Grace Mushwana was able to grow her small poultry farm after receiving R80 000 from the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda).
Mushwana of Madidi Poultry Co-operative, who has been running her farm in Limpopo for the three years, raves on about not only the funding, but about the impressive service that she received from officials at business support agency Leda.
The agency, an amalgamation of former business support organisations Limdev, Libsa and TIL, assists small businesses in Limpopo with finance and business support.
“When I approached Leda, they were very thorough in explaining each and every aspect of the process for application of funding to me,” says Mushwana.
Thanks to the funding from Leda, she was able to pay her staff, purchase clean water for her chickens and repay loans.
“They showed a lot of patience whereas other agencies I approached in the past would just turn me away if I brought (them) incomplete documentation, for example. They (Leda) would sit you down and explain how important the books were of your business.
“They did not make me feel silly because perhaps I was not aware of certain business aspects,” she adds. Mushwana, 55, says she started her farm because she was interested in the uniqueness of organic farming. In particular she was drawn to farming and producing free range eggs.
“I heard about Leda through a family member and then decided to go to their offices.
“I was in dire need of financial assistance as I needed to purchase clean water for the chickens and also needed to pay salaries,” Mushwana says.
She visited the Leda offices and spoke with branch manager Arnold Mathebula who assisted her with obtaining and filling out the correct forms in order to apply for funding. “I invited Mathebula to visit the farm because I wanted him to see what was happening on the farm. A lot of the time, the officials are given false information by applicants to obtain funding,” Mushwana says.
Head of business support for Leda Humphrey Maphutha says the agency provides two key services to entrepreneurs.
These include financial support through business loans, equity financing and co-operatives funding and non-financial support programmes which assist with various business and technical skills training.
Interested entrepreneurs will need to submit all the necessary supporting documentation. Their business plan will also go through a needs’ analysis to decide which programme will suit the applicant’s needs.
“The minimum requirement to obtain funding usually depends on what type of business we are looking at, once this has been determined, the process will continue from there,” says Maphutha.
- Go to www.lieda.co.za for information.