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Help at hand for SMEs accessing finance

Real People Group’s SME finance offering anticipated to promote job creation


Commenting on the recent announcement that The Real People Group has expanded its purpose specific lending offering to include business finance to local SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprise), Neil Grobbelaar, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Real People Group says market research indicates that the local SME market is ripe for alternative funding facilities.

“The reality is that many entrepreneurs are unable to secure finance due to insufficient collateral. Research1 indicates that some of the major challenges facing local SMEs include not only access to finance, but a challenging regulatory environment and lack of entrepreneurial training. Our new SME finance offering plans to address both the financial and training aspects of these challenges,” he comments.

The Real People Group acquired WIZZIT Bank’s Loan book together with its entrepreneurship training facility in January 2014. The acquisition means it is able to add SME finance to its existing home finance product line in South Africa. The Group already has an established SME lending business in East Africa.
With the the strong growth prospects for SME lending in South Africa, Grobbelaar is optimistic that its new business finance offering will do much to promote much needed job creation.

“Thus far we have successfully created and sustained a total of 338 jobs in this business. These jobs naturally have a spin-off effect in local communities as the earnings generated are currently supporting over 1 690 community members. Adding real value within communities is very much in line with our vision of sustainably improving lives,” he explains.

Unlike commercial banks Real People do not require one hundred percent collateral to approve loans but Grobbelaar emphasises that finance is merely one aspect of the Group’s offering to SMEs.

“Our intention when it comes to entrepreneurs is that we want to be seen as a trusted business partner. We want to assist in providing the knowledge and skill to make them successful and keep them successful. In addition we will be able to bring further value by offering supplementary finance opportunities in our other purpose specific lending areas,” he adds.

Grobbelaar says enabling and monitoring the business also forms part of their SME finance offering. “In addition to providing training and development for entrepreneurs our staff are involved in constant post-loan management and monitor the performance of each business through reviewing its monthly financials. Ultimately we are about building special relationships with clients through offering them a tailor-made personalised service,” he says.

For Grobbelaar the rationale behind the new SME finance offering is ultimately about deploying capital in the most job creative way. “Financing new franchises is the best way of doing this as it is guaranteed to create jobs. In terms of job creation in our experience 80 percent of franchise businesses employ on average five to ten people, the remaining 20 percent employ around 30 to 50 people.

“This ensures that our organisation is well aligned to sustainably contribute to the development of our economy and assist with what is arguably the greatest challenge we face in South Africa, that of unemployment,” he concludes.

More in this category: « How to navigate securing finance for your business in 2014 Mismatch in Franchise Industry could be fatal to business success »


  • Thandi

    I would like to know more about how you assist with loan for small business.

    Report Thandi Thursday, 07 August 2014 21:31 Comment Link
  • Thandi Johnson

    Good morning, I am Thandi Johnson wanting to know how can I access a business loan, I have an existing business for the past 5 years in Maponya Mall owning 3 shops there. We are expanding but battling to access finance, how can you help? I can elaborate as we chat more. My contact details are xxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx. Looking forward to your positive feedback.

    Report Thandi Johnson Monday, 04 August 2014 11:17 Comment Link

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