Cape Town – Small business owners and entrepreneurs came together at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on Tuesday for the annual Western Cape Funding Fair, aimed at helping small businesses access finance opportunities.
“The Funding Fair has become an increasingly popular way for businesses who are looking to expand and grow, to meet the organisations that can potentially finance that growth,” said Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde.
The Funding Fair was a partnership between Deloitte and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. According to a media statement by the department on Tuesday, the Fair aimed to connect small businesses with organisations that could potentially fund them.
“SMEs play a vital part in growing the Western Cape economy and creating employment opportunities, and this fair is a way to facilitate relationships between businesses and funding. Entrepreneurs also gain practical knowledge that they can use to develop their businesses,” Winde said.
Around 650 people participated in the day’s events, which included discussions, networking and opportunities to engage with finance institutions.
“We have learnt first-hand from those attending the Funding Fair about the challenges they face in securing funding, and we tailored the programme to address this critical issue,” said Marius Alberts, Deloitte Western Cape leader.
Having been established in 2014, the Funding Fair was made up of three different elements. The first was that of an exhibition-style fair where business owners and entrepreneurs were able to meet and interact with 25 funding organisations, ranging from the major banks to crowdfunding, according to the department’s statement.
The second element consisted of a speakers’ programme, which included panel discussions around building relevant businesses into the future and finding opportunities for SMEs.
The Funding Fair also included a series of master classes, with topics discussing how businesses can leverage digital to work for them, finance and numbers, as well as investment readiness.
“Since 2014, over 3000 entrepreneurs and business owners have attended the Funding Fair. Guided by feedback from previous years, the programme this year has been carefully structured to provide a robust and engaging full-day event,” Alberts said.