The second annual Western Cape Funding Fair will take place in Cape Town in May of next year, with the province’s entrepreneurs invited to pitch for multi-million rand investment.
The first Western Cape Funding Fair – a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and advisory firm Deloitte – took place in March of last year, and received over 600 applicants for funding.
Applications are now open for the second event until February 29 next year, with the fair open to any business seeking funding above ZAR2 million (US$140,000). In order to pitch, entrepreneurs will have to present detailed proposals to investors during a series of closed sessions.
“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,” said Western Cape minister of economic opportunities Alan Winde.
“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 Dragons’ Den and convince investors and funders to make big investments in their business.”
Deloitte Western Cape leader Marius Alberts said his company had seen that growing and established businesses have different funding needs, so this year the event has an additional funding category of ZAR20 million (US$1.4 million) plus.
“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 first Funding Fair this year. He advised this year’s applicants to conduct proper due diligence on their businesses 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.