SME access to finance set to improve in South Africa

Jul 21, 2010

Access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa is set be boosted through the creation of a new national charity.

My Arms Wide Open is aiming to ensure family-run businesses can get off the ground by providing low-interest loans, while people will be given help and advice in setting up their own companies. Under the plans, more than 1,000 individuals and families will be given access to micro-banking, communication tools and other support functions over the next three years.

Management consulting firm Manzimvula Ventures is behind My Arms Wide Open and cited the building of sustainable communities and responsible businesses as among its key priorities. It comes after data released by the South African Reserve Bank at the end of the last month indicated demand for credit is on the increase in the country.

According to the figures, requests were up nearly one per cent compared with a year earlier, while total loans and advances rose by 1.4 per cent.