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With every business funding application we receive, our Funding Specialists (supported by our AI-driven technology) work tirelessly to thoroughly vet, approve and then disburse the required funds in the quickest time possible. We do this so that businesses can take up new opportunities as soon as they arise.
So, if business owners share their experience with us (good and not so good), we take it seriously. When Andrew Dalrymple, Director at Risk X Data Assurance, shared his story with us, we knew we had to share it. His experience marked a true representation of how Lulalend aims to assist SMEs across SA to continue growing and succeeding at every turn.
Related: Women Powering SA: Sheila Visser; Cheryl Chapman, Wolf Printing
Why did you first come to Lulalend for funding?
Risk X is an SME offering high-end information security audit, advisory, and assurance services to government and private sector clients across a wide range of business verticals. Favourable market conditions presented us with a variety of growth opportunities but as a young business, we did not have the capital reserves to fund this growth internally. After being turned down by the traditional banking sector, we approached Lulalend who provided the funding we needed to take our business to the next level.
How has Lulalend helped your business thus far?
We have accessed two tranches of funding from Lulalend and consequently have been able to grow our business throughout the Covid pandemic, with the certainty that we will be able to meet our short-term cash flow commitments without having to compromise the quality of our long-term strategic decision making and client relationships. Lulalend may not be a long-term capital solution, but they can be an absolute lifesaver as a short-term cash flow supplement, and certainly were in our case.
Related: Business Funding: An overview of how SMEs can access funding in SA
Would you recommend Lulalend to other SME business owners?
I would absolutely recommend Lulalend to any SME who has been let down by the formal banking sector and needs working capital to fund growth in their business. They have a transparent model and a highly ethical approach to lending and take a personal interest in the success of your business. Our experience with them has been exceptional.
“Lulalend saw the potential of our business when other lenders did not and supported us with the cash flow we needed to scale up at a critical stage of our company’s growth. Their lending model and willingness to commit to South African SME’s is a critical enabler for many businesses like ours and the economy as a whole. Lulalend has been ethical and upfront in all of their dealings with us and the level of interest and concern for our progress that Lené has shown throughout goes beyond the purely commercial nature of the relationship. I would recommend Lulalend to any SME that needs short-term cash flow support.” – Andrew Dalrymple.
We hope that when your business requires a cash injection, you’ll always think of your friends in funding first.
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As part of our continued commitment to support small businesses across South Africa, we’re doing everything we can to help you end off the year on a high note while also setting up your business for growth in 2021.
Just as major bank payment holidays are coming to an end, we’d like to offer you a repayment holiday until January 2021.
When you apply for business funding with Lulalend before the end of November 2020, you will get to enjoy a repayment break and only start paying from 11 January 2021. That could be up to two months of completely free capital!
As always, our qualifying criteria stays the same to give you access to funding.
- Annual turnover of over R500k
- You’ve been in business for more than 12 months
- Your business is located in South Africa
If you qualify, our standard rules still apply and you’ll have access to the following:
- Access to up to R2 Million in funding
- Funding within 24 hours
- No early repayment penalty fees
- Fast and easy online application
Apply for business funding before 30 November and only start repaying from 11th January 2021.
Get up to R2 million in funding, in 24 hours, no paperwork, no hidden fees.
Enter promo code HOLIDAY to qualify.
What’s more is that during the repayment holiday, you can rest assured that no interest, monthly charges, or any other fees will be accrued. Giving you extra peace of mind to focus solely on putting your business in a better position to grow and succeed in 2021.
Offer applies to first time Lulalend advances only.
Make the most of 2020, and put your business in a secure spot for 2021.
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Lulalend is proud to announce that we have been named one of the winners in the 2020 Inclusive Fintech Awards. Inclusive Fintech 50 announced the 2020 cohort of companies driving inclusion and resilience for the 3 billion financially underserved people globally.
An independent panel of 35 experts from venture capital, technology, and financial services firms identified the most promising Fintech companies providing credit, insurance, savings, and other critical products to low-income households and businesses that are particularly vulnerable to financial shocks like the COVID-19 economic crisis.
We are honoured to be part of the 50 fintech companies that were selected from a pool of 403 eligible applicants operating in 111 countries based on four criteria: inclusiveness, innovation, scale potential, and traction.
Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money and one of the expert judges said, “The final 50 were selected based on strong product-market fit, the experience of their leadership teams, and their potential to scale and reach underserved populations.”
Launched in 2019, Inclusive Fintech 50 identifies and elevates high-potential, innovative fintech companies driving financial inclusion and resilience. The initiative is implemented by MIX, the global data resource for investors focused on inclusive finance.
“Lulalend is incredibly proud of the work we’ve been doing to support the nation’s SMEs. Recognition of what we’ve managed to achieve from Inclusive Fintech, a global thought leader on financial inclusion, will fuel the fire in our team to deliver on our mission of helping South Africa’s SMEs grow, prosper and drive our country forward, ” said Trevor Gosling, Lulalend CEO, and co-founder.
The winners are listed below by the main operating region. Full profiles can be viewed at www.inclusivefintech50.com/2020-cohort.
East Asia & the Pacific
- Fairbanc (Credit)
- First Circle (Credit)
- Helicap (Credit)
- Kiu Global Ltd (Infrastructure)
- Modal Rakyat (Credit)
- Neat (Payments & Remittances)
- Oriente (Credit)
- reach52 (Insurance)
- UangMe (Credit)
- ZigWay (Infrastructure)
Europe & Central Asia
- EthicHub (Credit)
- Eversend (Payments & Remittances)
- Papara (Payments & Remittances)
- SteadyPay (Credit)
- TagPay (Payments & Remittances)
Latin America & the Caribbean
- Aflore (Credit)
- Akiba (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Alfi (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Bamba (Insurance)
- Coink (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Grupo R5 (Insurance)
- Siembro (Credit)
- TiendaPago (Credit)
- Climb Credit (Payments & Remittances)
- Esusu (Credit)
- Fonbnk (Payments & Remittances)
- Propel (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- SoLo Funds (Credit)
- Trust Stamp (Infrastructure)
- Davinta (Credit)
- Dvara SmartGold (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- ftcash (Credit)
- Fundfina (Credit)
- Kaleidofin (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Naya Jeevan (Insurance)
- Nagad (Payments & Remittances)
- SureClaim (Insurance)
- Verismart (Infrastructure)
- Asaak (Credit)
- Bankly (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- DreamStart Labs (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Extramile Africa (Savings & Personal Financial Management)
- Hydrologistics Africa Ltd (Payments & Remittances)
- Lulalend (Credit)
- Moon (Infrastructure)
- OKO Finance Ltd (Insurance)
- Paycode (Payments & Remittances)
- PayGo Energy (Infrastructure)
- PesaKit (Infrastructure)
- Turaco (Insurance)
Inclusive Fintech 50 was founded by MetLife Foundation and Visa, with support from Accion and IFC, and additional funding from BlackRock and Jersey Overseas Aid & Comic Relief.”
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Lindiwe Matlali teaches South African girls to code—through knitting. And thanks to Matlali’s efforts, more than 40 000 young people have learned to code.
As the founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks, Matlali heads up the continent’s largest computer science non-profit. And her story shows the difference women entrepreneurs can make in their communities.
Matlali is one of the past winners of the Santam Women of the Future Awards. The initiative, now in its sixth year, is a partnership between Santam, FAIRLADY, True Love.
This year, Lulalend is excited to be a co-sponsor.
Trevor Gosling, Lulalend CEO and cofounder, said:
“It’s been proven that women entrepreneurs make a significant impact in their communities. However, they often face several challenges and are underrepresented. That’s why we’ve joined Women of the Future in this initiative to celebrate women business owners. Women entrepreneurs go out and they change the world, and we’re honoured to be a part of that journey.”
Organisers are calling on South African women business owners, across all sectors, to enter the competition.
Suzy Brokensha, FAIRLADY editor, said the awards wanted to honour women in business.
“The figures coming out of South Africa – and the rest of the world – are really shocking in terms of the number of women who rise to board positions, let alone CEOs of companies. And yet it’s very apparent in South Africa that many women are running their own small businesses, and in many cases those small businesses are propping up and supporting communities.
“Our decision to start these awards was two-fold: to recognise and celebrate women who were already succeeding, and to encourage and offer support to women who were setting out to start their own businesses.”
There are three categories:
- Santam Woman of the Future: entrepreneur older than 30-years old who business is older than 1,000 days
- Santam Rising Star: entrepreneur between the ages of 16-years old and 30-years old who is still within her first 1,000 days
- Santam Social Entrepreneur: an entrepreneur who is making a difference in her community; she’s 30-years or older and her business is older than 1,000 days
The competition is open until 30 June.
The winner’s prize package includes R80 000 cash and key business services, including a PR package.
Apart from the prizes, the awards offered another kind of value to women: access to a network of experienced entrepreneurs, said Brokensha.
“The problem with being an entrepreneur is that you place enormous expectations on yourself – you have to do everything, from conceptualising the idea, to planning the business, to making staffing decisions, to working out the finances, to marketing the product.
“There are very few people in the world who can do all those things themselves. For me that’s one of the biggest rewards of the Women of the Future Awards: you connect with people who can really help, and you are given the faith in yourself and your business to make those connections work for you.”
And supporting women entrepreneurs has never been more important, said Brokensha.
“We really want to encourage women entrepreneurs in South Africa. Our economy is in crisis – we all know that. But there are women everywhere who are supporting their families by starting little businesses on the side.
“I always say, when a woman succeeds in business, she uplifts the people around her: she puts her money into education, training, support … her success spreads out like ripples in a pond; she doesn’t just channel it all into buying a flash car or a football club.”
And this year the women who enter the awards have a key role to play in rebuilding the South African economy.
“Our economy needs saving from the grassroots up, and these are the women who can do it.”
Brokensha said the awards would give entrepreneurs the support they needed to thrive during a difficult time.
“We desperately need to kick-start our economy again, and, if you have a fledgling business, you have probably taken a huge knock. You may have a great idea, but in these economic times, that great idea will need all the help it can get to survive. And that’s what the Women of the Future Awards can do for you.”
She called on all South African women to enter the awards.
“My favourite quote of all is one that comes from author Alice walker: ‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’
“I would replace ‘people’ with ‘women’. With the Women of the Future Awards behind you, you have the power! Let’s make it happen.”
To enter the awards, or to nominate an entrepreneur, visit the Women of the Future website.
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COVID-19 is hurting businesses, thrusting South African SMEs into an uncertain future. If you’re a business owner, it’s hard to keep track of all the information around the outbreak and how it impacts your SME.
To help you stay updated with the latest developments, we’ve pulled together SME resources from government and business support organisations.
We’ll be updating this page regularly with new resources for SMES.
Latest updates: South Africa has now moved into Lockdown Level 1 as of 1 March 2021. We see a return in the ban of alcohol sales and onsite consumption, restrictions on gatherings, and a curfew from 24h00 to 04h00 daily. Jump here for the full level 1 guide.
Jump to a specific section to learn more:
General COVID-19 advice
On 15 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national state of disaster. (Full statement here.) A week later, the President announced a 21-day lockdown, effective from 26 March.
To further curb the spread of the coronavirus, President Ramaphosa announced the lockdown would be extended until the end of April. You can read the President’s full address here.
On 23 April, President Ramaphosa said once the full lockdown was lifted, there would be a “gradual and phased recovery of economic activity”.
During this time, South Africa will adopt a phased alert system based on the infection rate.
This means some businesses will be able to start operating under “specific conditions”. One of these measures is the return of staff in batches of one-third.
For the latest information from the government, visit the South African Government’s website.
The National Department of Health has set up a COVID-19 resource portal.
The site includes:
- Latest press releases from the Health Ministry
- COVID-19 prevention tips
- Social distancing guidelines
In addition, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases issues regular updates on new cases here.
COVID-19 Lock down levels and South African SMEs: Impact on trading
On 15 August, President Ramphosa announced that the country will be moving to Alert Level 2 on 18 August 2020, which allows even more businesses to operate.
For an overview about trading during level 2, please see our guide.
During level 2, in addition to those business activities previously allowed under Level 3 restrictions, the following business activities are now permitted:
- All accommodation establishments, including hotels, BnB’s and homeshares, such as Airbnb
- Bars, Taverns and Restaurants for sit-down meals and on-site alcohol consumption
- Fitness centres, gyms and health/wellness spas
- Inter-provincial travel for business and leisure
- Alcohol and tobacco product sales
“In each instance, specific and stringent safety requirements have been agreed on and will need to be put in place before a business can re-open, and protocols will need to be strictly adhered to for businesses to remain open,” said Ramaphosa.
The government will announce more detail on the re-opening of these businesses.
Here is a list of what the government regulations define as essential services:
If your SME falls into this category, you need to apply for an essential services certificate from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. You can apply for a certificate from CIPC’s Bizportal website here.
Government support for South African SMEs during the coronavirus outbreak
A package of support programmes will help SMEs during the shutdown, announced President Ramaphosa.
On 21 April, President Ramaphosa revealed a R500 billion coronavirus relief package.
SME initiatives include:
- R2 billion support package for SMEs and spaza shops (more detail to be released)
- R200 billion loan scheme with banks (more details set to be released)
- Expanded tax relief
Below, we provide a broad overview of the key government support.
The Department of Small Business Development set up an SME Support Intervention to help SME owners who are struggling to survive. The department released the news on Facebook, and you can view the full statement here.
Here is an overview of the Department of Small Business Development’s funds:
Two key funds are:
- SMME Debt Relief Scheme
- Business Growth and Resilience Facility
In a press briefing, government announced qualifying businesses must meet the following criteria:
- 100% South African-owned
- 70% of employees must be South African
The Department of Small Business is aiming for a 14-day turnaround to release funds. You can watch the full briefing here.
The department has released application guidelines and more detailed criteria, including the type of documents you need when you apply. You can find the guidelines here.
To access funding, follow these steps:
- Register on www.smmesa.gov.za
- Complete the application forms. You can download the forms from the same site: http://www.smmesa.gov.za/
- Upload the supporting documentation
- At this stage, applications must be emailed
|Funds||Supporting documents ||Key contacts
|Debt relief finance scheme ||Company statutory Documents;|
FICA documents (e.g. municipal accounts)
Certified ID copies of Directors;
3 months bank statements;
Latest annual financial statements / Latest management accounts;
6 months cash flow projections (where applicable);
Copy of lease agreement or proof of ownership if applying for rental relief
Employee details (bank details and UIF) for help paying salaries
|Business Growth and Resilience Facility ||CIPC registration documents;|
FICA documents (e.g. municipal accounts);
ID Copies of directors/ members;
3 months bank statements;
Latest annual financial statements /management accounts;
6 months cash flow projections (where applicable);
Industry certification (where applicable);
Estimations for funding requested
|COVID-19 TERS||Letter of authority: letter on a company letterhead giving an individual permission to lodge claim |
Agreement between the employer, bargaining council, and UIF
Template from the UIF with relevant information from employer
Last three months payroll
Certified latest bank statements
| 012 337 1997 /firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, the government has published Request for Proposals to get more information from South African-owned SMEs that participate in medical supplies and other essential goods. The goal is to get more of these businesses involved in manufacturing the goods.
If you are a textile or clothing manufacturer, you could help produce cloth face masks. All South African-owned SMEs can apply for this COVID-19 SME opportunity. Masks must be 100% locally manufactured. The deadline to provide your business information is 30 April.
Keep the following information on hand hen you submit your information:
- CIPC incorporation documents
- Statutory document
- FICA documents
- ID Copies
- Proof of bank account
- Business profile
On April 5, SEDA announced a survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs. The agency plans to use the survey findings to improve support for SMEs. Take the survey here.
If you want more information on these support measures, you may want to read these blog posts:
Private sector support for SMEs
Business support organisations, like the South Africa Small Business Institute, have warned that the outbreak could cripple SMEs.
In response, a range of interventions to support SMEs have been announced.
The Oppenheiemer family set up the South Africa Future Trust, seeding the funds with a R1 billion pledge. Businesses can apply for interest-free loans from the fund. A key goal of this fund is support SMMEs to pay staff salaries. Businesses can apply for the loan from their banks. You will need to attach a list of employees at risk because of the coronavirus.
Other resources include:
- The National Small Business Chamber’s COVID-19 Relief centre helps businesses to create business continuity plans, digital marketing strategies, and help to develop hygiene programmes.
- Facebook announced a $100m package of cash grants and ad grants for 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries. To learn more, visit Facebook.
The cost of business funding
COVID-19 has created a challenging economic environment. In response, the South African Reserve Bank has cut the repo rate, bringing down the cost of debt.
On 14 April, the South African Reserve Bank announced that the Monetary Policy Committee had dropped the repo rate by 100 basis points.
This comes after a 100 basis point cut on 19 March.
On Thursday (19 March 2020), the South African Bank announced that the Monetary Policy Committee had dropped the repo rate by 100 basis points.
Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, said the coronavirus would “negatively affect global and domestic economic growth through the first half of 2020”.
“Monetary policy can ease financial conditions and improve the resilience of households and firms to the short-term economic implications of Covid-19.”
Here’s a copy of the full statement.
Will Lulalend still provide business funding during the coronavirus outbreak?
Your business matters to us. Supporting you to succeed has always been our mission. That hasn’t changed.
We’ll continue to make it easy for you to access business funding.
Because we’re a technology company, you can still apply online in minutes and get your funding in 24 hours. And, remember, if you’re on our credit facility, the process is even faster because you don’t need to reapply.
Can I qualify for funding if my industry is affected by the coronavirus?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking with SMEs about the impact of the coronavirus. Some industries, like tourism, are being hit hard. But, we’re not excluding any businesses based solely on industry.
Instead, we’ll continue to use the proprietary technology we’ve built especially for assessing SME’s, combined with any risks due to coronavirus.
What if my business is affected by the coronavirus?
This is a difficult time for businesses and things are changing fast. If you realise you’re going to struggle to make your repayments, contact us as soon as possible. Together, we can find a solution.
We’re here for you and will continue to do all we can to help you.
What should I do if I have more questions?
Reach out to your account manager or contact us anytime via:
Phone: 087 943 2381 / 021 201 1550
Or, join our private Facebook group, SA Small Business Unlocked, where South African SMEs connect and support each other.
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With the coronavirus declared a state of disaster in South Africa, all of us are now experiencing the effects of this pandemic in our daily lives.
As a small business owner, this is a difficult time.
You’re worried about more than your family’s safety and your own livelihood.
Like you, I’ve been thinking carefully about how best to protect the health of my employees. I’ve also been thinking about the future of the business we’re building together.
We know we need to act decisively, and we need to act fast.
My team and I have worked together to come up with a response to the crisis, and I wanted to share this with you in the hope that it helps with your planning in these unprecedented times.
Your success is still our number one priority
Your business is important to us. Our mission is to give South African SMEs the funding they need to manage cash flow and grow.
That mission is now more important than ever, and we remain laser focused on achieving this. We’ll continue to make it easy to access business funding. You can still apply online in minutes and get your funding in 24 hours. If your business is being hampered by the coronavirus, tell us during your application. We’ve set up a task team to accelerate all applications from SMEs that are affected by the outbreak.
We’ll be watching our expenses
To prepare for a potentially challenging economic environment, we’ll be managing our finances even more closely. This means we are trimming costs where necessary.
Our remote workforce is ready to help you
After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Sunday evening, we asked all staff to work from home. We’ll be assisting employees who aren’t yet set up to work from home. Because we’re a technology company, we’re able to serve you no matter where we are.
We’re testing business scenarios in an uncertain environment
The outbreak of COVID-19 takes us into uncharted territory. Are our current plans still sensible in a changing economy? Do we need to revise our approach? How will our finances be impacted? We’re asking these questions to help us better prepare for potential scenarios and put contingency plans in place.
Our business, and yours, will be impacted by this outbreak. We hope that the situation will improve fast. But right now, we’re not sure how long this will last.
My hope for my business and yours is that we emerge from this moment healthy, stronger than ever, and ready to refocus our efforts on growing our businesses.