93% of SMEs don’t know where or how to access finance, hampering their ability to grow and deliver on contracts and met the expectations of corporate buyers.

We see this every day. Businesses are awarded lucrative contracts they’ve been chasing for months, but they haven’t started their capital raising process early enough or don’t have the skill to know where and how to access the finance from. Many of these businesses could be financed if they had the skill internally or through the appropriate advisors.

With over 420 financial products available to South African SMEs from various commercial, alternative and developmental funders; offering everything from debt to equity and grants with varying terms, rates and requirements, there is no shortage of funding in the market.

But with so many options to choose from, being offered by so many financiers, figuring out the right finance is overwhelming at best.

Business owners are good at selling their offering, making sure their customers are delivered to and managing the moving parts in between, however, they typically don’t have experience in raising capital.

The typical financial training provided to SMEs is focused on historical financial management and controls, which is necessary but typically doesn’t cover the capital raising process and requirements. Furthermore, this is often an activity which most accounts and auditors have limited to no exposure in.

There are 5 core fundamentals which SMEs need to understand and be equipped with to ensure they’re able to access the finance they need:

  1. Where to access finance from based on need and stage of the business
  2. The common pitfalls and trip-ups in raising finance
  3. The different stakeholders and their roles in the capital raising process
  4. The importance of compliance
  5. The process and timelines in different types of raising finance

By assessing over 2,500 SMEs for finance, Uzenzele has developed activity based training for SMEs to learn these fundamentals through group facilitated training programmes offered via incubators, accelerators and supplier development programmes.