For small farmers and other small entrepreneurs, access to finance is a crucial part of being in the game. Farmers all over the world borrow money for seed, fertiliser and other technologies or inputs. These are investments into the business so that it is able to generate products to sell. Finance is also necessary to market the produce. All of this requires money – before the farmer has earned a cent!
You need money to create money.
This chapter is a sketch, by no means conclusive, of the financial assistance to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in the country, with an emphasis on those touching on the agricultural value chain.
Instead of talking about creating five million jobs by , [government] should be saying we are going to create one million new enterprises by then – in other words one million new entrepreneurs with the freedom to do their own thing within an open, inclusive economy. If each of them hires on average four people, you have five million new jobs.
Meanwhile, very few captains of industry are helping to expand the space and provide support for entrepreneurs. Educational institutions have not woken up to the fact that the game of work has changed and, as such, they are still educating their students for the job market that existed 50 years ago.
Source: Clem Sunter
Credit from commercial banks
Only credit grantors that are registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) may grant credit. Visit www.ncr.org.za to find out more, including information and tips, debt counselling etc.
Farmers who want to establish or expand their farming operations can obtain finance from commercial banks. It is, however, important that they understand the terms and conditions of credit, e.g. what credit is and repayment requirements.
What is credit and why do you need it?
Credit is money borrowed from someone or from a bank by agreement with the promise to pay it back at a later date, with or without interest.
Commercial banks grant credit to farmers for various purposes e.g. for equipment, vehicles, land, livestock, irrigation equipment, water pumps, etc. The bank will want to know how the credit is going to be used and what your financial position is (assets and liabilities). Your bank will want to know this in order to assess your ability to generate income and pay back the loan. The bank will look at your:
- assets and liabilities (financial standing)
- present and expected income (cash flow)
- risks involved and how you plan to cover them
- knowledge of the industry in which you want to get involved
Ask your financial advisor or extension officer or to assist you to compile this information. The extension officer is a person who works for the Department of Agriculture in your area and who is trained to assist farmers in agricultural matters.
When and how much can you borrow?
- Know the purpose for which you are borrowing money – to improve the performance of your farming operations.
- Do not apply for credit that will generate too little income to cover the interest and capital (money borrowed) repayments.
- Therefore, the expected net income (income left over after all expenses have been deducted, except tax and interest) will give a good indication of how much debt the project will be able to carry.
- When applying for credit, make sure that your debt is not more than 30% of your current assets and 25% of the expected income.
Repaying the bank
Before any commercial bank can grant a loan, it determines whether your income exceeds your costs to such an extent that there will be enough money to repay the loan and to cover household expenses.
The bank will ask for a collateral or security for the loan. A collateral or security is property pledged as security for the loan. Should you fail to repay your loan, the bank will repossess your property and sell it to realise its security.
Property which is presented as collateral must meet certain requirements:
- It must be identifiable and not perishable.
- It must be in a saleable condition.
- The bank must be able to estimate its market value.
- It must be your own property and preferably not immovable.
Repaying the loan within a given time limit will improve your credit worthiness and credibility with the bank and also save on interest charges.
The best incentive to repay a loan is to have access to future loans.
How to apply
Once you have identified why you have to borrow money, you can go to your nearest bank and fill in application forms. Your application should contain all the relevant information because it forms the basis for negotiations with the bank manager.
After submitting the forms, the bank will call you in for an interview. (You are allowed to take someone who knows your business well with you, if you like).
During the interview you will be given a chance to motivate your proposal, negotiate the possible loan terms and also to develop a good business relationship with your bank manager – prepare the presentation of your loan request beforehand.
The bank manager will tell you after the interview whether your application was successful or not.
See the “Providers of financial services” page for contact details of the commercial banks.
The term “Emerging Farmer” is commonly applied both to farmers who are emerging in terms of scale and to farmers who are emerging in terms of lack of skills.
Farmers who are emerging in terms of scale battle with problems such as access to markets, quality inputs, land and finance. These farmers are no riskier than other categories of farmers. Rather, it is the environment in which they operate that brings increased risk. The business of a tomato grower in Giyani is obviously riskier than that of ZZ2 because the scale is smaller and market access is not there. But in terms of production techniques, the Giyani grower is equal to any top farmer.
These farmers need a financing programme that includes support structures. For example, if such a farmer can be assisted to acquire a contract to supply a large retailer, this contract can be ceded to us in security for his or her loan. But it is also important to look beyond retailers for off-take agreements, especially as there is large untapped potential in informal markets.
Source: Andrew Makanete
Role players: government and state-owned
Emerging businesses often find that these institutions offer services that are not available to them by commercial banks.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) provides finances to projects related to the development of infrastructure. If your proposed venture focuses on the development of infrastructure you are entitled to apply for funds from this bank. The operations office can be contacted at 011 313 3911. See www.dbsa.org.
If you are exporting, the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) might be able to help. The ECIC evaluates export credit and foreign investment risks and provides export credit and foreign investment insurance cover on behalf of government. Visit www.ecic.co.za or call 012 471 3800.
All government departments are tasked with growing their sphere of the economy and have (access to) various grants and funding mechanisms. Find a list of these departments at www.gov.za. The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) is a first stop. See www.dsbd.gov.za. It has taken over many of the SMME Development Financial Assistance programmes. Examples include Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP), Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS) and the Shared Economic Infrastructure Facility (SEIF). The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has a number of financial incentives for businesses (take the “Financial assistance” option at www.thedti.gov.za). The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) runs the AgriBEE Equity Fund programmes, for example. Its Micro-agricultural Financial Institution of South Africa (MAFISA) is being reworked into the Comprehensive Producer Development Support Policy. The previous Department of Rural Development and Land Reform recently committed R133 million to the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA)’s fertiliser programme to benefit 11 650 emerging farmers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga on a total of 35 000 hectares of sugarcane. Visit www.daff.gov.za.
The Independent Development Trust operates largely within the realm of the second economy, supporting government to implement developmental projects. The national number is 012 845 2000. Visit www.idt.org.za. The provincial offices contact details are available on the website.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) finances initiatives in different sectors including agriculture and agro-processing. Clients must show assets and/or a certain amount of savings. The main telephone number is 011 269 3000. Visit www.idc.co.za.
The Jobs Fund offers backing to established companies which want to expand existing operations which will employ people. See www.jobsfund.org.za.
The Land Bank provides finance to all sectors of the agricultural economy and agri-business. If you are involved in these activities you can apply for finance. The Retail Emerging Markets (REM) financing package helps fund resource-poor farmers at preferential interest rates until they become established. For more information on services visit the Land Bank website www.landbank.co.za or call the toll free queries number: 012 686 0500. Contact Beaufort West 023 414 8300 Paarl 021 860 2100 Bethlehem 058 307 5200 Pietermaritzburg 033 845 9600 Bloemfontein 051 404 1400 Polokwane 015 287 9840 Calvinia 027 341 8140 Port Elizabeth 041 392 1200 Cape Town 021 974 2200 Potchefstroom 018 294 9800 Cradock 048 801 8900 Pretoria 012 432 0480 East London 043 706 8600 Rustenburg 014 590 6900 Ermelo 017 811 0800 Swellendam 028 514 8200 George 044 803 8800 Tzaneen 015 306 6000 Heidelberg 016 341 9600 Upington 054 338 8400 Lichtenburg 018 632 7700 Vryburg 053 928 1700 Kroonstad 056 216 6200 Vryheid 034 989 8500 Middleburg 013 283 3500 Worcester 023 348 6862 Modimolle 014 717 9140
Local Economic Development (LED) agencies is one measure available to district municipalities to support SMEs and to encourage investment. Enterprise Ilembe, situated between Durban and Richard’s Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, is one such organisation. Call it at 032 946 1256 or read about it at www.enterpriseilembe.co.za or www.ilembe.gov.za.
National Development Agency (NDA) has the mandate to “eradicate poverty by granting funds to civil society organisations that implement developmental projects in all provinces”. Visit www.nda.org.za. Contact Eastern Cape 043 721 1226 Mpumalanga 013 755 3777 Free State 051 430 2024 North West 018 392 6892 KwaZulu-Natal 031 305 5542 Northern Cape 053 831 4828 Gauteng 011 339 6410 Western Cape 021 422 5175 Limpopo 015 291 2492
The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) seeks “to support black enterprise development in South Africa’s industrial value chain, as well as act as a catalyst for accelerating job creation in line with government’s New Growth Path”. Call the NEF at 0861 843 633 or visit www.nefcorp.co.za.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) can be contacted at 08600 96884. Visit their website at www.nyda.gov.za. The NYDA, together with the IDC and SEFA launched a R2.7-billion youth fund in 2014. Regional office contacts: Eastern Cape East London 043 704 4600, Port Elizabeth 041 503 9100 Free State Bloemfontein 051 411 9450 KwaZulu-Natal Durban 031 327 9900 Gauteng Johannesburg 011 834 7660 / 370 1800, Soweto 011 938 4101, Tshwane 012 322 1375 Limpopo Polokwane 015 294 0800 Mpumalanga eMalahleni 013 653 9400, Mbombela 013 756 0100, Secunda 017 631 9500 North West Rustenburg 014 591 9600 Northern Cape Kimberley 053 807 1020 Western Cape Cape Town 021 415 2040
Provincial government departments also run programmes. The Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEA) in the Eastern Cape runs IMVABA, the provincial co-operative development fund. Find IMVABA at www.imvaba.co.za. The North West Agrifund (NWAF) was implemented in 2018 by the Provincial Department of Agriculture in partnership with Office of the Premier and the North West Development Corporation as an implementing agency. The Western Cape implemented the four-year DFDC Commercialization Programme in 2016 which sees emerging Western Cape fruit farmers receiving R120 million in support funding. Also take a look at www.ledet.gov.za (Limpopo Department of Economic Development) and www.kznedtea.gov.za (KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) and the other provincial departments tasked with economic development for an idea of what is on offer. What happens in your province?
Provincial development agencies – e.g. the Limpopo Economic Development Agency, North West Development Corporation, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) etc – give financial assistance to co-operatives and small businesses. Find details of provincial bodies on the “Providers of financial services” page.
Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry. SEDA has offices throughout the country to help the SMME with business plans, company registration, proposals for funding and more. Visit www.seda.org.za.
Eastern Cape: 043 706 6700
- Mount Ayliff SEDA Alfred Nzo 039 254 6500 / 0326
- East London SEDA Amathole 043 726 9401
- Mthatha SEDA OR Tambo 047 531 5075 / 532
- Port Elizabeth SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay 041 390 8500
- Queenstown SEDA Chris Hani 045 808 6600
Free State: 051 411 3820
- Bloemfontein SEDA Mangaung 051 411 8300
- Kroonstad SEDA Fezile Dabi 056 213 1809 / 10
- Phuthaditjhaba SEDA Thabo Mofutsanyane 058 713 1683 / 89
- Sasolburg SEDA Metsimaholo 016 974 2460
- Trompsburg SEDA Xhariep 051 713 0363 / 0405
- Welkom SEDA Lejweleputswa 057 352 1870 / 45
Gauteng: 011 408 6500 / 20
- Braamfontein SEDA Johannesburg 011 408 6500
- Kempton Park SEDA Ekurhuleni 011 999 2734
- Pretoria SEDA Tshwane 012 400 8880
- Sebokeng SEDA Emfuleni 016 930 2700
- Bronkhorstspruit 061 383 1855
- Mabopane 012 701 5020
- Mamelodi 061 384 7973
- Olivenhoutbosch 061 341 5382
- Sekampaneng 061 384 2808
KwaZulu-Natal: 031 277 9500
- Ixopo SEDA Harry Gwala 039 834 7100
- Ladysmith SEDA Uthukela 036 638 9780
- Newcastle SEDA Amajuba 034 312 9096
- Pietermaritzburg SEDA Umgungundlozu 033 264 3100
- Port Shepstone SEDA Ugu 039 688 1560
- Richards Bay SEDA Uthungulu 035 789 3735
Limpopo: 015 287 2940
- Groblersdal SEDA Groblersdal 013 262 9430
- Jane Furse SEDA Sekhukhune 087 285 6215
- Mokopane SEDA Waterberg 015 491 2168
- Polokwane SEDA Capricorn 015 290 8720
- Thohoyandou SEDA Vhembe 015 962 2144
- Tzaneen SEDA Mopani 015 306 6400
Mpumalanga: 013 755 6046
- Bushbuckridge SEDA Bushbuckridge 013 799 5340
- eMahahleni SEDA Nkangala 013 655 6970
- Malelane SEDA Nkomazi 013 790 1183
- Mbombela SEDA Ehlanzeni 013 754 4380
- Secunda SEDA Gert Sibande 017 634 4339
North West: 014 591 7900
- Brits SEDA Bojanala 012 262 9120
- Klerksdorp SEDA Dr Kenneth Kauna 018 487 9120
- Mahikeng SEDA Ngaka Modiri Molema 018 391 9900
- Rustenburg SEDA Bojanala West 014 591 8460
- Vryburg SEDA Dr Ruth S. Mompati 053 928 8800
Northern Cape: 053 839 5700
- Calvinia HANTAM Enterprise Development Services
- De Aar SEDA Pixley-Ka-Seme 053 632 7560
- Kimberley SEDA Frances Baard 053 836 7720
- Kuruman SEDA John Taolo Gaetsewe 053 714 3160
- Springbok SEDA Namakwa 027 712 8500
- Upington SEDA SZF Mgcawu 054 337 8280
Western Cape: 021 487 3640
- Bellville SEDA Cape Town 021 949 2227
- George SEDA Eden 044 803 4900
- Stellenbosch SEDA Cape Winelands 021 861 4800
The IDC’s small business development agency is the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA). See www.sefa.org.za for information on the different offerings. Regional office contacts: Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth 041 373 4153, Berea 043 721 1510, Mthatha 043 721 1510 Free State Bloemfontein 051 436 150 / 1 KwaZulu-Natal Durban 031 368 3485 Gauteng Johannesburg 011 403 1761, Pretoria 012 441 0480, Kempton Park 010 492 3655 Limpopo Polokwane 015 294 0900 Mpumalanga Nelspruit 013 755 3923 North West Rustenburg 014 592 6391 Northern Cape Kimberley 053 832 2275 Western Cape Cape Town 021 425 6774, Cape Town 021 418 0126
Thusong Service Centres provide small business advice and development. Region contacts: Eastern Cape 043 722 2602 Mpumalanga 013 753 2397 Free State 051 448 4504 North West 018 381 7071 Gauteng 011 834 3560 Northern Cape 053 832 1378 KwaZulu-Natal 031 301 6787 Western Cape 021 301 6787 Limpopo 015 291 4689. See www.thusong.gov.za.
Youth Employment Service (YES) Community Hubs are part of a national strategy to “absorb unemployed youth, ignite local economies and promote domestic markets”. The first of a planned 100 such hubs was opened in Tembisa in June 2018. See the news report.
Various financial incentives offered by government can help the entrepreneur in agriculture. These include the Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS), the Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP), the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP), the Incubation Support Programme (ISP) and others. Take a look at www.investmentincentives.co.za.
When it comes to financial assistance, the aim should be to help beneficiaries become self-sufficient. Farming is a business just like any other, and if you want to farm you have to start thinking like a businessperson. I think loans, rather than grants, would do more to reduce poverty and generate value-added wealth. If farmers should get anything for free, it’s training [i.e. it is training which will lead to success, not being given money].
Source: Peter Mashala
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Business and other role players
Find details of various regulatory bodies on the “Providers of financial services” page.
The B-BBEE scorecard allows rewards companies whose financial contributions favour Black people. Read more in the Black Economic Empowerment chapter, or contact role players like Enterprise Development Organisation (MEDO). MEDO connects emerging micro enterprises which are at least 50% black-owned – annual turnover of less than R5million – with large South African companies – annual turnover above R35million. Visit www.medo.co.za or call MEDO at the following numbers: 010 500 5000 (Johannesburg); 021 3000 500 (Cape Town).
Various bodies representing business might be able to assist. Some have an agriculture/food desk. Usually though they will point you to organised agricultural bodies like AFASA and AgriSA (see the “Organised agriculture“ page). Nevertheless, the reader is welcome to give organisations like the Foundation for African Business & Consumer Services (FABCOS) and the Black Business Council a try. See www.fabcos.org or call 011 832 1911, or www.blackbusinesscouncil.org and 011 728 3336.
The commercial banks have specialist SME divisions, providing finance for qualified entrepreneurs. Contact the banks or visit their websites to find out about their products and services, and their criteria to obtain finance. Most banks also participate in credit guarantees. The Banking Association South Africa represents this group. See www.banking.org.za.
Co-operative banks are a possibility. Refer to the page on co-operatives.
Development finance institutions (DFIs) are listed under the previous heading. These are institutions like the IDC, Land Bank etc.
Foundations working with industry associations (or on their own) can be a source of agricultural finance. An example is Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa’s (CCBSA) Mintirho Foundation, which has partnered with the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) to help SAFDA acquire 75% of High Five—a fertiliser blending plant based in KZN. SAFDA would also acquire 5 sugarcane transporting trucks in order to pilot an owner-driver logistics programme for farmers to transport cane to millers in the shortest time possible. In 2018 CCBSA said it would be diverting R3.9 billion of procurement spend to black owned and black female owned companies, over three years. In March 2019, CCBSA announced that it has exceeded its first-year target by R200 million having disbursed R1.5 billion in 2018.
Industry associations might have knowledge of funds for role players in their sectors. These associations are listed in the various crop and livestock chapters. Some of these associations might be actively involved in sourcing funds. The National Emergent Red Meat Producer’s Organisation (NERPO), for example, runs farmer support programmes called “NERPO-Livestock Credit Scheme”(NLCS) and Farm Machinery and Infrastructure Credit Fund. Contact 012 492 1383 or 083 640 5352. CANEGROWERS (see sugarcane page) or Akwandze Agricultural Finance – 013 791 1396 (Malalane) or 013 723 4247 (Komatipoort) – would be able to tell you about the Khula-Akwandze Fund (KAF) for small-scale sugar farmers. Also available is funding from Umthombo Agricultural Finance (Umthombo) – speak to the South African Sugar Association (SASA) at 031 508 7085 or email umthombo [at] sasa.org.za.Hortfin is a R600 billion, special purpose development financing vehicle established by the deciduous, table grape and wine industries. The custodian of Hortfin is the deciduous fruit industry, supported by the Jobs fund and Land Bank. It targets mostly agri entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged groups. Read more at www.hortgro.co.za/inclusive-growth/hortfin/
National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA) http://nasasa.co.za Research by African Response shows some R44 billion is saved and accessed through stokvels (Rotating savings and credit associations).
Some pension funds like the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) invest in the agricultural value chain. In the 2017/18 year the GEPF invested R2.3 billion in this sector.
Retail Finance Intermediaries (RFIs) are institutions that obtain loans from the state in order to loan the money to clients in their communities. Different RFIs have different target markets depending on their operations. RFIs also use the Credit Guarantee Scheme to access additional funds from participating banks. RFIs charge different interest rates depending on the risk involved in the application.
Specific role players
- Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) Tel: 012 807 6686 www.agbiz.co.za Agbiz has held workshops before on finding ways to provide sustainable funding to emerging farmers. ABSA, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank are all members of Agbiz.
- The Agricultural Colleges provide short course training in financial skills. Find contact details on the Agricultural education and training page.
- ANDISA Agri Tel: 082 807 5587 – Duncan Pringle, Tel: 072 607 1266 – Dr Mtshali www.andisaagri.com Services include managing “change of control” transactions and land reform transaction advisory, business planning and feasibility studies.
- BSSA Consulting Tel: 083 454 5129 gerrie [at] bhtg.co.za Business plans, marketing plans, access to grants and funding, entrepreneurial training etc.
- Business Partners has a range of support services to the entrepreneur. The company considers financing application up to R50 million for SMEs. It does not support farming, but may be able to help if you are looking to supply agricultural inputs or doing some form of processing. Find contact details of their branches countrywide at www.businesspartners.co.za.
- Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster Tel: 021 552 0240 https://capeclothingcluster.org.za A not-for-profit initiative jointly established by government and industry to boost the competitiveness of the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) manufacturing industry in the Western Cape.
- Capital Harvest Emerging Farmer Finance Tel: 021 886 7030 www.cheff.co.za
- CLOTEX Tel: 021 637 3648 www.clotex.co.za
- Co-operative Banks Development Agency (CBDA) www.treasury.gov.za/coopbank
- Comsec – Business Development Centre Tel: 041 487 3996
- Craft and Design Institute (CDI) Tel: 021 461 1488 www.thecdi.org.za Business-, product-, market- and design support
- Croftland Business Development Services (Croftland BDS) www.croftlandbds.com A business advisory, investment, implementation and support services company.
- CSIR Enterprise Creation for Development Tel: 012 841 4464 Tel: 021 658 2750 Tel: 031 242 2393 Tel: 041 508 3220 www.csir.co.za Feasibility studies, business planning, due diligence, etc. as well as implementation and establishment of businesses. These include jam production, medicinal plants, hydroponics, mussel farming, leather works and wooden products.
- Development Microfinance Association (DMA) www.dmasa.org.za
- The DGRV assists co-operatives. Visit www.dgrv.co.za.
- The Enablis Acceleration Fund is a partnership between Enablis Financial Corporation SA (Pty) Ltd and Khula Enterprise Finance Limited. See www.elsenburg.com/content/enablis-acceleration-fund and www.enablis.org.
- Ernsol Business Management Services Tel: 018 381 4029
- Get Smarter www.getsmarter.com, short business courses
- IDF Capital Tel: 011 772 7945 www.idf.co.za
- Is’Baya Development Trust Tel: 028 273 8045 www.isbaya.org
- Isibane Resource Center Tel: 021 591 8386
- Joint Education Project Tel: 015 223 2386
- Kagiso Trust Tel: 011 566 1900 www.kagiso.co.za
- Khanyisa Business & Management Consultancy Tel: 047 532 2685
- KwaZulu Natal Development Foundation Tel: 032 945 2531 http://kzndf.blogspot.co.za
- Lulalend Tel: 087 943 2381 www.lulalend.co.za
- Mangaung University Community Partnership Programme (MUCPP) Tel: 051 435 2902/3 Cell: 082 702 2258
- The Masisizane Fund is an initiative of Old Mutual South Africa, with the mandate to contribute to employment creation, poverty eradication and reduction of inequality, economic growth and the attraction of investment. Further to loan finance in agriculture, franchising and supply chain, the Fund also provides non-financial value-adding services ensuring sustainability of SMMEs. Visit for www.masisizane.co.za more info. Provincial enquiries: Gauteng – 011 217 1745, Western Cape – 021 509 5074, KwaZulu-Natal – 031 302 5852, Eastern Cape – 043 704 0116, Limpopo – 015 287 4279. Details of regional offices are available on the website.
- Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) Tel: 011 518 0260 www.mistra.org.za
- Maputaland Development and Information Tel: 035 592 0125
- Megro Learning Centre Tel: 013 752 5525 www.megrolowveld.com
- Microfinance South Africa Tel: 012 346 1081 www.mfsa.net
- Mokgalaka Business Development Services Tell: 015 622 0543 Cell: 082 467 2863 lmokgalaka [at] gmail.com
- Monaana Consulting And Training Services Tel: 018 381 3971 / 084 501 5126 http://monaanaconsulting.co.za
- National Credit Regulator (NCR) Tel: 0860 627 627 www.ncr.org.za To prevent abuse by lenders of credit (e.g. exorbitant interest rates, unfair blacklisting)
- National Empowerment Fund (NEF) Tel: 0861 843 633 www.nefcorp.co.za. Several funds are available: the iMbewu Fund, uMnotho Fund, Rural and Community Development Fund, the Strategic Projects Fund, Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF).
- National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) Tel: 0861 SA NSBC (72 6722) www.nsbc.org.za
- The National Small Business Advisory Council comprises business owners, academics and international entrepreneurial experts. It advises on issues affecting owner-managed business like access to finance, demand and markets, and reviews the regulatory environment.
- Nicro Tel: 021 462 0017 www.nicro.org.za
- Peulwana Agricultural Financial Services Tel: 011 314 2833 http://peulwana.co.za AgriFinance Loan Programme
- Palaborwa Foundation Tel: 015 769 5000 http://pafound.org
- Productivity SA www.productivitysa.co.za “Inspiring a competitive South Africa”
- Red Bull Amaphiko https://amaphiko.redbull.com/en Find the post “‘Energy farmer’ wins R100 000 funding for project” under ” Blog” at www.agrihandbook.co.za.
- ReedsFin Tel: 015 516 0216 www.reedsfin.org Services include funds facilitating, business incubation (includes finding a market) and land claimed development program
- Resonance Institute of Learning Tel: 011 888 3498 www.ril.co.za Training courses include financial and entrepreneurial skills
- Rivoni Society for the Blind Tel: 015 556 3207
- SA Business Resources Institute (SABRI) Tel: 021 391 0752 www.sabri.co.za SABRI nurtures promising SMEs through the start up and growth phases of their business by (1) Strengthening the internal capacities, systems and processes (2) Encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating skills development, and (3) Co-ordinating access to resources required to grow a business.
- SA Institute for Entrepreneurship Tel: 021 447 2023 www.entrepreneurship.co.za Courses and products like the Agri Planner for individuals and co-operatives
- South African Savings Institute (SASI) Tel: 011 269 3789 www.savingsinstitute.co.za
- The SA SME Fund is a collaboration between government, labour and business to support for the SME sector. It allocates investment capital to accredited fund managers – venture capital or private equity funds – that invest directly in scalable small and medium enterprises i.e. it does not provide funding directly to individuals. See http://sasmefund.co.za.
- SBP Business Environment Specialists Tel: 011 486 0797 www.sbp.org.za Design and implement programmes for SMMEs
- Seriti Institute Tel: 011 262 7700 https://seriti.org.za Training in financial management
- Small Business Advisory Bureau Tel: 018 299 1002 elma.senekal [at] nwu.ac.za
- Small Enterprise Foundation Tel: 015 307 5837 www.sef.co.za
- Thembani International Guarantee Fund (TIGF) provides Credit Guarantees. Visit www.tigf.co.za or call 012 342 1913.
- Read about the Tembeka Business Development Trust (TBDT) at www.tembeka.org.za.
- Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) is a research organisation which has a focus on economic inclusion. Call 012 433 9340 or visit www.tips.org.za.
- United Farmers’ Fund Trust (UFF) Tel: 021 421 2129 https://uff.co.za Offering “investment opportunities to clients while delivering high social impact to rural communities”
- University of South Africa (UNISA) Centre for Business Management Tel: 012 352 4170 / 4383 www.unisa.ac.za/cbm The Centre offers Short Learning Programmes (SLPs) that prepare learners for the business world in a quick and effective manner.
- The Vumelana Enterprise Development Fund – see http://vumelafund.com. Venture capital funding, from R2 million up to R20 million, provided to South African SMEs who show potential to scale exponentially.
- Wanyuka Consultants Tel: 073 723 3235 / 082 572 3724 www.wanyuka.co.za
- West Coast Business Development Center Tel: 022 714 1731 www.wcbusinessdevelopment.org.za
- Zenzele Training And Development Tel: 021 361 1840
- Find notes on the Zimele fund by Anglo American on www.angloamerican.co.za. It is an initiative to assist historically disadvantaged South Africans to own and run their businesses. Zimele provides loans and also teaches essential business skills.
International business environment
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) runs the Africa Small and Medium Enterprises programme – www.afdb.org
- African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (Afraca) – http://afraca.org
- Développement international Desjardins (DID) – http://did.qc.ca
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – www.ifad.org
- Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) – www.mfw4a.org (find the Africa Finance Forum Blog run by MFW4A at http://aff.mfw4a.org)
- Oxfam International has several papers dealing with small-scale agriculture. These include “Accountability deficit?” and “A living income for small-scale farmers“. Find these at www.oxfam.org/en/tags/small-scale-agriculture.
- Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship www.schwabfound.org
- Read about the World Economic Forum (WEF)‘s Africa Growth Platform at www.weforum.org/press/2019/08/from-start-up-to-scale-up-new-africa-growth-platform-launched-to-transform-prospects-of-africa-s-entrepreneurs/
Websites and publications
Included in the seventeen manuals on developing a co-operative at www.daff.gov.za are ones like Developing a business plan (7), Financing your agricultural business (11) and Financial management (12). Find the full list on the “Co-operatives” page.
Find the Step-by-step business plan guide by Standard Bank at https://bizconnect.standardbank.co.za/start/business-planning/reference-documents/step-by-step-business-plan-guide.aspx
Find the free download, the Guide to the Use of Digital Financial Services in Agriculture at www.e-agriculture.org/content/guide-use-digital-financial-services-agriculture.
Some media houses run magazines and newsletters for SMMEs. To see what is on offer from Entrepreneur Media SA, by way of example, visit www.entrepreneurmag.co.za.
Session 10 of the 2018 Landbouweekblad and Agri SA conference on the land question looked at financing models for entrants to agriculture. Find a video and presentations at www.netwerk24.com/landbou/Nuus/voorleggings-van-landbouweekblad-en-agri-sa-se-grondberaad-20180831
Download the South African SMME Access to Finance Report (2017), released in 2018, at http://accesstofinancereport.co.za.
Groenewald, J.A., & Jordaan, A.J. (2012). Unlocking credit markets. In Unlocking markets to smallholders. Edited by van Schalkwyk, H.D et al. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Find the guideline for funding agencies for aquaculture on DAFF‘s Directorate Aquaculture and Economic Development pages at www.daff.gov.za. Many of the listed providers have funding programmes beyond aquaculture.
Patronage Politics Divides Us: A study of poverty, patronage and inequality in South Africa – research finds that a lack of start-up capital and official indifference to be common complaints among aspirant business people. Contact MISTRA (see previous heading).
Read about the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on sustainable financing at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/frameworks/addisababaactionagenda.
More than 80% of loan applications are rejected due to lack of financial readiness on the part of SMMEs. www.finfindeasy.co.za is a web-based service to empower small business with knowledge and tools to access finance.
Various agricultural and other projects looking for backing from investors can be found at www.investmentnetwork.co.za.
The first online platform for peer-to-peer lending (P2P) in South Africa is RainFin. Small businesses can access funding and investors typically get better returns than those offered by banks. See www.rainfin.com.
Oji, C.K. 2015. Promoting Financial Inclusion for Inclusive Growth in Africa. Pretoria: South African Institute of International Affairs. Find the document at www.saiia.org.za.
It is not only individuals who struggle for shortage of capital. The World Bank’s “Global Financial Development Report 2015/2016: Long-Term Finance” looked at how shortage of capital has left underdeveloped countries struggling to grow their economies. Find the report at www.worldbank.org.
Small Business Connect www.smallbusinessconnect.co.za
SME South Africa https://www.smesouthafrica.co.za/
New business training, www.ignitor.co.za
Find the paper “The Status of Agricultural and Rural Finance in South Africa” at www.finmark.org.za, compiled by Mike de Klerk, Frances Fraser and Ken Fullerton in 2013.
- Read Agribook blogs like “Online application platform for CADS Fund now available“, “Founding of Agricultural Development Agency ‘A New Landmark in SA History’“, “Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund celebrates 12 years of building SMME’s and empowering South Africans” and a success story “Matatiele farmer reaps reward of a dream come true” of a farmer financed by the Masisizane Fund.
- Reporter. 2020, May 18. “Over 15 000 farmers approved for COVID-19 fund”. SA News. Available at www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/over-15-000-farmers-approved-covid-19-fund
- Kriel G. 2020, May 8. “Crisis funding for farmers”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/read-the-8-may-digital-farmers-weekly-magazine-free/
- Hutchison A. 2020, May 4. “How South African stokvels manage their lending activities outside the courts”. The Conversation. Available at https://theconversation.com/how-south-african-stokvels-manage-their-lending-activities-outside-the-courts-135449
- Sishuba S. 2020, May 1. “More than 40 000 farmers apply for agri COVID-19 funding”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/more-than-40-000-farmers-apply-for-agri-covid-19-funding/
- Duma N. 2019, October 4. “55 KZN youth entrepreneurs awarded grants of over R70m”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2019/10/04/55-kzn-youth-entrepreneurs-awarded-grants-of-over-r70m
- Kriel G. 2019, August 28. “Unique fund aims to generate 1 700 jobs over three years”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/empowerment/unique-fund-aims-to-generate-1-700-jobs-over-three-years/
- Noemdoe D. 2019, August 6. “Give female farmers greater access to land and credit”. Food for Mzansi. Available at www.foodformzansi.co.za/give-female-farmers-greater-access-to-land-and-credit/
- Twenty (20) percent of the levies paid by different sectors is intended for transformation. The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)‘s Transformation Digest (9th issue – August 2019) looks at the progress thus far www.namc.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Transformation-Digest-9-Edited-August.pdf
- Mathe, K. 2019, June 18. “Can financial inclusion be the key to end poverty?” Personal Finance. Available at www.iol.co.za/personal-finance/can-financial-inclusion-be-the-key-to-end-poverty-26590443
- Dludla, S. 2019, June 13. “Barloworld Mbewu launched with R30m fund for social entrepreneurs”. IOL. Available at www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/eastern-cape/barloworld-mbewu-launched-with-r30m-fund-for-social-entrepreneurs-26156010
- Reporter. 2019, June 10. “Apply for agricultural funding in NW”. SA News. Available at www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/apply-agricultural-funding-nw
- Van der Westhuizen, A. 2019, May 22. “Integrated financing for smallholder farmers”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/opinion/by-invitation/integrated-financing-for-smallholder-farmers
- Metembi, L. 2019, April 23. “The alphabet soup that stifles rural development: A new financing model is needed to help agriculture develop rural communities”. Food for Mzansi. Available at www.foodformzansi.co.za/column-the-alphabet-soup-that-stifles-rural-development/
- Dean, S. 2019, March 6. “Grain SA initiative to help farmers get financing”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/grain-sa-initiative-to-help-farmers-get-financing/
- Reporter. 2018, November 9.”Banks urged to plough into Africa’s agribusiness”. SA News. Available at https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/banks-urged-plough-africas-agribusiness
- Sihlobo, W., Qobo, M. & Boshoff, T. 2018, October 22. “Granting title deeds is too simplistic an answer to the land issue”. Business Day. Available at https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2018-10-22-granting-title-deeds-is-too-simplistic-an-answer-to-the-land-issue/
- Find the article “Seed Capital Funding For South African Start-Up Businesses” at www.entrepreneurmag.co.za which discusses seed funding and provides links to local seed funders – 4Di Capital, Technology Innovation Agency, Grovest, Business Partners, Seed Engine, Edge Growth and Kalon Venture Partners.
- Find the article “6 challenges to financial inclusion in South Africa” by the World Economic Forum on www.ewn.co.za. These are listed as (1) Perceptions of high fees limits the usage of banking services (2) There is a general sense of mistrust in bank’s motives (3) Concerns of fraud negate the convenience of cashless transactions (4) People value a sense of community with trusted advisors (5) Banks require too much paperwork and response times are slow (6) A significant amount of business is conducted informally.
- Manlan, C. 2017, May 18. “Africa should follow in India’s footsteps towards a cashless economy”. Eye Witness News. Available at
- Find the article “FarmDrive: De-risking lending to small holder farmers” on www.howwemadeitinafrica.com. It is about a digital bookkeeping platform in Kenya. Financiers are able to use credit profiles set up to determine the creditworthiness of farmers.
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