Dynamic business duo bring solutions to funding

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) expert, Lee du Preez and Funding Strategist extraordinaire, Dagmar Breiling are hosting business seminars in an attempt to help South African entrepreneurs gain access to grants and loans. Billed ‘Get funded: how to secure grant and loan funding in South Africa’, the seminars will be held in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg during February.

Financial constraints remain a major reason why small businesses don’t succeed or fail to expand. This is because the majority of applications are declined by funding institutions as they fail to meet the requirements set by funding policies. This is in spite of the fact that more than R25 billion worth of grants and loans is available to South African entrepreneurs every year from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other state departments and entities.

Du Preez and Breiling, both business owners who know the ins and outs of unlocking funding in the competitive South African commercial sectors, will bring their expertise to fellow business owners who are determined to challenge the status quo. The seminars are aimed at businesses that are at least two years in operation, with a sizable turnover.

“Our goal is to help these companies identify tools that are inherent to their businesses and help them to take advantage of them. Among these tools, the BEE scorecard is often on top of the list. The South African government and some funding agencies require at least a level four on a company’s BEE scorecard in order to be eligible for a loan or a grant. We will also take them through common mistakes in funding applications and areas where their businesses can also stand out,” says du Preez.

In addition to that, du Preez will show business owners how BEE can be leveraged to grow their businesses regardless of ownership demographics. “BEE is the most powerful piece of legislation that entrepreneurs can use to their advantage and push their businesses to greater heights,” he explains.

His company, BEE Novation, helps businesses use legislation such as B-BBEE, Employment Equity and Skills Development to increase their profitability and fulfil their purpose, mission and vision. Du Preez and his team are obsessed with developing value-adding solutions to help businesses get back to what matters to them – the joy and purpose they were seeking when they started.

There are so many different funds and financiers in South Africa, each with their own mandate, qualification criteria and application process. Entrepreneurs also have a tough time choosing between Government grants, Government loans, bank loans, equity investors and other options. Organisations like DTI, National Empowerment Fund (NEF), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) are there to assist South African entrepreneurs, yet very few business owners have the time or capacity to survey the entire funding landscape.

This is where Breiling comes in. She is the founder and Senior Funding Strategist at Funding Connection, a company which helps South African entrepreneurs access funding for start-ups and expansions. With extensive experience as the funding strategist and over 20 years of international business practice, she has helped many companies to access grants and loans from government departments as well as from local and international organisations. “At the seminars I will be giving business owners the essential knowledge they need to secure funding such as loans, grants and incentives from the major funding agencies, commercial banks and equity partners in South Africa,” she says.

The seminars will kick off in Cape Town at the Grand Daddy Hotel on 13 February at 09h00. Then it will be held at the Raizcorp Sandton in Johannesburg on 14 February at 09h00. On 19 February, the seminar will take place at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business at 09h00 before moving to the Durban Chamber of Commerce on 20 Feb at 09h00. Tickets are available at Quicket at R250 for an early bird, R350 seven days before the events and R400 at the door.