Picture: Lyse Comins
Cape Town - Innovation and entrepreneurship are key drivers of economic growth; however those behind growing businesses and great ideas require access to funding and a supportive business environment to succeed. Fostering entrepreneurship is a priority for the

Western Cape Government because it recognises the power in entrepreneurs who create businesses as new businesses create jobs, this according to Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.

The Western Cape Funding Fair held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this morning is a joint initiative between Deloitte Western Cape and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), its exhibition and conference style platform is aimed at creating awareness of and access to multiple funding organisations.

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Now in its third year, the event kicked-off to a packed audience of over 2 000 business owners and entrepreneurs who signed up to attend business information sessions and to connect with over 24 active funding organisations.

The speaker line-up included well-known thought leader and entrepreneur Rapelang Rabana, Matsi Modise Managing Director of SiMODisa and Jason Goldberg, Founder and CEO of 10x-e. Representatives from ABSA, Business Partners, CCDI, Edge Growth, SEDA, SEFA and Nedbank were available to meet with business owners throughout the day.

“Our commitment to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Western Cape is unwavering. Through our engagement with entrepreneurs, we have learnt that the most common problem they face is around gaining access to finance in order to grow their businesses. We know that innovative entrepreneurs play a significant role in driving the Western Cape economy.

That is why we support initiatives like these which prepare entrepreneurs for fund raising and help to connect them to potential investors. I would also like to thank Deloitte for sharing in our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs,” said Minister Winde.

 “As government, it is our role to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. Through the Funding Fair, we partner with the private sector to make sure that business owners have the knowledge to get their enterprises to the next level, in particular as they seek funding.”

“To enable small business to succeed it is important that the people with innovative ideas and skills have access to the vital entrepreneurial resources like money, and know-how to grow their businesses,” says Marius Alberts, head of Deloitte Western Cape. “When small businesses prosper, it stimulates economic growth through job creation, and it is for this reason that we are delighted to partner with DEDAT on this important initiative.”

“Today not only did we have a full house attending our curated speaker programme, but we also had an impressive turnout from funders who are eager to potentially invest their money in great businesses. There is immense satisfaction meeting with passionate business owners and entrepreneurs who are hungry for the right information to help their businesses succeed,” says Alberts.