COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot Listing

COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot Listing

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In this edition of the Business Brighspot blog, we’re covering two South African SMEs who have taken a knock during lockdown but have managed to keep their doors open.

Alice Taylor, Multiply Furniture

About your business

At Multiply Furniture we design, manufacture and retail a range of Scandi-lifestyle furniture and essentials, using both cutting edge technology and age-old carpentry methods. Our furniture is hand finished using sustainable materials in Cape Town, South Africa.

We pride ourselves in creating something unique for every home or office and more recently, home office.

How has your business changed during COVID-19?

Sales dropped drastically, but we are now seeing a gradual increase since there has been more economic activity. 

Contact details:

Alice Taylor

Tumi Rabaji, Shauku Hub

About your business

ShaukuHub is a coworking space that offers beautifully crafted workspaces where people can create, connect, and grow their businesses. Located at Horizon Shopping Centre, the space offers all the amenities a business can require from parking space, banks, food courts, shopping and a Virgin Active Gym less than 100 metres from your office.

Renting space in a shared office means surrounding yourself with goal-oriented and high-achieving entrepreneurs and business people. This means every day is an opportunity to network with small business owners, great thinkers, consultants, and other entrepreneurs.

Being part of a coworking community means you are surrounded by potential partners, clients and mentors – giving you the ability to easily outsource to talent when you need help.

How has your business changed during COVID-19?

We were closed for the first 5 weeks of lockdown and unable to open our doors to remote workers. Since Level 3, we have now started allowing a limited number of people to use our co-working facilities, under strick COVID-19 regulations.

Contact details:

Tumi Rabaji


Want to list your business? Submit your story here

The Business Brightspot blog is part of our Open for Business campaign. This is an initiative to give South African SMEs the tools and information they need to re-open their businesses during COVID-19.

For on the campaign, read this blog post.

The Best Bridging Finance for SMEs

The Best Bridging Finance for SMEs

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In the times of Covid-19, many businesses have found themselves strapped for cash to meet their bills. This is why bridging finance is a great option for small to medium-sized businesses looking to secure funds fast and get back to work.


Request a callback from our Funding Specialists


Bridging finance, or a bridge loan, is a short-term loan that is typically taken out for a period of 2 weeks up to 12 months. This type of funding allows businesses more flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities when business is slow.

This is ideal for when operational costs such as salaries, running costs, and other organisational costs need to be met to produce a product or a service.


Related: What is Bridging finance in South Africa?


The Benefits of Bridging Finance

For many businesses, customers failing to pay on time are a common problem. This puts a business under severe financial strain and affects the ability to buy new inventory, or pay employees’ salaries, amongst a number of other things. This funding allows your business to grow effectively without worrying about delayed cash inflows.

Here are some practical benefits of bridging finance:

  1. Funds are made available to you much faster than traditional lenders such as banks
  2. Flexible payment options
  3. Allows your business to make a profit through sales and services
  4. Aids business growth without having to put expansion plans that require significant investment on hold


Lulalend and Bridging Finance

We understand that different businesses have different needs, which means their financing requirements will differ too.

Our bridging finance offer is unsecured (no collateral required), more affordable, and easily accessible. We also allow you to settle early without having to worry about penalty fees. With Lulalend’s quick and easy online application, you can access business funding of up to R2 million within 24 hours. Our application is completely paperless, requires no collateral, and you’ll have an answer in hours.


Related: What is a business credit facility?


Other financial organisations may offer alternative forms of funding such as; cash advances, working capital, and more. It is important to choose the right option for your particular business needs. Speaking to a Funding Specialist is the best way to have all your questions and concerns answered before you take out a loan.

Business funding for specific industries is becoming increasingly popular. For example, equipment funding for manufacturing and construction businesses exists across a number of banks, alternative lenders, and other funders. An industry-specific loan means the agreement terms are tailored specifically to your business operations and make the process more seamless.

If you’re looking for funding for your business, read more about Lulalend’s business funding options here.

Women Powering SA: Tshego Ratshidi, Bleu Rose Floral Designs

Women Powering SA: Tshego Ratshidi, Bleu Rose Floral Designs

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Tshego Ratshidi

Owner of Bleu Rose Floral Designs

The Business

Bleu Rose Floral Designs help people express their emotions through flowers and other gifts.
We are a floral services business, our services include everyday flower arranging (these are for I miss you, I’m thinking of you, Condolences, I love you, Can’t wait to have you back in the office, etc.) and delivery, event flowers, we sell indoor plants for your home or office, and more recently, home office too.  We sell fruit baskets and snack boxes as well.
We operate largely in the greater Johannesburg North region but we also cover other areas of Johannesburg when the need arises.  We do also offer services in Cape Town in the Observatory, Pinelands, Sea Point, and surrounding areas.


Related: Business Funding: An overview of how SMEs can access funding in SA


Tshego’s story


We needed to grow our business to be able to reach more people, to fully integrate online and to incorporate a CRM system to allow us to serve our customers better.
We also needed to get a vehicle dedicated to deliveries, as well as transform our workspace to be easier to work from and serve those that would like to collect.
We are also currently working on adding a new line of products and need funding for the project. Customers keep asking for more products, and I believe these will sell, but did not have the appropriate funds to execute.



We have seen a drop in our orders because we were not able to provide our services online. We have seen a drop in expenditure from our corporate customers, and definitely no reception flowers.
I have had to take on a lot of the work myself as I couldn’t afford to keep the staff on anymore. Our administrator also had to stop coming to work as she traveled with public transport, and as she is expecting, it was a high risk – this means I had to let her go until she gives birth later this year.
Our approach to delivery recording has also had to change as we no longer accept signatures – it would be great to use a digital tool as proof of delivery. For now we just take down the recipient’s name. The cost of running the business has increased as flower prices are so high now.


Being able to secure some nice contracts through the work that we do. Customers saw our work and started buying more frequently. We are proud to have some big corporate clients in our stable. One of these corporates placed our first big year-end gift order last year (over 800 gifts) which we delivered in approximately 2 weeks with a skeleton team. This has attracted more of their teams to use our services.


Related: Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

The interactions I have with customers after I serve them. It reminds me of why I chose this business.  Flowers and plants have healing powers for mental wellness – hence ‘We express emotions through flowers’. We also teach people how to add plants into their spaces and how they can positively improve their mental health. I am constantly motivated by the dreams that still need to be reached, the ladies I bring into the team, and their commitment to their own dreams and thus helping me realize my dream.


Contact Tshego Ratshidi and the Bleu Rose Floral Designs team at


All you need to know about a revolving loan

All you need to know about a revolving loan

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If you’ve ever wondered about how you can keep your finances above board without being stuck with a fat bill of fees, perhaps you should consider a Lulalend credit facility as a revolving loan.

Lulalend’s secure and paperless online application process takes only minutes. You can access up to R2 million in unsecured, unrestricted business funding. And because your business is important to us, your account is managed by a dedicated funding specialist.



Simply put, it is instant access to a line of revolving credit, without needing to reapply. It is a flexible financing solution that allows you to withdraw, repay, and withdraw again.

For a small business, easy access to working capital can mean the difference between a good trading month and a bad one. Lulalend’s business credit facility gives you the peace of mind of knowing you can immediately access business funding when you need it most.

Related: What is business finance and it’s importance?


You access your business line of credit when you need it, rather than reapplying for new business finance each time. No more unnecessary paperwork when you need extra funding; simply log in to your Lulalend profile and access funds at the click of a mouse when you have a revolving loan. Here’s why more business owners are using Lulalend’s credit facility to grow:

  • You only pay for what you use.
  • There are no monthly account fees.
  • Settle whenever you want, pay no early repayment penalties.

And because the facility works like revolving credit, the capital amount becomes available again after every repayment. As your business grows, we also increase the amount of credit available in your revolving loan. 

To qualify, you must have been in business for at least one year and make a minimum annual revenue of R500 000. 

 Related: What is a business credit facility?


We’ve simplified the lending process with our 6 and 12 Month plans. Every month you pay back 16th or 112th (depending on which plan you choose) of the total advanced amount plus the monthly cost. Monthly costs are 2% – 6% of your advanced amount for the first 2 or 4 months (plan dependent) and 2% for each of the remaining months. Plus, if you can pay early, you’ll save and there are no early payment penalty fees.


The application is easy and seamless without our online portal in 3 simple steps:

  1. Complete an online application in only minutes
  2. Get approved within hours
  3. Receive funds within 24 hours

Submit your application here.

To ensure a quick and easy application process we only require basic information about your business. You’ll only need to provide us with the following:

  • Basic personal information
  • Basic business information 
  • Most recent 3 months bank statement or transactional information

Related: Business Loan Application: Getting a Business Loan in South Africa

Different lenders have different application processes. Banks typically require more paperwork and take longer than alternative lenders such as Lulalend. Lulalend’s online application process takes only minutes and is paperless. Lenders will consider your business performance and ability to repay the credit when they assess your application.

Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

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Monique Pasqualle

Director of HR Cartel

The Business

HR Cartel is a 100% black-owned female business, established to provide specialist HR, management and project-based consulting services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, small to medium enterprises, NGO’s, NPO’s and the educational sector. Their clients fall within the above sectors, as well as within the government, corporate, automotive, retail, and restaurant industries. They encompass the entire HR function starting at sourcing suitable skilled candidates, ensuring healthy performance as well as employee engagement and growth in line with your business goals and without breaking your pocket. We also offer Project Management, Management Consulting, and Business Services Solutions. This ensures a 360-degree strategic overview for all businesses, where we ensure our clients’ needs are met from A to Z.

Related: Small Business Marketing Strategies: Google vs Facebook

Monique’s story


Our biggest success was starting our Academy (Uluntu Academy) at the beginning of 2020. Uluntu Academy has 2 divisions, one is for new entrepreneurs and upcoming businesses teaching valuable business acumens, such as project skills, finance, marketing, and operational skills and the other academy is aimed at empowering the youth and young adults from underprivileged areas to encourage, empower, create, start and act on their ideas to create functional businesses that will eliminate youth unemployment and create sustainable futures and income for the economy.

HR Cartel has recently been featured in the Brand Alchemy RSA Women Support Women blog series as well as CITI – Cape Innovation Technology Initiative in partnership with the City of Cape Town article series for the Top Tech Tools Women in Business. They were also nominated for the Santam Women of The Future Award, as well as nominated for the Standard Bank Top Women Awards 2020 for Top Women Entrepreneur category.


The current pandemic has hit many sectors hard. Our biggest hurdle to date was to move our business functionalities over to virtual platforms for sustainability and to teach our clients and learners how best to thrive within the current situation they are faced with. It’s been a challenging 4 months for all parties involved as 80% of our business entails client contact and onsite assistance. It has also been especially trying over the last few years to run a business as a young black female in South Africa. Many big corporates do not feel you have what it takes to do the basic, despite years of education and corporate skills attained.

Related: COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot Listing


My advice to women regardless of colour is to keep going. Know your worth! As women in business, it’s easy to get steamrolled when it comes to the gender pay gap, ideas, or leadership. But confidence comes from within! Knowing your worth starts with positive self-talk and professional development. Give yourself the tools and training you need to be the best in your field, and never ever give up. Be relentless to change and take negativity as useful tools to help you grow. Once you have the cold hard skills and attitude to match, you’ll be able to carry yourself more confidently, pitch your business to others, and do better work for your clients.

Get in touch with them to enrich yourself or your team’s skills and take your business to the next level.

Contact Monique Pasqualle and the HR Cartel team at