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Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

Closing the gap: in-house SME funding
The Business Place Non-Profit Company, a partner of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality – Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (NMBM EDTA), conceptualized an on-lending fund that assists existing entrepreneurs with financing and business support training with the intention of creating full-term employment opportunities. The fund “Closing The Gap” is now opened for applications for SMMEs in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Access to Funding
The fund was created to address the following:
• Lack of access to development funding at low cost;
• Lack of access to markets and market linkages;
• Lack of risk appetite by financiers, resulting in potentially good projects not been funded;
• Lack of entrepreneurial training and support; and
• Delays in funding, resulting in lost opportunities for SMMEs.
The Business Place together with the Nelson Mandel Bay Municipality aims to catalyse innovation in job creation through structured and strategic private and public sector partnerships. Initiatives which demonstrate the growth potential and capacity to create jobs will receive funding.

Target Market
The target market is small to medium businesses from the Nelson Mandela Bay and the broader South Africa public from marginalised backgrounds. Beneficiaries will be small to medium enterprises whose primary focus is support for the development of township economies and come from the following community groups:
• 51% blacked owned businesses
• Women-owned enterprises;
• Youth owned businesses;
• People with Disabilities (PwD); and
• Previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs)
• Small to medium companies that have off-take agreements with the City and other corporates


Selection Criteria
The Project endeavours to focus on 100% Previously Disadvantaged Individuals of which 65% of the beneficiaries are women and 50% youth.
To qualify, beneficiaries should at least meet the following criteria:
• SMME must commit itself to undergo training and business development support;
• Selected beneficiaries must demonstrate potential to grow their turnover;
• Selection criteria will prioritise SMMEs with high labour absorptive capacity;
• The client must meet the definition of black as per DTI and the Revised Financial Sector Code;
• The client must have at least 51% black ownership, managed and controlled;
• The client must have direct involvement in the business operations;
• The client must have the ability to create new and sustainable jobs;
• The business should have a well detailed business plan;
• Client must have strong track record evidenced by business performance and/or strong expertise in their industry;
• Businesses looking at using the credit for between 0-3 years;
• Clients whom are responsible, co-operative, transparent and of sound integrity;
• Repayments will be in the form of debit order payments from the client’s business account and are to be made monthly;
• SMMEs must be committed to good governance and have strong financial and management systems in place as well as demonstrate financial viability and sustainability of the business.

For applications, the contact details can be found on the Contact Us page.