Small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in various sectors are flourishing, thanks to the assistance they receive from the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa).
Sefa offers funding to qualifying SMMEs, including those owned and run by people with disabilities, military veterans, and people in rural areas and townships.
The agency’s various funds are permanently open for applications. Each fund has its own qualifying criteria, says Don Mashele, Sefa’s Head of Development Impact Support. Support is in the form of loans and/or grants.
Through its Direct Lending and Wholesale Lending programmes, Sefa can provide between
R500 000 and R15 million in financing, Mashele says.
“Through Direct Lending, a business can get asset and property financing. Through Wholesale Lending, a business can access a credit guarantee, as well as equity. Financing is through a bridging, revolving or term loan,” he says.
Sefa also provides post-funding business development support, including business and technical support; commercial and industrial rental of property; and institutional strengthening – when problem areas are identified by Sefa.
“We give priority to business in the services, manufacturing and agriculture sector. We also prioritise construction, mining, green industries, and information and technology businesses,” he says.
A beneficiary of the Small Enterprise Manufacturing Support programme (SEMSP), Nokuthula Dladla (64) says that Sefa bought a road sign-making machine for her company, Wanotha Road Signs, and helped with capital for staff salaries.
SEMSP helps businesses in townships, rural towns and villages by providing financial and non-financial support to small-scale manufacturers.
“I received R4.9 million from Sefa in 2021, of which 18% was a grant. The financing from Sefa has helped grow our productivity and allowed me to hire 15 people.
"Prior to this funding, I was buying the signs elsewhere and the selling them at a mark-up. Now that I am making them myself, I am able to produce them faster and sell them cheaper,” says Dladla.
How to apply for funding
When applying for Sefa funding, you must submit:
- Certified copies of your identity document, and business registration and compliance documentation;
- Supporting quotations for the assistance needed;
- A personal income and expenditure schedule; and
- An assets and liabilities statement.
Sefa funding programmes include the Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme; the Small Enterprise Manufacturing Support Programme; the National Youth Policy; The Inyamazane Funding Scheme for military veterans; the
Amavulandlela Funding Scheme for people with a disability; and the Godisa Supplier Development Fund, for Transnet suppliers.