While the hot topic is of interest, the information can be quite boring. I will try my best to keep the information light for you to follow if you want to apply for business funding. There are various funds that can be applied for and not necessarily restricted by location. I am an entrepreneur and I coach women in business. My need for information was to guide my clients if, and when they require it. There’s way more information that could possibly be included in this blog post. ( so bear with me )
Funding your business is akin to funding your dream and maybe even your livelihood. We all have our own journey and funding is no different. This is not a 1 size fits all.
The funding you could apply for could be for start-up and operational costs or scaling the business. Here are the types of funding available to businesses:
Angel Investors are wealthy, business individuals who will be willing to invest in your venture for a stake in your business.
Government funding is funding from the budget set aside in grants or loans for the development within the country. There are few government institutions that will fund a business in another country.
Banks will fund your business as a loan.
Venture Capitalist firms will invest in your business and will request equity should the business succeed.
Business incubators or accelerator programmes are generally businesses that may offer office space, funds and mentorship to aspiring businesses with the aim of accelerating growth.
The rise of microlenders has arrived. The word micro is used loosely here as the amount is capped and probably at entry level of the bigger funding competitors.
Another option that has gained popularity is crowdfunding. There are two types of crowdfunding. Equity crowdfunding would be a group that will fund in exchange for equity in the business. The second type would be informal. This informal type would be setting up an account and asking friends and family to contribute.
It goes without saying that there are calculated risks for the business owner and investor irrespective of the sector. The requirements may vary, here is a list of requirements for South African Government Institutions:
Sound Business Plan
Completed application form
FICA compliance i.e., proof of residence
All company registration documents including a valid BBBEE certificate ( if you are located in South Africa)
Valid VAT clearance certificate
Certified copies of Identity documents and an affidavit from all directors stating their awareness of the application for funding
Detailed CV of the principal applicant
(your local seda office can assist with writing a business plan and don’t charge for the assistance)
Depending on whether the business is trading, and the amount of funding required the additional may be required:
Three years’ audited financials (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement)
Five years financial projections (Income Statement, Balance Sheet and monthly
Cash Flow Statement) with first year prepared on a monthly basis.
Recent management accounts (Income Statement and Balance Sheet)
Personal Statements of Assets and Liabilities of all the members or directors, including those of spouses if person is married in Community of Property.
The processing time varies from a few weeks to a few months, longer for bigger amounts applied for. A correctly completed application with all the supporting documents will result in a shorter time and avoid back and forth. The Institution will provide feedback if approved and if declined they will give guidelines for a future approval.
The list of requirements for government institutions and banks are longer because funding amounts disbursed are much bigger in comparison to some of the other funding options. The amounts that can be applied for range according to the need and some institutions fund only certain sectors.
The microlenders will process the application much faster if all the requirements are satisfactory. For a quick turnaround of less than a week with a hefty interest rate to pay back.
Funding is a journey and may be quite stressful, but it’s important to understand that the people who working on your application are doing everything possible to help fund your dreams. While the process may feel disheartening at times and like they making you jump through hoops, their KPI’s are attached to the goal of funding businesses and developing the economy. The funding company would have done a complete due diligence. This information is quite helpful to you and can be a great tool to help the business close gaps. Feedback given should not be taken lightly and be implemented quickly if you want the funding. Then do what it takes to succeed.
South African Government Institutions – sefa, seda, National Empowerment Fund, Industrial Development Corporation, National Youth Development Agency
Private Sector – Vodalend, Business Fuel and IDF Capital
International – Norfund, Acumen Fund, Helios, Gates Foundation, Zuckerberg Foundation
Crowdfunding - Kiva
Disclaimer: This is not a complete list, it’s a starting point. I am not a financial advisor; I’m sharing information. Please seek Professional advice as needed.
Blog Author - Claire Muller
Claire Muller is a Women’s Business Coach. She has transitioned from 23 years of corporate and government to fulfil her purpose and positively impact the world. Empowering women in business, in their careers and entrepreneurial journeys. Claire is a qualified Trainer, Assessor and Coach. Her toolbox includes Life, Business, Executive, Abundance, Creativity, and Enneagram Coaching.