Steven Heilbron, CEO of the Connect Group, says that business finance has changed in South Africa, with credible, fintech lenders offering financial solutions that make it easier for retailers to access working capital. These products enable businesses to be agile, responding to changes in their markets in innovative ways, so that they can survive and thrive in these unusual times.
Heilbron describes a few things retailers should look out for when choosing a business finance partner:
The need for speed - alternative lenders, like Capital Connect, understand the need for speed, especially in the fast-moving retail environment. They offer SMEs quick access to business funding, providing a cash boost that allows retail merchants to take advantage of the opportunities for business growth.
Collateral vs. no collateral – this is an important aspect to consider. While traditional lenders require business owners to offer collateral, alternative finance solutions enable retailers to take a business loan in many cases without collateral.
Alternative lenders use analytics and modelling of significant data points, to make informed lending decisions and can therefore grant business finance without the fuss. These streamlined finance solutions eliminate the red tape of for example collating audited financial statements that are generally associated with applying for a business loan.
Retail merchants can apply straight from an app and get funds in their account in 24 hours hassle-free. This is a valuable helping hand for SMEs at a challenging time when many businesses require cash to rebuild and innovate.
Flexibility - Finance solutions, like Capital Connect are designed for the fast-paced retail industry, providing merchants with shorter, more flexible loan terms. The loan repayment period is not bound to a few years or large monthly repayments, but to a shorter period of time that works better for the business owner.
“With the current pressures our retail industry faces, time is money for South African retailers, especially as they seek to rebuild in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Heilbron.
“Access to working capital enables retail entrepreneurs with opportunities to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity. Alternative lenders can help merchants to access funding fast when they can’t wait for weeks for an urgent loan application to be granted.”