Looking at conventional ways to fund a growing enterprise does not always pan out the way a business wants.
This is why Kurt and his father, Adrian Paulse, a thriving business man with a vision to win a multinational passenger-transport firm, turned to the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and National Empowerment Fund (NEF) for much-needed assistance.
Their dream was realised when he landed a major contract recently.
The small company was contracted to offer transport services to industry giant Tronox Group at its Namaqua Sands plant in Saldanha. However, this presented the Paulses with a new challenge.
They were asked to come up with three brand-new 65-seater buses to honour the new deal.
However, the pair needed more capital.
Kurt says: “One of the conditions was that the vehicles should not be older than 8 years. We decided to buy new buses to supply a reliable service.”
Their search for financial assistance to turn the agreement into reality led him to try the banks, but “as a small business the deposit requirements were very high”.
Realising that this was a dead end, he turned to developmental finance.
A roadshow recently organised by the department exposed him to a different channel of enterprise funding.
There, he met the department’s John van der Rheede who discussed the alternative funding with Paulse Transport management.
They also met Winston Richards, assistant director of enterprise development at the department’s offices.
Following productive meetings doing planning and brainstorming, Richards then introduced the Paulses to Chris Louw, the manager of the National Empowerment Fund in Cape Town.
Both Richards and Louw assisted the company – putting in long hours – with sorting out documentation in order to comply with government rules for financial assistance.
Paulse credits the two officials’ diligence for his new growth.
After the funding, the company used its new capital to pay for the new buses, branded them with their own logo, staff uniforms and to cover hidden costs.
In this way, employment of his staff was secured.
So far, the continued roll out of networks and awareness programmes by the two entities has seen an array of small businesses create more job opportunities.
Paulse says, “Starting your own business is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication… Your internal and external SWOT analysis is extremely important. Having a solid support foundation is also important.”
He is grateful to the department for its assistance and says Richards and Louw will stand as his mentors in the new venture with the Tronox Group. “Their input is and was extremely valuable.”
- For more information go to www.westerncape.gov.za