Western Cape entrepreneurs invited to pitch for multi-million rand investment funding

Entrepreneurs across the province are invited to apply for a multi-million investment to grow their businesses, as part of the Western Cape Funding Fair.

A partnership between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Deloitte, the Funding Fair is open to any business seeking funding of more than R2 million.

To pitch for funding, entrepreneurs will have to present detailed proposals to investors during a series of closed sessions.

Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde and Deloitte Western Cape leader, Marius Alberts, today officially launched the initiative at Deloitte’s offices in Green Point.

Now in its second year, the Western Cape Funding Fair will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 25 May 2016. This initiative aims to stimulate economic growth by connecting businesses that require funding with suitable investors, as well as educate applicants on best practice to follow to turn ideas into bankable business plans. The Funding Fair is open to any Western Cape-based business seeking funding of more than R2 million.

Minister Winde said: “Since the start of this year an average of 300 new businesses have been registered each month in the Western Cape. It is vital that these businesses are supported in order to be successful contributors to the province’s economy.

“The Funding Fair is a unique public and private partnership that aims to unlock the economic potential of our province. Its purpose is to kick-start business initiatives across the Western Cape, providing impetus for job creation in urban and rural areas and ultimately contributing to the growth of the economy. This is a great opportunity for our entrepreneurs to step into our own version of the Dragon’s Den and convince investors and funders to make big investments in their business.”

Marius Alberts, Deloitte Western Cape leader, echoed Winde’s sentiments.

“We saw that growing and established businesses have different funding needs, so have added an additional funding category of R20 million plus this year so that we can accommodate funding for both medium-sized and large enterprises.  By putting the right fund-seeking businesses in front of the right funders, we hope to pave the way for sustainable business growth in the province,” said Alberts.

Craig Whyte, founder of ArtLab, a digital printing company, successfully secured funding at the 2015 Funding Fair. He advised this year’s applicants to conduct proper due diligence on their business before pitching.

“The deal is in the detail. Always do your due diligence to ensure that you are prepared for the pitch, as you don’t want one small detail to jeopardise the potential of your business securing funding,” said Whyte.

Whyte also cautioned applicants against neglecting their business while trying to secure funding. “Never stop running your business because trying to secure funding can be a long process. You still have to account for profits during this time,” he said.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend a preparation workshop at Deloitte leading up to the Funding Fair, which will be followed by a 15 minute private pitching session with funders at the Fair on 25 May 2016. The Funding Fair will consist of various entrepreneur-focused presentations as well as an exhibit, open for free to the public.

To attend, register on the Western Cape Funding Fair website, or, to apply to pitch for funding, visit www.westerncapefundingfair.co.za and follow the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag #WCFundingFair. Applications close on 29 February 2016.