This includes:
- Automotive aftermarket business support
- Bakeries and confectionaries
- Spaza shops
- Small-scale clothing and textile businesses
- Tshisanyama and open-air cooked foods
- Informal traders
Requirements for TREP Funding
To apply for TREP funding, your business needs to fall under one of the suitable categories. TREP funding is only available to South African nationals. TREP funding is also only available to entrepreneurs who are based in townships, and whose businesses serve township and rural markets.
Suitable entrepreneurs need to apply for support through the online application and form on SEFA’s website, the application template from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
Application Process for TREP
The application process for TREP requires applicants to provide all necessary details about their businesses in the official registration forms. This includes:
- Company registration number (CIPC)
- Business name
- The date the business started operating
- Contact details
- Area of operation
- Financial year-end information (if applicable)
- SARS reference number (if applicable)
- Staffing details
- Funding requirements
- List of products and services
- List of clients/potential clients
Candidates also need to include relevant documentation, including:
- CIPC registration documents
- Municipal trade permit and certificate of acceptability (if the business is in food preparation)
- Relevant industry certification
- ID copies of directors/owners
- FICA documents
- Business profile
- 3 months financial records or proof of banking
- Estimations for applied funding
- Proof of business banking account
- Proof of employee UIF registration
- Application for compliance with relevant industry bodies
- Any other documentation to support the application
Successful applicants will only be chosen if they provide all relevant documentation and information, and their business meets the correct standards for the TREP program they are applying for.
TREP initiatives provide an excellent opportunity for rural and township entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses. The initiative is aimed to grow township economies, and it is a relatively easy form of funding for small businesses. As long as you meet the right criteria, TREP could be your answer to business success.