Seed Academy develops guide to SA startup funding

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South African entrepreneurial training organisation Seed Academy has developed a guide to fundraising for startups in the country, in response to its recent survey that found small South African businesses were concerned at a lack of funding.

Disrupt Africa reported in May Seed Academy released the results of its survey, which found 70 per cent of South African businesses believed they needed more funding to scale. As a result it has launched its “Essential Guide to Funding in South Africa” available as a free e-book download.

The e-book includes funding options for all types of entrepreneurs, including women, those involved in green projects, mining, manufacturing and technology. Even businesses in distress are catered for. Funders and users are able to add to the content.

“It is clear from Seed Academy’s first startup survey, and after training hundreds of entrepreneurs, that raising funds is the most common concern,” said Donna Rachelson, chief catalyst at Seed Academy.

“There clearly was a serious gap – tremendous demand for funding, substantial funding available but the entrepreneurs had a knowledge gap. This practical guide aims to show entrepreneurs just how much support is actually available and how to go about applying for it.”

The Essential Guide to Funding in South Africa covers forms of fundraising such as crowdfunding, more traditional angel investors, public and private equity, venture capital funding and bank loans. It details funding available via development finance institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Empowerment Fund, Development Bank of South Africa and Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

It also contains tips for pitching, and recommends being conservative when it comes to financial projections, understanding the competitive environment, and having a clear understanding of business differentiators.

To celebrate the launch of resource, Seed Academy has also launched a funding speed dating session, which will take place on September 17 at the Leaderex conference at the Sandton Convention Centre.

“The idea is to connect entrepreneurs and private and government sector funders. Each entrepreneur will be able to pitch their business to a range of potential funders. As a result, entrepreneurs will better understand the funding requirements of DFIs, banks, angel investors and venture capitalists. Funders will be able to grow their deal pipeline and be exposed to innovative businesses,” said Rachelson. Entrepreneurs and funders can sign up via Seed Academy’s website.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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