If you are an entrepreneur and are looking for a ticket to your business success, then you need to familiarize yourself with the DTI, SEDA, IDC, and NEF funding. For a long time now, most business people have been trying to look for solutions on how to start their new business ventures, how to sustain their existing businesses, and even how to expand their operations. The good news is that certain funding opportunities can make your dream a reality.
To ensure that you acquire funding from the DTI, SEDA, NEF, or the IDC, ensure you are complacent with all the prompts they give you in their application forms.
DTI refers to the Department of Trade and Industry, which is responsible for providing financing to businesses that qualify for the funds, regardless of their sectors. The DTI funding application forms are available at the DTI website, making it easy for everyone to acquire the loans. There are always question regarding the DTI grants, in terms of the DTI funding for small businesses. As stated earlier, the DTI funds are accessible to any business that qualifies for the grants, regardless of its sector.
NEF is a project enacted by the government to aid in supporting and boosting the participation of the public in business and entrepreneurship. For this to happen, the NEF funding system helps black entrepreneurs to acquire funding for their activities. The goal of the NEF is to assist the black youth, men and women, communities, and businesses to be financially stable in their businesses.
There are several types of NEF funding. One is the uMnotho Fund, which has sub-divisions in finance such as the new venture finance, capital markets, the expansion capital, and liquidity and warehousing. The uMnotho Fund is offered to black entrepreneurs who manage their businesses, are looking forward to expanding their existing business, or have new business ventures. The approximate funds one can get from this type of NEF funding range from R2 million to R75 million.
The other type of NEF funding is the Rural and Community Development Fund. This type of government funding aims at promoting sustainable changes in social and economic relations and also developing the rural economy through financial support and sustainability of the enterprises and co-operatives. It also has divisions in the acquisition, which entail new venture capital, start-up/green categories, and the expansion capital.
The third type of NEF funding is the iMbewu Fund. It aims at supporting black entrepreneurs who have a vision of expanding their existing businesses or opening a new business. The iMbewu Fund also has subdivisions in entrepreneur finance, franchise finance, and procurement finance. The Fund gives contributions in the form of quasi-equity, debt counseling, and equity finance products.
The last type of NEF funding is strategic projects. It has subdivisions of empowerment objectives. Strategic projects aim at increasing the participation of the blacks in early-stage projects. The projects must have an economic advantage and can offer what the government is looking for in the development sector.
The NEF application form
Despite some people being knowledgeable with the NEF funding, only a few know the requirements to acquire these funds. To begin with, one must write a complete application form and a thorough proposal that is accompanied by substantial evidence supporting the commercial viability and the financial status and performance of your business. After writing all these, go through it to ensure you have provided only accurate information as required by the NEF funding requirements. If you are satisfied with what is written, go ahead and submit your application to the NEF.
The NEF then goes through your application form, to assess the validity of the information you have given, and also to determine if you are liable to acquire the funds. The NEF website contains the checklist which one can use when preparing the form since it details what must be included while applying for the funds. If you have not met all these requirements, then you do not qualify to receive the funds. The process of verifying and assessing those liable to acquire the funds can take up to six weeks.
Similarly, if you have qualifies for the funds, you will only know after three or four months to receive the funding since a lot of time is taken in verifying the financial details and determining the credibility of the business.
SEFA refers to the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, which was founded in 2012. Over the next three years after its formation, SEFA was given R1.4-billion of funds by the South African Government and IDC to support small businesses in South Africa. SEFA offers entrepreneurs finances to start and grow their businesses. There are various types of SEFA funds which range from the term loans, the bridging loans, and structured finance. They also range from as low as R500 to R3 million.
For one to acquire the SEFA loans, one must submit a completed SEFA application form, a comprehensive business plan, and other documentation that meets the SEFA online application requirements.
SEDA refers to the Small Enterprise Development Agency, an agency under the Department of Small Business Development. It was established in December 2004, through the National Small Business Amendment Act, Act 29 of 2004. Most people ask if one requires a SEDA business plan to acquire the grants. Another asked question by the majority of the entrepreneurs is ‘how do I apply for the SEDA grants?’ One requires a proposal which must be submitted via the application form. One should follow all the guidelines on how to present the document via the online application platform of SEDA.
IDC refers to the Industrial Development Corporation, which aims at offering financial support to businesses looking forward to acquiring capital for buildings, equipment, or even attaining the working capital. The Industrial Development Corporation also supports entrepreneurs by providing them with funds they require for their business expansion. IDC also promotes partnership between and across industrial organizations that within South Africa (SA) and even internationally.
There are different types of IDC which include the development funds, the Agro-processing Competitiveness Fund, the Green Energy Efficiency Fund, the Transformation, and Entrepreneurship Scheme, and the Risk Capital Facility Programme. One of the most searched question online by entrepreneurs is ‘how do I apply for an IDC fund?’ If you are looking to apply for any of the several types of IDC funding mentioned above, then here is what you ought to know and do.
The IDC aims at giving funds to individuals with potential job opportunities, funds to cater to the urban renewal and poverty eradication, and funds to create employment to the women and youths. It goes to mean that any project you undertake should have economic viability and sustainability. To apply for the IDC funds, log in to the IDC Online Funding website, click on the ‘Online Funding’ and follow the stipulated prompts.
It is very frustrating for a business entrepreneur trying to look for loans at banks or from family members, only to be declined when their business is at the verge of crumbling. The best solutions presently for one looking to start a business, expand their business, or maintain their SME is to apply for various grants and loans. Some of the most substantial and beneficial sources to grant you the credit you require entail the IDC, SEDA, NEF, and the DTI.