#Africa 20 startups pitch at Western Cape Funding Fair

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Twenty small South African businesses pitched to a panel of investors last week at the Western Cape Funding Fair, having been chosen from 300 applicants seeking funding.

The first Western Cape Funding Fair – a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and advisory firm Deloitte – took place in March of last year.

The second event was held last week, with the fair open to any business seeking funding above ZAR2 million (US$140,000).

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde officially opened the event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), with the Funding Fair looking to connect businesses with investors while also educating attendees on best practices to turn ideas into bankable business plans.

The programme included speakers and an exhibition by funding institutions, with speakers including Lebo Gunguluza from the television series Dragons’ Den, and Fred Robertson, executive chairman of Brimstone.

After last year’s Funding Fair, when 24 businesses pitched to investors, eight companies went into post-pitching discussions and four businesses indicated that they were successful in sourcing funding in sectors such as IT and media, manufacturing and shipping.

“When we engage with entrepreneurs, the most common problem they raise is access to finance. There is also a need to improve awareness and understanding around the funding needs of small businesses,” Winde said.

“The Funding Fair has started to change the ecosystem. We know that entrepreneurs play a significant role in driving the economy; employing over 500,000 people in the Western Cape.

That is why we support initiatives like these which provide a platform for financing for small businesses and also investment opportunities for funders.”

Marius Alberts, head of Deloitte Western Cape, said the Funding Fair had received applications from all over the Western Cape and across all industries.

“Today we have seen only the beginning of the potential positive spin-offs that the Funding Fair aims to achieve,” he said. “The fact that we had a full house attending the speaker programme shows that businesses in the province are hungry for the right information that will help them to succeed.”

The post 20 startups pitch at Western Cape Funding Fair appeared first on Disrupt Africa.

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