SMMEs are the backbone of the country’s economy, providing the majority of job opportunities and contributing significantly to the GDP. For South Africa to resolve its high rate of unemployment and to alleviate poverty, a sustainable and supportive environment needs to be created to facilitate small business survival and growth, and to ensure increased job creation. SMME funding is a critical component of this growth. Access to finance is one of the primary challenges for start-ups, micro, very small, small and medium businesses in the country, and one that needs urgent attention.
The purpose of the report is to map the landscape of providers and seekers of SMME funding in the country, and to identify the access to finance challenges, gaps, opportunities and potential solutions in order to promote increased funding success in this vital sector.
The SA SME Fund has sponsored the independent research of the Finfind data set of funders and SMME finance seekers. The cleaned Finfind data sample is significantly larger than the GEM report, as well as any of the other South African studies and reports included in the study’s comprehensive literature review. The report has been published for the benefit of all stakeholders in the SMME ecosystem including; private sector lenders, DFIs, government funding agencies, incubators, accelerators, business development service providers, Corporate Supplier Development and Enterprise Development managers, SMMEs and policy makers, amongst others.