The Lulalend Friends in Funding competition for South African SMEs has announced its winner.

Imraan Moos, the owner of online retailer Your Essentials, was this week revealed as the winner of our Friends in Funding, R500 000 competition.

Now, Moos has an extra half a million to grow his business in 2020.

He’s a South African business owner with bold plans for the new year: creating jobs, developing young people, expanding the product catalogue of his online store.

And that’s all possible thanks to his win.

Your Essentials gets high-quality health and skincare products from global brands to South African customers. Moos’s store stands out in a crowded market with affordable prices and free shipping.

Moos could hardly believe it when he received the news from Tracy Kukard, Lulalend Account Manager, and Trevor Gosling, Lulalend CEO.

“”Surreal…(I was) grateful, happy, excited…all these mixed emotions.”

The cash comes at a crucial time for Your Essentials.

“Entrepreneurship is a journey, and it’s not always an easy one,” said Moos.

“Cash flow is a big thing for businesses. This (win) helps improve cash flow. It allows me to be sustainable long term. They say most businesses fail within the first five years…I’m in year four. Year five is looming… but I will survive for the longer term.”

Moos’s story is one shared by many business owners.

Prior to running Your Essentials full-time, Moos worked a corporate job at a large financial services firm. He spent two years doing a careful balancing act: juggling his 9-5 while building his online business.

Two years ago, he took a courageous step, leaving his full time role behind to devote his energy to his own business.

“This funding will help grow my business much quicker than expected. There’s so much to do in 2020: getting more products into my store…(and) I’d love to employ someone. That’s what SMEs do, we want to grow the economy, give people jobs. I’m also looking to start an entrepreneurship academy for young people.”

Moos is especially excited about the business and learning opportunities presented by the digital age; opportunities he’s fully embraced to build a thriving online business.

He first learned about Lulalend from Takealot, where he sells many of his products online, and PayFast, where he processes his payments.

Last week, Moos was in the middle of a lengthy overdraft application when he received the news.

“I was asking my bank to get additional funding and I got a 30-page document to sign. With Lulalend, you get finance within 24 hours. It’s a really simple process when it comes to securing funding. It’s painless, easy, and the funding is in account within 24 to 48 hours.”

Trevor Gosling, Lulalend CEO, said:

“Imraan’s dedicated to building his business, and he’s dedicated to adding jobs to the economy. Lulalend is honoured and excited to support him on this mission. We look forward to seeing what he’ll do this year.

“At Lulalend, we’re passionate about helping SMEs succeed. And we know that for many business owners, a lack of funding is a major barrier to growth. Access to fast, easy  business funding gives SMEs the resources they need to achieve the kind of success they deserve.”

Businesses that applied for funding with Lulalend before 13 December were automatically entered into the competition. The winner was randomly selected based on the competition requirements.

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