Outsourced CFO (OCFO) and Investec CSI (Corporate Social Investments) are excited to open applications for the fifth round of their Finance Readiness Programme aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in raising critical growth funding to scale their established businesses.
The launch of this new round of the programme comes just as the total amount of debt and equity financing offered to previous participants closes in on the R100 million mark after two companies in last year’s group recently closed R20 million in financing deals each.
Dana Pretorius CA(SA), co-founder of OCFO, says OCFO is honoured to act as the catalyst for the growth of last year’s cohort of entrepreneurs and their businesses. We know the funding will unlock material opportunities for the companies to scale optimally and have a massive impact on their communities.”
Pretorius says the purpose of the programme is to assist businesses in accelerating their progress on their fundraising journey. “The ability to access funding is critical to enabling SMEs to grow and scale to their full potential. However, the fundraising process can be complex and not all founders have corporate finance experts in their management teams. Through this programme, OCFO empowers entrepreneurs with the expertise to enable them to unlock the growth capital they need.”
Setlogane Manchidi, Head of CSI at Investec, says the programme also offers benefits that reach beyond fundraising. “While this is understood to be the Finance Readiness Programme, we are encouraged by its broad impact on personal and entrepreneurship development, strategic business thinking, and employment creation as reported by participating entrepreneurs. This makes the programme extremely valuable, regardless of whether one raises funding or not. I would really encourage emerging entrepreneurs to consider applying, not just for the fundraising possibility, but as an opportunity to strengthen their business for long-term success.”
Mags Shivanda, founder and owner of Digital Shero, says having access to a CFO and a senior team member at OCFO, has helped to change her business for the better. “My journey with Investec and OCFO has been life-changing for me as a black female leader. I went into the programme scared because I knew I was going to be challenged. I knew my company was going to benefit – but I wasn’t ready for just how much.”
Danny Tong, CEO of BoTong Civils, says the programme has provided great support to his business as it transitions from a medium-sized company to a large corporate. “Since the inception of BoTong Civils six years ago, we had to bootstrap the business with no mainstream funding. This programme assisted our company to become investable, enabling us to raise R20 million in funding, which will accelerate our growth. I advise each entrepreneur looking to exponentially scale their business to consider this programme.”
The nine-month programme kicks off with a Funding Readiness Gap Analysis that unpacks each participant company’s investment readiness in detail, highlighting potential roadblocks and opportunities for the business as it seeks to raise funding. Participants then receive expert support from OCFO’s top chartered accountants and fundraising experts, before being given the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a high-profile group of investors in a Dragons’ Den-style round table.
Christiaan Jacobs, a member of OCFO’s fundraising team, says watching entrepreneurs grow in confidence during the programme is inspirational. “The reaction from an entrepreneur when they receive their first round of funding is priceless, as is the pure excitement when the realisation of what the funding will mean for their company and community.”
The programme is open to South African-owned businesses with a turnover exceeding R1 million per year and operating for more than two years. Entrepreneurs under the age of 35 will be given preference, and a diverse group of founders will be selected. Entries close 22 September.
About Outsourced CFO
Founded in 2013, Outsourced CFO is an award-winning CFO Services, Cloud Accounting and Automation company. We serve rapidly growing organisations, helping them to realise the impact of their vision. Our team consists of sixty-plus innovative finance professionals and has served over 900 companies in 21 countries around the world. Drawing from deep technical and professional wells of expertise, we help founder and management teams build world-class finance functions to support their growth. For more information about Outsourced CFO, visit www.ocfo.com