Wesgro, which works in tourism and investments, and Finfind, which works to pair businesses with funding, are partnering to develop a “fund matchmaking portal” to will help small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) find the best funding they can, a report from BizCommunity said Tuesday (June 1).
The platform automatically matches businesses with available funders according to specific funding needs. The database has over 300 funders and over 600 small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME) products from both the public and private sector funders in South Africa.
Wesgro Chief Executive Tim Harris said the portal uses information submitted by businesses, comparing that against the funding mandates, and providing matches against the database. Finfind worked with the company to customize their funding platform for Wesgro’s needs, Harris said.
He said Wesgro had spent time during the pandemic working on a COVID-19 Support Finder tool. The purpose of this tool is to help businesses identify ways they could get support. Through the robust response to that tool, Wesgro realized it could tap into a need for SMBs.
According to Harris, many of the businesses Wesgro works with are not well-versed in funding options. He said many businesses don’t know what kinds of financial products they can access and don’t know what they have to do to get them.
“The Fund Matchmaker Platform solves this problem for them by doing the matching for them with the right funder and funding product, filtering out the ones that cannot assist them. It also notifies them about what they will need to have ready when they apply for the funding.”
Grant, equity and loan finance options are some of the options available from any government or private sector funder in the country.
SMBs are having a harder time than usual finding funding, as traditional avenues have been less available. Accion Opportunity Fund Vice President Adriana Eiriz spoke with PYMNTS recently and said there was an uncertainty that made them reticent to take opportunities. But she said the small business lenders had the opportunity to collaborate and to see how to better serve SMBs.