Eye health initiative helps 1.7-million South Africans

0

OneSight is fulfilling the UN goal to accelerate eye health to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • Family and friends are key to business success, but think twice before accepting funding

    Entrepreneurs often cite the support of friends and family as key to their success.  A widely cited study by a leading bank in North America suggests that most small business owners — 83% — enjoy the emotional and operational backing of family and friends, with a third receiving financial support in the same period.

    While leveraging personal connections can be a significant boost for any business, according to Nobesuthu Ndlovu, Director of SME at Old Mutual Corporate, entrepreneurs must weigh up the risks and benefits of accepting funding from relatives and friends. “Raising money from your personal network can be great for attracting future funding, as it demonstrates that you are grounded and have acquaintances or family who have already bought into your business,” says Ndlovu.

    There have been stories of people taking loans from family that turned out to be a big success. Take, for example, Jeff Bezos’ parents, who boldly invested in Amazon when the company was established in 1995. Today, his parents might be among the top 30 wealthiest people in the world. 

    However, Ndlovu warns that this outcome is never guaranteed.  According to local advisory consultant Cova Advisory, South Africa has one of the highest failure rates for SMMEs, with five out of seven businesses failing within the first year.  “The next family braai may not be so great if half the family there are disappointed with poor outcomes or are annoyed because you went on holiday before paying back their money.  

    “Just because your investor is your best friend, husband, or daughter, the relationship isn’t made less complex,” says Ndlovu. “On the contrary, mixing family and business can be made more complex because there’s no delineation between professional and personal.”

    Ndlovu knows that the rigorous processes associated with applying for traditional business funding can make approaching family and friends for capital more attractive.   “Often, in the daily running of a small business, there is no time for entrepreneurs to submit a detailed business plan to get access to finance. And very often, these institutions aren’t user-friendly, making them even less attractive,” she says. 

    However, seeking independent funding is often a more sustainable route in the long term. “Typically, investors do not get involved in the business’s day-to-day running, and a family member might feel entitled to this level of involvement, which could create problems,” she says. “An objective assessment, based on a business’s plan and prospects, is a more sustainable option.”

    Innovative funding platforms like SMEgo, which connects small business owners to multiple funders, can help take the pain and drama out of getting small business funding.  “Powered by Old Mutual, business owners only need to apply for funding once. This application is matched with multiple suitable funders,” says Ndlovu.

    “This makes the application process fast, flexible, and transparent as each application can be tracked. As a bonus, entrepreneurs also get access to support and mentorship to help make a success of their venture in addition to the love and support of their family,” she says.

    As with any business decision, Ndlovu urges entrepreneurs to consider their funding options carefully. “Just because its family doesn’t mean it will be easy; in fact, in some ways, it might be even harder on you in the long term,” she concludes. 

    For more information on SMEgo, visit www.smego.co.za

    Old Mutual owns and maintains the operations of the SMEgo platform. SMEgo is NOT a lender, it is a platform which assists SMEs to access lenders.

    Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited is a licensed FSP and Life Insurer

    After COP26, business leaders are warming up to sustainable practices

    0

    Chief executives have begun to recognise the importance of sustainability, but we urgently need climate science-aligned policies that provide a new framework for business

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • Zondo dismisses Fraser’s application to cross-examine witnesses

    The former head of the State Security Agency and Zuma ally did not come close to complying with the state capture inquiry’s rules for cross-examination, Zondo said

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • Hawks head testifies before SAHRC: Intelligence would have been ‘ideal’

    No members of the police, defence force or state security have been implicated ‘at this stage’ in ongoing investigations into the July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • The quiet violence of inaction — we need to do better on gender-based violence

    0

    The only long-term solution to ending violence against women and children lies in funded, broadscale, multi-tier and multi-dimensional social education and reform efforts

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • A to Z guide on HIV: The top 10 things to know from prevention to a possible cure

    0

    The HIV pandemic isn’t going anywhere until a cure is found. In the meantime, HIV clinicians say South Africa should protect its victories

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • Notice of funding opportunity

     

    USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub)

    Request for Application (RFA)

    No.: RFA-SATIH-PRE-21-0009

    Synopsis of the Request for Application (RFA)

    DAI, implementer of the USAID-funded Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the USAID TradeHub) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), invites private sector actors active in the financial services sector to submit technical and cost applications to address the technical assistance as contained in the full RFA.  Organizations are not required to have had previous awards with the USAID TradeHub but entities should in one way or another be already active in the ecosystem the USAID TradeHub has been supporting.   

    This is a summary of this Notice of Funding Opportunity. To Request the full RFA including submission instructions email [email protected]   The subject line must include the RFA number listed below.

    RFA No.RFA-SATIH-PRE-21-0009
    USAID Prime Contract Number:Issued Under USAID TradeHub USAID Contract No.                        AID-674-C-16-00004
    Issue DateDecember 01, 2021
    TitleSupport the USAID TradeHub financial ecosystem service providers to undertake business development investments to improve and increase their product offering.  
    Issuing Office & EmailSouthern Africa Trade and Investment Hub Email: [email protected]  
    Deadline for Receipt of QuestionsDecember 13, 2021 by 10:00 hours (Central Africa Time)
    Deadline for Receipt of Proposals.January 03, 2022 by 15:00 hours (Central African Time)
    Point of ContactPlease submit all questions and completed proposals to [email protected] 
    Anticipated Award TypeGrants – fixed amount or cost reimbursement depending on substance of proposed activities.
    EligibilityThis competition is limited to South African organizations.
    Basis for AwardAward will be made to responsible applicant whose application offers the greatest value to DAI, cost and other factors considered.

     

    Program Description

          I. Overview

    The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Southern Africa Trade & Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) project is a six-year trade and investment facilitation project, currently in its sixth year of implementation. The USAID TradeHub’s objectives include increasing sustainable economic growth, global export competitiveness, and trade in targeted Southern African countries. In order to achieve these objectives, the USAID TradeHub works with partners from across the region to increase exports from South African countries to South Africa and the United States, boost the flow of capital and technology from South Africa to other Southern African countries. 

    The purpose of this Request For Applications (RFA) is to award up to three grants (from US $50,000 to $225,000) to organizations to contribute to the results related to increasing investment (capital and technology) from South Africa into priority countries in the region. The USAID TradeHub will provide selected partners assistance through a grant support agreement by enhancing their business models to ensure that these business models are able to fully respond to the needs of small and medium regional export firms, exporting to South Africa or the U.S., or firms seeking specific trade related technology transfer (e.g. labelling, branding, laboratories). The USAID TradeHub anticipates that all grants issued as a result of this RFA, if any, will have a period of five months from January 31, 2022 through June 30, 2022.

    Specifically, grants are being offered in the following three areas (one in each category)

    1. Increased Small Business Enterprise (SME) export trade on a digital trade platform. USAID TradeHub seeks to receive proposals on methods to improve SME trade on digital platforms.

    2. Improving SME investability in an organization through a digital platform
      USAID TradeHub seeks proposals to help firms improve investor and export readiness, i.e. improving governance structures while, reducing transaction costs and improving investor confidence, particularly to SMEs seeking funding below $1 million.

    3. Financial education through a digital platform.
      The grant applicant will develop and advance financial education products for export firms seeking access to finance and investment. The educational products should be interactive financial learning material across diverse cultures in the languages of English and Portuguese and disseminated through a digital platform.

    Please refer to the Program Description under Section D of the full RFA for a complete statement of goals and expected results.

     Pursuant to 2 CFR 700.13, it is USAID policy not to award profit under assistance instruments such as grant awards.  However, all reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the grant program and are in accordance with applicable cost standards (2 CFR 200 Subpart E for all US-based and for non-US based non-profit organizations, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31 for all for-profit organizations), may be paid under the grant. 

    Subject to availability of funds, the USAID TradeHub intends to make available grant assistance of between $50,000 to $225,000 for each grant, up to three grants. Note there is a 25% cost sharing requirement for each grant.  See #8 Cost Sharing Requirement in Section A of the full RFA.  A maximum of $600,000 in total will be made available for this RFA in the form of fixed priced/amount or cost reimbursement awards.  DAI reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

    Thank you for your interest in this Funding Opportunity and Please request the full RFA by email at [email protected]

    Shell’s ‘corporate social responsibility’ in its intent to mine the Wild Coast is worse than greenwashing

    0

    Shell says it endorses environmental impact assessments, public participation, international standards and human rights, but these played no role in its decision to do seismic surveys

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell
  • PODCAST: How South Africa fits into the global economy, pt 2

    Michael Power chats to the M&G editor-in-chief and business journalists about South Africa and its place in the global economy

    Join thousands of South Africans who want a more just South Africa.

    Read past party lines, past the bluster and the distortion. Get the best reporting, analysis and commentary that is factual, balanced and fair with uninterrupted access to all Mail & Guardian content online. Plus
  • Preferential access to Mail & Guardian events
  • Get daily conversation starters straight into your inbox
  • An invitation to join the newsroom’s Review session on Friday mornings
  • Lend your expertise and experience to the stories we tell