Funding bonanza for KZN

2013-04-05 00:00

THIRTY-ONE companies in key economic sectors of KwaZulu-Natal will have a chance to access funding for their businesses as major companies and government and other agencies gear up to inject billions of rands for job creation in the province.

Deloitte, Trade Investment KZN, national Treasury and the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism, among others, will launch a “funding fair” for the 31 shortlisted companies to boost business and job opportunities.

The companies will have access to funders which are willing to spend from R10 million up to R5 billion, reporters were told in Umhlanga yesterday.

Their projects are to be presented to the funders on April 16. The next day, the companies will get feedback from funders on a one-on-one basis.

Funding for the companies is available in agriculture, biotechnology, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and transport and logistics, among other industries.

Andre Pottas, a corporate finance advisor with Deloitte, said the funders would be looking for projects that were well researched, conceived and packaged.

The businesses will pitch to about a 100 funders that are on the database of the Department of Economic Development.

Clive Coetzee, general manager of infrastructure management and economic services at the provincial Treasury, said there would be an education session, in which various speakers would present their views, and workshops to train people how to write a bankable business plan and how to approach funders.

“This educational element will be open to delegates. We do not want this to be a theoretical talk shop,” he said.

Pottas said funders would consist of banks, private equity investors, venture capitalists and the government, with an investment pool of billions of rands. There would also be donors and funders of grants and equity.

Ina Cronjé, the MEC for Finance, said the idea of hosting an annual funding fair was born out of the apparent disjuncture between demand and supply for funding for development.

“In many instances, project initiators do not have the skills and experience to develop and sell their projects,” she said.

“They sometimes don’t know how to identify funding institutions, while the funding institutions have very little knowledge of KZN and the potential that exists in the province.”

Nisaar Mohamed, policy advocacy manager at Trade and Investment KZN said the event was a first of its kind in South Africa, and there were other projects in the pipeline.

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