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Funding Fair helps entrepreneurs seeking money, know-how

May 10 2017 14:44
Carin Smith

Cape Town - To enable small business to succeed it is important that those with innovative ideas and skills have access to vital entrepreneurial resources like money and know-how to grow their businesses.

This was the message of Marius Alberts, head of Deloitte Western Cape, on Wednesday at the opening of the third annual Western Cape Funding Fair. It took place on Wednesday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and was hosted by Deloitte and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

“When small businesses prosper it stimulates economic growth through job creation. Deloitte recognises that entrepreneurship is increasingly being viewed by both government and the private sector as the primary means to drive economic and social development," said Alberts.

"We are hopeful that the Funding Fair platform will benefit funders, project promoters, entrepreneurs, and in the long run, contribute to the growth of the Western Cape economy."

READ: Junk status: Entrepreneurs must get creative

Funders

More than 3 000 entrepreneurs registered to attend this year’s Funding Fair. It is a platform to connect funders and entrepreneurs. Speakers shared funding advice and entrepreneurs were able to network with funders.

Since 2015 the Funding Fair has attracted over 1 800 businesses seeking funding. During this time, in excess of R12m in funding has been allocated by investors since 2015 and a further R37m in value of deals pending.

"The rate of deal flow which takes place at the Funding Fair is higher than normal at five in 20 versus the general industry standard of one in 10 businesses being funded," said Alberts.

"We have over 30 funders/investors at this year’s Funding Fair – 24 of which will be exhibiting, and the rest will be networking, on the search for prospective investments."

According to Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, the most common problem entrepreneurs say they face is around gaining access to finance in order to grow their businesses.

"We know that innovative entrepreneurs play a significant role in driving the Western Cape economy. That is why we support initiatives like these which prepare entrepreneurs for fund raising and help to connect them to potential investors," said Winde.

He thanked Deloitte for its support for entrepreneurs.

“The Funding Fair is one of several programmes we have put in place to give entrepreneurs the support they need to grow. Through our Investment Readiness workshops, entrepreneurs receive training in how to correctly package their funding applications to financial institutions. We’re also committed to making it easier to do business in the Western Cape, and our Red Tape Reduction Unit has saved businesses R600m to date,” said Winde.

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