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Masisizane Fund: boosting local business

The Masisizane Fund invests in SMMEs that have a registered business, in addition to a clear marketable product or service, and that create and retain jobs.

What opportunities does Limpopo offer?

There are vast opportunities in the province for SMMEs, as long as they keep their ears and eyes on the ground and take the opportunities as they become available. There are areas in the province without malls, therefore this creates opportunities for mall development and franchising. Companies such as Broll, Twin City and the Moolman Group are expanding their property portfolio, within rural towns and this further creates employment, business opportunities and uplifts the local economies.

Agro-processing and manufacturing are other business sectors with growth opportunities. We have an abundance of rain in the province and we’ve got good soil conditions, so agriculture offers many opportunities. For example Limpopo produces less than 10% of its maize consumption and if we go back to the basics we can reclaim our position as the bread basket of South Africa.

What is the potential in terms of solar energy?

There are parts of the province with high concentrated sun heat and we should look at exploiting such opportunities and linkages to Eskom to provide solar energy. Areas like Phalaborwa, Giyani, Vhenda, Moletjie and Matlala can play a catalystic role in the provision of solar energy.

What are the hallmarks of a successful SMME?

It’s important for entrepreneurs to be committed and focused, but managing your cashflow is essential, otherwise you will get into serious difficulties. It’s also important to continuously develop your product range and to keep on marketing your business. If you get that right you will make money and have a successful business.

Are there any clients you are particularly proud to have helped?

Every funding proposal presented to us and approved gives me great joy, as we would have made a meaningful contribution to entrepreneurship, employment and have made an impact on the economy. Having said that, I’m happy for all my clients and happy to have facilitated change in their lives.

What is the ideal SMME company or cooperative you would hope to be able to help over the next year?

I want to leverage the agricultural clusters that are currently doing well in the province. There is a cluster of maize growers doing around 2 000 hectares of maize, and my plan in 2016 is to get them to 5000 hectares and assist them to become commercial.

For the 2016 and 2017 financial year I would like to help clients to develop a franchise group within the province and assist PDIs to gain ownership with the franchising space.

There’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be done, you need to make sure that you’ve done your research and you are informed by the facts. Access to finance is much easier when you have thought it all through and based your numbers on facts. You need to have your ducks in a row if you want to take it to the next level.

Maphala Mosomane

Maphala Mosomane is the Provincial Manager: Limpopo & Mpumulanga of the Old Mutual Masisizane Fund.

Maphala started his career at Ga-Segonyana Municipality working as a Local Economic Development Officer before joining ABSA Bank as an Enterprise Development Consultant. From there he moved to Standard Bank as an Acquisition Manager. In 2013, Maphala joined the Masisizane Fund as Provincial Manager of Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics degree in addition to a Certificate in Project Management.

For more information, contact Masisizane Fund.

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