Goodwill Nkomo was able to expand his business by acquiring two additional trucks after receiving funding worth R5 million from the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa).
A merger of the South African Micro Apex Fund, Khula Enterprise Finance Limited and the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC) small business division, sefa is charged with overseeing the establishment, survival and growth of small business.
The agency has nine walk-in provincial offices where small business owners can apply for finance.
Funding from Sefa is provided through direct, wholesale lending and credit guarantee scheme with banks.
Direct lending ranges from R50 000 to R5 million and funding for wholesale lending through intermediaries ranges from R500 to R5 million.
Nkomo is optimistic that the cash injection he received from Sefa will result in increased profitability and believes his transport business, The Motion-Ambassadors, is now on a good footing.
Thankful to Sefa, Nkomo says: “With the addition of the two new trucks I am now able to look the part of a transporter and mine officials have started taking me seriously.”
After applying to Sefa, having a face-to-face interview and a detailed business assessment, The Motion Ambassadors was approved for their much-needed funding.
Nkomo says he initially called Sefa’s offices, sent in an email application and was subsequently called in for an interview.
Four months and two meetings later, he was approved for finance to help grow his business.
“My business was facing a challenge, in that I was able to source and secure work but couldn’t service these additional contracts due to the fact that I ran old fleet,” says Nkomo.
His lack of essential operations’ material came to an end when he received assistance from Sefa.
With analysts predicting a challenging 2014, small businesses, especially in the transport industry are facing numerous challenges such as high fuel costs, however Nkomo is not to be deterred.
“The renewal of my fleet with the addition of the two new trucks has injected fresh life into my operations,” says Nkomo.
His business, provides nationwide deliveries of goods to different mines, ports and harbours from large mining sites.
“My company focuses on long-distance road freight. We transport coal, anthracite, chrome, lime and fertilizer,” says Nkomo.
Nkomo, who is based in Mpumalanga and employs a complement of 16 staff, dreamt of taking his growing business to newer heights and, thanks to Sefa, now he can.
With the addition to his fleet, he looks forward to penetrating more areas in the tough industry of road freight.
- Fore more about Sefa business finance, go to www.sefa.org.za