Rural Nodal Development Co-operative and SMME Support ProgrammeCasidra
Casidra has been successfully unleashing the potential of entrepreneurs who are dreaming big across the Province to change their lives through the Rural Nodal Development Co-operative and SMME Support Programme. This is a programme of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which was established to afford local businesses an opportunity to access low-cost finance to become self- sustainable. Businesses have an opportunity to apply for finance ranging from R0 to R100 000 through Casidra who, in turn, will manage the whole process.
According to Leon Faro, Casidra’s Senior Project Manager: Development responsible for the rolling out of the programme, approximately R5,5 million was successfully disbursed to financially assist businesses in the form of bridging finance. The programme concentrates largely on bridging loans and does not exclude the term ‘loans’.
The funding programme has progressed extremely well and a rapid growth in terms of the number of requests between 2013 and 2014 has been seen. In year one (2013), approximately 21 loans totalling R1,2 million were approved, and R1,1 million was disbursed for bridging finance. The ensuing year had requests of almost four times more than the previous year. Approximately 83 loans, to the value of R3,8 million, were approved, and R3,6 million was disbursed.
Faro said that the majority of the applicants were interested in loans from R0 to R50 000. “It is evident that their demand for small loans is below R50 000. This is because there is no institution offering small amounts as business loans. The majority of funding institutions start with amounts ranging from R50 000. Therefore, this type of development of loans/funding must be constant and should not be stopped”, he said.
Faro concluded by saying that, “There is a steady increase in applications for finance. The Fund rapidly gained momentum. Therefore, we encourage those businesses that were assisted with funding to repay their loans so that this funding programme can be sustainable and able to assist more businesses that also need financial assistance”.