While the failure rate of small businesses in the country is high, they remain the backbone of the economy, providing the majority of the job opportunities and contributing significantly to GDP.
With the recent announcement of government job cuts over the next three years and with only 22% of corporate CEOs being “very confident” of their company’s growth in the next 12 months, the country is depending on the small business sector to deliver jobs.
To achieve this, a supportive environment must be created to bolster small business survival and to facilitate growth. Access to finance is a critical component of this survival and growth and is one that needs urgent attention.
Finfind published South Africa’s Inaugural SMME Access to Finance Report earlier this year. The report, sponsored by the SA SME Fund, details the SMME access to finance landscape in the country and identifies the lack of skills by micro, small and medium-sized business owners as a substantial challenge to accessing finance. A free copy of the report can be downloaded from www.accesstofinancereport.co.za.
Darlene Menzies, CEO of Finfind remarks that, “Many business owners lack the skills required to find the right funders and to identify the appropriate finance product that matches their particular funding need. Many also struggle to prepare the relevant business documentation required by finance providers and lack the know-how to ideally present their business funding case in a way that will enable them to access the finance they need. While access to the funding is crucial for business sustainability and growth, sadly many applications are rejected due to poor financial skills and lack of funding experience by the business owner.”