The backbone of the South African economy is supported by small businesses, but businesses without a funding source are prone to failing or struggling to grow.
The reality is that many small business owners are at a loss when it comes to where to look for funding and how to access it. With this in mind, Darlene Menzies, CEO of finfind, developed the finfind product in conjunction with USAID. Big news for small business in South Africa is that Friday saw the official launch of finfind by Seda (The Small Enterprise Development Agency)* at the National SMME Policy Colloquium held in Sandton.
“Finfind is a truly a revolutionary one-stop solution for access to finance for small business; it is an online system that brings together the providers and seekers of small business finance with a focus on finance readiness. It is the result of a five-year research and development initiative by USAID’s Financial Sector Program in South Africa, aimed at addressing the challenges of access to finance. Finfind is an invaluable tool that is now available, free of charge, 24/7, to all South Africans!” says Menzies.
One of the primary reasons that SMMEs cannot access finance is the lack of up-to-date annual financial statements and monthly management accounts. finfind has partnered exclusively with SMEasy, an innovative South African business aimed at assisting SMMEs with no accounting know-how to manage their financial records. SMEasy also generates quotes, invoices and pay slips, as well as being an all-inclusive money management system for the business. Added to the benefits of finfind is the provision of simple online training videos at www.finfindeasy.co.za
Menzies emphasises that, “In South Africa, more than 80% of start-ups fail in their first year and of those who survive only half are still in business by year three – for a country that is relying on the small business sector to grow the economy this high failure rate is concerning and the key causes need to be addressed. Access to finance is one of the primary causes of small business failure. ”
The main challenges hindering small businesses from accessing finance are:
• finance literacy
• finance readiness
• lack of knowledge about who the lenders are and;
• what lenders require.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”, stresses Menzies. With the launch of finfind in South Africa there is now little reason for businesses to be unable to properly prepare themselves to obtain the finance they need to survive and grow.
For more information go to www.finfindeasy.co.za
*SEDA is part of the Department of Small Business Development. finfind was officially launched by Minister Lindiwe Zulu on 30 October 2015.
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