South Africa
Financing for SMEs
Discover alternative funding options for your small business
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Reliable alternative funding for SMEs

Seeking funding for your business in the more traditional style of bank loans can be challenging. However, our alternative funding options can help you save time and rejection along the way. No matter the funding options you choose, it is important to have a solid business plan to back up your business and better your chances of acquiring funds. 

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Small businesses seeking small loans for working capital or business relief can crowd-fund. Get access to a donation-based crowdfunding platform, brought you by Thundafund.

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Purchase order funding

Our Purchase Order financing is fast, flexible and suitable for SMEs with valid purchase orders from credible entities within the private or public sector. 


We are committed to finding innovative solutions that will help your business grow. We have partnered with a crowdfunding platform called Thundafund to offer alternative funding sources for businesses that may not have access to traditional funding options.

If you’re an investor or an entrepreneur eager to discover the exciting possibilities of crowdfunding, download and use the toolkit below to get started. You can also visit our partner, Thundafund’s website to learn more.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a progressive way for small businesses to raise money through financial contributions from the public. Since crowdfunding is open to the public, businesses can raise funds from small investments from a variety of sponsors rather than a single source of capital like a traditional loan or investment.

How does crowdfunding work?

Thundafund’s online crowdfunding platform allows businesses to pitch their projects to potential sponsors and offer incentives for different levels of investments. Sponsors can register and donate through the platform.

What are the benefits of crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding gives new and smaller businesses an incredible opportunity to reach new levels of growth. They’re also able to expand and launch new products or discover new markets. It allows potential investors to participate in the business’s development without requiring a significant financial commitment.

How do I get started?

  • Visit Standard Bank’s Thundafund partner page
  • Complete and submit the registration form
  • Once your application has been accepted, register with Thundafund and set up your project
  • Set up your project by providing a clear description of your project and objectives
  • Outline how much you would like to raise and what the funds will be used for
  • Set up a timeline of 30 - 90 days divided into 3 milestones
  • Provide a list of rewards and incentives offered to investors for various levels of investment

What makes a successful crowdfunding campaign? (Part 1)

  • Make your project engaging: don’t only provide a clear description to investors but add other elements to your project that will grab people’s attention.
  • Consider enriching your project description with images, videos, and examples of your work where possible.
  • Harness your network: the more people aware of your project, the more investments you may attract.
  • Share your project via social media, email, and with your personal and professional networks to increase your reach.

What makes a successful crowdfunding campaign? (Part 2)

  • When promoting your project, make sure to include the following:
    • The link to your project’s Thundafund page when you’re using digital channels
    • A clear call to action such as ‘Donate here’ or ‘Support here’
    • A reminder of the incentives offered to investors
  • Be responsive and engage with your potential investors via social media and send out automated thank you messages after every donation.
  • Communicate often: send your investors progress reports and updates regularly. Include the details of the milestones reached and other important information. By engaging with your investors, you can generate positive word-of-mouth and help attract additional investors and investments.

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Women’s Fund

Get funding to grow your business from our Women’s fund. This fund aims to help women like you take your business to the next level by providing access to financial and business development assistance services.

Developmental Fund
Developmental Fund

Our Business Recovery Fund considers your existing purchase orders to help you get the capital you need to grow your small business – even with a bad credit rating.

Purchasing order
Purchase Order Funding

Access a low-interest rate bank loan for your purchase orders for any sector.

Secure funding
Secure funding for your start-up or expansion?

Whether you need help paying for equipment, want to strengthen your market position or expand into new markets, take advantage of our Small Business funding.

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Secure early-stage start-up funding

In partnership with Founders Factory Africa, we enable early-stage ventures investment, cutting-edge solutions deployment, and access to expert support and strategic partnerships.

Get finance for your trade
Get finance for your trade

We’ll fund your account payables and receivables in line with your working capital needs

To qualify as a beneficiary for purpose-driven funding, your business needs to be / have:
51% or more black-owned (broad-based black; South African citizen)
Main applicant needs to be a director with shareholding, and dedicated full-time to the business
Total annual revenue of less than R50 million with preference for enterprises with an annual turnover of <R10m 
Trading within South Africa, and the majority shareholders must be Black South African citizens
Valid B-BBEE (Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment) certificate with an indicator of at least 51% black-ownership; this cannot be in the form of black beneficiaries as often the case with NGOs / NPOs
Minimum Eligibility Criteria

Check if you are eligible for Services Beyond Banking