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Just the fact that you are reading this means that you've already taken the first step towards securing finance and support for your business. Our core focus at BUSINESS/PARTNERS is to provide entrepreneurs with finance for their formal businesses. Not only do we structure unique, individualised financing solutions, but we also offer a wide range of tailored products targeted to specific industries and sectors which require their own distinct funding solutions.

To even further complement our finance products, we offer a specialised Technical Assistance Programme to our clients, which provides value-added expert assistance to you, the entrepreneur (business owner), for different aspects of your business. This may range from accounting support, problem solving, marketing plans, and health and safety strategies to turnaround solutions. For more information on the Technical Assistance Programme, click here.

General finance

We consider funding for all entrepreneurs who have a viable formal business and who require financing for expansion, working capital, equipment, takeovers, or management buy-outs.

Each application is considered on its merits and on the potential profitability of the business. The most important criteria we look at are the skills, experience and industry knowledge of the entrepreneur (or entrepreneurs), and the market need for the business' products or services.

When you apply for finance, your proposal will be assessed on the viability of your business, which comprises two important elements:

  • The business
    • Product/service and its market acceptability;
    • Market size;
    • The gearing of the business – debt to capital ratio of the business which influences its ability to exist and grow;
    • The business’ track record;
    • The stage of its development and medium to long-term profit potential;
    • Technical aspects;
    • Location of the business.
  • The entrepreneur (square peg)
    • Ability to run a successful business on sound business principles;
    • Personal principles, such as integrity, drive, vision;
    • Appropriate experience.

The funding may be used for:

  • Equipment;
  • Expansion;
  • Management buy-outs;
  • Property finance for owner occupied businesses ;
  • Revamps;
  • Start-up;
  • Takeovers;
  • Working capital.

We consider financing applications from formal SMEs whose gross assets are under R100 million, where annual turnover does not exceed R200 million and/or employees are less than 500 in number.

Applications are considered in all sectors of the economy with the exception of on-lending activities, direct farming operations, underground mining, informal and micro enterprises and non-profit organisations.

Financing period:

5 years on average.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R50 million.

Own contribution requirements:

There is no minimum set for own contribution however, the gearing and other factors that affect the viability of a transaction are be taken into consideration.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Brands and Franchise Fund

The franchise industry contributes approximately 11.6% to the total GDP of the country, and as such, forms a significant part of the country’s overall economy.

Resting on the backbone of our extensive experience in financing franchised business, our dedicated Franchise Fund affords opportunities to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs to own and expand their franchises through finance and mentorship.

Applications will be considered from:

  • All formal franchised business systems, whether they are registered with FASA (the Franchise Association of South Africa) à www.fasa.co.za or not;
  • Informal franchised arrangements such as service stations;
  • Both franchisees and franchisors who qualify as SMEs. 

The funding may be used for:

  • Equipment;
  • Expansion;
  • Management buy-outs;
  • Property finance for owner occupied franchises;
  • Revamps;
  • Start-up;
  • Takeovers;
  • Working capital. 

Non-franchised businesses, non-profit organisations, underground mining, on-lending and direct agriculture are excluded from our Brands & Franchise Fund funding consideration.

Financing period:

Between 5 and 10 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R25 million.

Own contribution requirements:

There is no minimum for own contribution, however, the gearing and other factors that affect the viability of a transaction will be taken into consideration.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
Approval by Franchisor.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Education SME Fund

Education in South Africa remains a major challenge and has had a direct impact on the current skills shortage experienced throughout the country.

Through our Education SME Fund, we aim to assist in alleviating this challenge by providing existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in this industry with finance and support to start or expand education facilities. With this support we aim to contribute to the increase in opportunities available for aspiring learners and in turn increase their knowledge and skillset. The objective of this fund is to provide finance and mentorship to for-profit enterprises that are in the business of knowledge and skills transfer across all industries.

We will consider funding any business which promotes learning and/or other educational related services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Private schools;
  • Special needs schools;
  • Pre-schools (including day-care, crèches and pre-primary);
  • Adult basic education;
  • Further Education and Training (FET) or Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)  colleges/ institutions;
  • Special training schools – e.g. culinary, nursing, medical, fashion, graphic design, beauty, business, human resources, health and safety, information and communication technologies, etc.;
  • SETA accredited training schools;
  • Student accommodation;
  • Educational franchises. 

Non-profit organisations will be excluded from consideration.

The funding may be used for:

  • Equipment;
  • Expansion;
  • Management buy-outs;
  • Property finance for owner occupied businesses;
  • Revamps;
  • Start-up;
  • Takeovers;
  • Working capital.

Financing period:

Between 5 and 10 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R25 million.

Own contribution requirements:

There is no minimum required for own contribution however the gearing and other factors that affect the viability of a transaction will be taken into consideration.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Green Fund

We recognise the benefit that businesses in the green industries can bring to the country. It is for this reason our Green Fund is aimed at financing and supporting sustainable businesses and projects which seek to positively impact on the environment and simultaneously create wealth and jobs.

We seek to finance businesses which actively develop, manufacture and provide goods and services aimed at 'saving the planet', as well as those businesses that are 'doing the right thing' by implementing measures and/or technology which reduce their adverse impact on the environment.

The core objectives are to finance and support SMEs that:

  • Support renewable energy technologies in South Africa;
  • Reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency;
  • Promote energy savings that ensure long-term competitiveness;
  • Contribute to job creation in the ‘green economy’. 

As such, businesses that qualify for finance from the Green Fund include:

  • Renewable energy providers (offering an alternative, clean and environment-friendly energy source);
  • Energy or emissions savings product and service providers, including renewable energy projects that reduce or stop the need for electricity from the national grid;
  • Projects which are eligible under specific Eskom programmes;
  • Recyclers;
  • Waste managers;
  • Green building service and product providers;
  • Businesses working to conserve natural resources;
  • Businesses which protect ecosystems and biodiversity;
  • Businesses producing healthier food sources. 

Financing period:

There is no defined investment period, however, on average, the financing period is between 3 to 7 years. There should be clear indications of a proposed exit strategy within a reasonable time frame.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

The fund considers first round funding up to a maximum of R10 million, with a focus on deals between R500 000 to R3 million.

Own contribution requirements:

The financial risk, business risk, industry risk and environmental risk of the business venture will influence the own contribution requirements.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
Approval by franchisor where applicable.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Manufacturing Fund

Manufacturing is a wealth-producing sector in South Africa and the country’s diversified manufacturing industry needs to be supported in order to create long-term economic growth. We believe that a stimulated manufacturing sector will have a spin-off effect on businesses operating within other sectors, such as the service industry, and will result in a positive boost for the economy.

Our Manufacturing Fund aims to deliver finance in a commercially sustainable manner that is specifically targeted to meet the financing and developmental needs of SMEs within this sector.

Finance is offered to manufacturers in the following sectors:

  • Agro-processing;
  • Engineering;
  • Textiles and clothing production;
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and electronics;
  • Automotive and chemical;
  • Green industries;
  • New innovation and technologies;
  • Other manufacturing businesses.

Entrepreneurs should preferably have at least two years’ experience in the relevant industry. Projects that are financed under the fund should not reduce their base-year employment levels at the application date, and these employment levels should at least be maintained for the duration of the agreement.

Financing period:

5 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R25 million.

Own contribution requirements:

There is no minimum own contribution required, however, the gearing and other factors that affect the viability of a transaction will be taken into consideration.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Cash flow forecast.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Property Fund

Our Property Fund caters to entrepreneurs with a viable business who want to refinance or purchase their own premises, but may have limited capital or security to contribute, or may not want to compromise the business’ cash resources for the deposit.

In most cases, conventional financiers require a cash deposit before considering financing a property deal. The deposit amount depends on the risk appetite of the financier and deposits of up to 50% may be required. We, however, allow the entrepreneur a choice of different financing options and are able to structure the deal by advancing up to 110% of the financing required, subject to terms and conditions.

Applications will be considered based on the following conditions:

  • The underlying business must be proven to be viable and been in existence for no less than two years;
  • The business should have a sound financial track record;
  • The business must occupy at least 50% of the property to be purchased;
  • The property to be purchased should be in a good condition, well located and be available at a reasonable market value;
  • The operating business should meet affordability expectations. 

Residential and agriculture properties are excluded.

Financing period:

A maximum of 10 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R50 million.

Own contribution requirements:

Own contribution is not required.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements of the underlying business.
Details of the proposed property.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our property investment FAQ.

 
 

Property Joint Venture Fund

For entrepreneurs looking to add a property component to their investment portfolio, multi-tenanted properties are attractive and viable options, as they provide both capital appreciation and a rental income.

We co-invest in multi-tenanted property projects mainly in two instances. Firstly, when a potential investor is unable or unwilling to invest the full deposit (equity) required by a commercial lending institution. Secondly, where a viable property investment has been over-geared and needs a restructuring of the existing debt, converting debt finance to equity finance.

Finance will be considered for:

  • Property investments in sustainable areas offering good growth and/or return on investment, preferably in metropolitan areas;
  • Retail, industrial, and commercial multi-tenanted properties with a value of between R2 million and R120 million;
  • Properties that require reconfiguration or upgrades;
  • Cut-up-and-sell properties;
  • Industrial leasebacks. 

The prospective property investor may choose to either have an active role or be a passive investor.

Residential properties, agricultural properties, and mines are excluded.

Financing period:

Ideally up to 10 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R30 million.

Own contribution requirements:

A proportionate share of the equity will be required and will influence the shareholding percentage.

Required documents for application:

Details of the property and supporting documentation.
The entrepreneurs’ latest personal assets and liabilities.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our Property Joint Venture FAQ.

 
 

Venture Fund

Small businesses are important innovators, continually bringing new products to the market. Yet, there is very little support and limited access to finance for entrepreneurs in the innovation space.

At BUSINESS/PARTNERS, we recognise the potential benefit that innovative and high-risk growth enterprises can bring to the country, and it is for this reason that our Venture Fund is aimed at financing high impact entrepreneurs.

Under the Venture Fund, we offer finance where:

  • The development of a new product/concept or taking a new initiative to market;
  • Job creation is substantial and the provision of funding will create substantial jobs;
  • Blue sky potential exists, albeit riskier;
  • There is a well-structured BEE transaction where wealth creation and the possibility of a transfer of skills exists;
  • The funding of businesses will take an existing business to the next level, resulting in a significant increase in activities;
  • The funding of businesses will result in import replacement;
  • The funding of businesses will contribute to the introduction or increase in exports;
  • The funding is for high technological projects;
  • A transfer of skills will be facilitated through the transactions, in particular, to previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs. 

Typically, funding would exclude:

  • Property transactions;
  • Lifestyle businesses;
  • Low return investments;
  • Seed capital;
  • Lack of technical viability;
  • Research and development. 

Financing period:

There is no defined investment period, however, on average, the financing period is between 3 to 7 years. There should be clear indications of a proposed exit strategy within a reasonable time frame.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

The fund considers first round funding up to a maximum of R10 million, with a focus on deals between R500 000 to R3 million.

Own contribution requirements:

The financial risk, business risk, industry risk and environmental risk of the business venture will influence the own contribution requirements.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.

 
 

Women in Business Fund

Our Women in Business Fund aims to afford women entrepreneurs a fair and equal opportunity to start, expand or purchase an existing business.

Through the fund we aim to:

  • Increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs;
  • Invest in commercially viable women-owned businesses;
  • Facilitate the growth and expansion of women-owned businesses;
  • Contribute towards an increase in the number of successful women entrepreneurs and inspire young females to choose entrepreneurship;
  • Facilitate the creation of new jobs.

Female entrepreneurs financed through our Women in Business Fund are supported with additional value added services:

  • Female investment team to support with application process;
  • Access to information and networking opportunities;
  • Access to a web-based library and electronic newsletters;
  • Peer mentorship and networking;
  • Workshops and seminars;
  • Once off free individual membership to an approved business women organisation to the value of R1 000;
  • A technical assistance grant of up to R25 000 and a further R35 000 interest-free loan for technical assistance, should it be required;
  • Access to dedicated industry specific mentors.

Applications will be considered from:

  • Businesses with a minimum shareholding by women of 50%;
  • Women who wish to start, expand, or buy an existing business;
  • Women in operations and management roles within the business. 

Entrepreneurs should preferably have at least two years’ experience in the relevant industry.

Non-viable businesses, on-lending, underground mining and primary agricultural industries are excluded.

Financing period:

5 years.

Minimum and maximum loan amount:

R500 000 to R50 million.

Own contribution requirements:

There is no minimum own contribution required, however, the gearing and other factors that affect the viability of a transaction will be taken into consideration.

Required documents for application:

Business plan.
Annual financial statements.
Up to date management accounts.
Cash flow forecast.
CV of entrepreneur/s.

Want to know more about our financing criteria? Click here for our investment FAQ.