SME Business Funding Options

You’ve got the idea – you have tried and tested it and you have found some buyers. Now, you need some funding options to get your journey going.

In South Africa, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of our economy. These are companies that maintain revenues, assets or a number of employees below a certain threshold.

South African SMEs represented more than 98% of businesses in July 2020. They employed between 50% and 60% of the country’s workforce across all sectors and accounted for one-quarter of the job growth in the private sector.

Andrew Maren, CEO of the disruptive fintech ProfitShare Partners, notes that small businesses also contribute around 34% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Access to funding options

However, SMEs need access to funding or funding options to help them get off the starting blocks and be an impactful contributor to job creation and the South African economy.

“While Fintechs are now trying to address the needs of SME’s by understanding the problems they face it’s always good to look at all your options for accessing finance,” Maren says. ProfitShare Partners suggests reviewing some of the suggestions below, before explaining how a fintech is able to operate differently.

Where to start seeking funding

Government agencies

Start by approaching one of the Government agencies. These include the Department of Trade and Industry (dti); the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF).

Support aimed at assisting women and youth in business is also available to ensure inclusivity. Financial assistance is negotiated per applicant, and you will need to have the appropriate paperwork before approaching these agencies.


If you do qualify for a loan from a bank, find out what they need from you. This will probably include your financial history; business plan; financial projections; and your ability to pay back the loan at the terms each bank offers.

Discuss your needs with several institutions and choose the most appropriate loan for your business.

Fintech financial offerings

An exciting addition to the South African finance and funding sector is the growing number of fintechs that provide financial solutions using technology. Their financial offerings are disrupting traditional banking by providing solutions to previously excluded clients. This gives smaller companies easier access to various financial products and services without the usual red tape.

In the case of ProfitShare Partners, clients with a valid purchase order (or binding contract) can submit an application for working capital online.

Increase your turnover and profitability

Maren says ProfitShare Partners’ speed and agility is a lifeline for small businesses. “With everything done online, we’ve streamlined processes to help our clients. We’ve minimised the documents required and application time, providing a transparent process.

“Clients accessing our type of growth capital are now able to rapidly increase turnover and profitability. This helps them build a more sustainable business in a shorter period of time.”

Get started with your business funding application today.

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