There is a growing focus on establishing the Western Cape as an innovative business hub by government and the private sector. Government recently announced that it spent a total of R45m this financial year through various entrepreneurship programmes to assist new business development with access to finance. While this is excellent news for the province, many business owners are still uncertain how to adequately prepare their business for funding, or which funding approach is best suited to them.

To increase awareness and education on the wide range of options available to entrepreneurs from both public and private funding institutions, as well as address other issues important to the entrepreneurial sector, Deloitte, in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), hosted the inaugural Western Cape Funding Fair on 18th March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC.) The aim of the event was to provide a unique engagement platform for funders and Western Cape-based businesses.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, who officially opened the 2015 Western Cape Funding Fair, says he is confident that the event went a long way in assisting budding entrepreneurs.

“Creating opportunities for economic growth and jobs is our number one priority in the Western Cape. We believe that entrepreneurs are critical in achieving this. Ensuring that entrepreneurs have access to financial support networks is a key part of our strategy to ensure we foster small and medium businesses. Through the Funding Fair, a joint initiative between government and the private sector, we are connecting entrepreneurs with the right investors to take their businesses forward, better together.”

Marius Alberts, Deloitte Western Cape regional leader, says that the company recognises that entrepreneurship is increasingly being viewed by both government and the private sector as the primary means to drive economic and social development. “We are hopeful that the Funding Fairplatform will benefit funders, project promoters, entrepreneurs, and in the long run, contribute to the growth of the Western Cape economy,” says Alberts.

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