ACCESS TO FINANCE IS A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR SMMES
Access to finance is one of the biggest obstacles to the survival and growth of startup, small and medium businesses. Finfind has been specifically developed to address this challenge for this vital sector.
FINFIND IS SOUTH AFRICA'S LEADING ONLINE ACCESS TO FINANCE SOLUTION
Finfind is an innovative, online platform that automatically matches the seekers of business finance with appropriate funders from a comprehensive, up-to-date database of more than 450 SMME finance offerings from the public and private sector funders in South Africa.
The finance offerings include startup finance, expansion finance, equity finance, cash flow bridging finance, debtor finance, contract finance, asset finance, franchise finance, supplier finance, import and export finance, finance to buy out a partner, property finance and grant funding, amongst others. The funder database is maintained by an expert team of researchers, and the funder and finance product information is updated on a daily basis.
Finfind is the only aggregator of available public and private sector SMME funding offerings in a single solution in the country.
Besides linking SMMEs with funders, Finfind also provides helpful finance education information, addresses common challenges experienced by SMMEs seeking finance, and provides access to a funding dictionary to help entrepreneurs understand finance terminology.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) undertook a comprehensive five-year research and development project in South Africa to identify the challenges faced by SMMEs wanting to access finance. The findings revealed that the main reasons SMMEs struggle to access finance include:
- A lack of finance literacy - not understanding finance terminology.
- A lack of knowledge about who the funders are, how to access them and what lenders require from them.
- A lack of knowledge about the different types of loan products and which one/s are appropriate for their lending needs.
- Most importantly, a lack of finance readiness.
The challenge funders face is receiving large volumes of loan enquiries and applications that don't meet their loan product criteria, or are not ready to be processed. Funders are looking for a pipeline of quality SMME loan leads that are finance ready, and that match their lending criteria.
Finfind is the innovative solution that was developed to address both the SMME and the funders' challenges.
At the conclusion of its research programme, USAID transferred ownership of the project to a local fintech business, called TDH, via a competitive bid. TDH subsequently registered Finfind Pty Ltd in February 2015 and raised venture capital to build a great team, develop a world-class product and to launch and market Finfind, starting in South Africa.
The Department of Small Business Development identified Finfind as a vital solution to address the challenges experienced by providers and seekers of SMME finance in South Africa.
Finfind was launched in South Africa by the Minister of Small Business Development in October 2015.