Starting up a small business is not easy and there are a number of costs involved when getting off the ground. Grants for small business can mean all the difference in helping you start a successful venture. There are a number of organizations you can approach to help you secure a grant for business start-up:
The Department of Trade and Industry
This government department has launched a Competitiveness Fund. This fund aims to provide financial support to entrepreneurs that qualify for the grant. These grants can cover up to 50% of the running costs of the venture. Businesses registered as private sector companies qualify for financial assistance, but they should also state and objective to support competitive business practice.
Another grant provided by the Department of Trade and Industry is the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda) that is targeted at supporting small businesses in South Africa. Seda was established in 2004 according to the terms of the National Small Business Amendment Act. The role of seda is to promote and support co-operative enterprises, particularly those in rural areas.
Other government initiatives facilitated by this department are: Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency, the Centre for Small Business Promotion (CSBP) and Khula Enterprise Finance. The Department of Trade and Industry recently signed an agreement with the European Union, which has agreed to donate R550 million to establish a risk capital fund for small businesses.
Another of the grants available for small business can be provided by Khula Enterprise, a small business finance association run by the Department of Trade and Industry. Small businesses who find it difficult to get bank loans due to a lack of collateral to set up as security can approach Khula Enterprise for Khula-guaranteed bank loans. For more details, you can contact Khula by calling (012) 394 5560 or visit the Khula website at http://www.khula.org.za.
Umsobomvu Youth Fund
This government-created fund was set up to promote job creation, skills development, entrepreneurship and skills transfer for South African citizens between 18 and 35 years of age. This fund not only helps young people start their own businesses, but also helps to create opportunities for young people to find jobs, and acquire good career skills.
Business Partners Limited
This company is one of the leading specialist financing companies for small and medium business ventures. The full service includes:
- customized investment solutions
- property broking
- technical assistance
- property management
- ongoing business support
These businesses factors are integrated to make tailor-made solutions for entrepreneurs. For further details, go to http://www.businesspartners.co.za or give Business Partners a call (011) 470 8700.
Real Enterprise Development Initiative (RED Door)
The RED Door is an organization that helps to build new businesses as well as develop and strengthen existing businesses. RED Door will be able to suggest means for you to get grants or financing to start up your business and help you develop a customized business action plan.
Khetani Business Finance
This non-profit organization assists small businesses who would normally have loan applications turned down by major financing institutions. To find out how Khetani Business Finance can help you, call (011) 781 7224.
The National Empowerment Fund (NEF)
This organization provided venture capital and acquisition funding to support black empowerment. For further details, contact (011) 772 8000 or visit http://www.nefcorp.co.za.
The National Productivity Institute (NPI)
This non-governmental organization has a number of subsidized solutions and programmed to help small business owners who would like to increase their productivity and profitability. They can be contacted on (012) 341 1470.
Proudly South African
This branding company aims to promote the buying and selling of locally produced South African products. Business owners can place a Proudly SA logo on their products. The stamp costs 0.1% of the sales their product, but products carrying this logo are promoted by the company. You can give them a call on (011) 327-7778 or visit http://www.proudlysa.co.za.