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Western Cape Funding Fair 2016 application deadline extended

Western Cape Funding Fair 2016 application deadline extended

Applicants who wish to pitch their businesses for funding at the Western Cape Funding Fair, in partnership with Deloitte and the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) have until 24 March 2016 to apply. Now in its second year, the project application date for the Fair has been extended for a further three weeks following a significant interest in the initiative from Western Cape businesses.

The initiative aims to connect businesses that require funding of between R2m and R20m, as well as R20m plus, with suitable investors, and educate applicants on best practices to follow to turn ideas into bankable business plans. The Western Cape Funding Fair will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 25 May 2016 and shortlisted applicants will be announced on 19 April 2016.

“Due diligence is often overlooked by businesses that require funding. However, this is a vital step in the application process. As such, the Western Cape Funding Fair’s shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an exclusive, free workshop on 4th May 2016, hosted by Deloitte and DEDAT in conjunction with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) and Knife Capital, to learn how to get their business funding-ready,” says Marius Alberts, Deloitte Western Cape leader. 

The workshop will contain both theoretical and practical learning in investment selection, due diligence, intellectual property protection, valuation principles and legal closing. Applicants will learn to appreciate the scaling opportunity presented by early-stage, high-growth ventures and the processes and control mechanisms required to realise the potential of their businesses. They will also gain access to various players in the Southern African entrepreneurial eco-system and obtain a number of investment- and draft legal templates.

“The knowledge gained from the workshop will equip attending applicants to propel their businesses forward, even well after the conclusion of the 2016 Western Cape Funding Fair,” says Alberts.

Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, recently emphasised local government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for growing businesses in her State of the Province address by mentioning that the province has invested over R50m in 300 enterprises in the last three years.

Similarly, South Africa’s Finance Minister also emphasised the national agenda of supporting small business development in the Budget speech, recently delivered in February, reprioritising R475 million to the Department of Small Business Development for assistance to small and medium enterprises.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities says, “The creation of opportunities for jobs and growth is our number one goal in this province. We know that entrepreneurs are important job creators, employing around 500,000 people in the Western Cape. Our strategy is to create an enabling environment that is supportive of businesses and entrepreneurs. This is why we have prioritised initiatives such as red tape reduction and securing a reliable and affordable energy supply." 

“Funding remains another key issue for small businesses. To this end, we support the Western Cape Funding Fair, a unique private and public partnership that creates opportunities for businesses to gain pitching skills and access to potential funders.”

The Western Cape Funding Fair will also consist of a topical speaker programme and exhibit, open for free to the public.

To attend, register on the Western Cape Funding Fair website, or, to apply to pitch for funding, visit www.westerncapefundingfair.co.za and follow the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag #WCFundingFair.

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