Ndumiso Khoza, Deloitte senior manager.
Ndumiso Khoza, Deloitte senior manager.
Entrepreneurs attend the Western Cape Funding  Fair. Pictures: Supplied
Entrepreneurs attend the Western Cape Funding Fair. Pictures: Supplied
Budding entrepreneurs looking to grow sustainable businesses had the opportunity to mix with business leaders at the fourth annual Western Cape Funding Fair.

The event is a joint initiative between Deloitte Western Cape and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and aims to create awareness and access to potential funding organisations.

Deloitte Western Cape leader Marius Alberts said the company had developed the funding fair to help entrepreneurs to become more sustainable.

“We have learnt first-hand from those attending the fair about the challenges they face in securing funding and we tailor the programme to address this issue,” he said.

Small- and medium-size enterprises contribute around 34% of the province’s GDP, they also provide employment to about 60% of the labour force.

MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of our economy and a major driver of job creation. The Western Cape Funding Fair is a way for us to connect these start-up businesses with the people who could fund their development and growth.”

There were more than 25 funders who exhibited at the fair which was attended by over a thousand new business owners who were seeking innovative ways to fund their dreams.

Arlene Cloete, a fashion designer from Claremont, said she had attended the fair with the hope of getting ideas on how to gain access to funding to help grow her business.

“Currently I am working from my garage, which I have turned into a studio. I have been designing clothes since I was a young girl. I turned my passion into a business because I wanted to be my own boss, give others an opportunity for great employment and potentially build their own businesses and brands,” she said.

Cloete said she had struggled to secure funding to help grow her business so she could move to more suitable premises.

“At the moment I design and make dresses on request. I specialise in evening gowns, wedding gowns and such. It would be great if I could move to a real studio, where I can employ two more seamstresses and have gowns on display, but all of that needs lots of financial backing. However, I have learnt ways to build my business via digital platforms, as well as mistakes which lead to new businesses failing.

“Financial planning is difficult but a necessary evil for business to succeed ,” said the 35-year-old mother of one.

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