'A one-stop shop for SMMEs'

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller was established in 2005 to provide small business owners with financial and non-financial support services.

It also provides mentoring to emerging businesses until they reach maturity and can sustain themselves.

Since its establishment, GEP has assisted more than 5000 small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) of which more than 40percent are run and managed by women.

This current financial year, GEP has set aside R100million for SMMEs.

What sets it apart from other financial institutions?

GEP helps SMMEs from the time they have a business idea until they submit that business plan for funding.

"It's a one-stop shop for SMMEs," says Ngqobe.

Because it is a development finance institution, it is driven by the growth and sustainability of SMMEs rather than by merely funding SMME.

"It's about our SMMEs ultimately forming part of the economic mainstream of our country," Ngqobe says.

It is not collateral driven, but viability driven. It concentrates on how viable a case is, before looking at what the SMME can provide as "own contribution". Own contribution refers to anything that is related to the business that the SMME can provide.

How can people access funding?

Requirements depend on where the SMME is.

"We fund start-ups and expanding businesses. The criteria depends on what the SMME needs funds for. The basic requirement is a business plan, and other requirements, as mentioned above, depend on what the money will be used for. Financing deals are tailor-made to suit the needs of the SMME," explains Ngqobe.

What should one bring along when seeking assistance?

A business idea or plan.

"We help from whichever stage of the business you are at."

For further information, contact 011-634-2625 or visit www.gep.co.za for more.