Free online solution that helps business owners with accessing funding launched
Finfind offers summary of all government funds and private sector finance options
Homepage of the web-based funding solution, Finfind.
South African entrepreneurs can now easily explore all the finance options available to them through a single online platform. Finfind, a web-based funding solution, was launched today by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD).
The online tool helps business owners access financing by bringing together financiers from the private sector and government as well as tools to help business owners get finance ready.
Darlene Menzies, CEO of Finfind says the platform answers the biggest funding challenges that entrepreneurs are faced with.
"One of the main reasons why SMME owners struggle to obtain finance is because they are not considered 'finance ready' by large banking institutions. Secondly, no single solution presently exists that assists a business owner to explore all the finance options available to them," says Menzies.
"Finfind meets these needs and provides detailed information about available lending products and institutions, answers frequently asked questions and works with the owner to become 'finance ready' and assists them with linkage to matching lenders based on the information they provide about themselves as the owner and their business," she says.
Seda, the DSBD and the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) have worked with USAID and Finfind over the past two years to engage the banks, private and public sector lenders and all government grants and loan providers, thereby ensuring their inclusion in the lender database housed within the portal.
At the launch, Menzies said all of the government’s funds and 70% of the private sector are on the database, and that private lenders are encouraged to also include their details in the database.
How it works
Funding seekers will on the platform find a summary of all government funds available to small business, as well as private sector finance options.
The SME owner is able to access information about all the various types of funding available as well as find out if they are finance-ready by working through an online process answering questions related to their finance readiness – if they are ready to access finance and their company information is verified; they are linked with matching lenders. If they are not ready they are assisted with step-by-step advice to become finance ready.
Business owners will also through the platform have access to experienced business advisors through the Institute for Business Advisors South Africa (IBASA) as well as a variety of small business support services through Seda branches throughout the country.
SME owners will also have access to small business bookkeepers and accountants through Finfind's partnership with the South African institute for Professional Accountants (SAIPA).
Growth and development
Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu at the launch said the goal of Finfind was to support SMEs.
"Government has prioritised entrepreneurship and the advancement of SMMEs as the catalyst to achieving economic growth and development. We are very excited about the Finfind solution and trust that it will result in the provision of adequate financial assistance to SMMEs nationwide, thereby ensuring the long-term prosperity of the sector and the country as a whole," says Zulu.