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Get your paperwork in order, fund applicants warned

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

If you hope to access government funds for your business, it is essential that you spend time and effort putting together a comprehensive application.

Marcia Ratswana, a business advisor with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), said many applicants are turned down by funding institutions because they do not comply with basic requirements.

In addition, many applicants do not fill in the application forms correctly, do not submit all the required documents, lack a proper business plan, apply for funding with the incorrect funding body or fail to register their business with the relevant bodies.

“A sound business plan will articulate your business model,” Ratswana said. It will address how you intend making money and how you will repay your loan.

“Not having a business plan in place that substantially motivates a funder to give you money can negatively affect your application,” she said.

While the various funding agencies have different application requirements, all require Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) documentation, she cautioned. Essential compliance documents needed by funding agencies include Companies and Intellectual Property Commission registration, a Sars tax clearance certificate, a registered business account and an industry registration certificate.

Another common problem is failure by applicants to do proper research into the qualifying criteria of the funding institution they are applying to. This results in them asking for assistance that is in fact not offered by that institution. Examples include applying for funds to build a workshop from a funding agency that does not fund building costs or applying for a large loan from an agency that only offers smaller loans.

Even though Seda does not directly fund businesses, it assists SMMEs in putting together application forms for funding.

For more information contact the Seda National Information Centre on 0860 103 703 or email info@seda.org.za.