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Vodacom goes into loans business

Vodacom has launched a new business financing product for small and medium sized businesses, called VodaLend Business Advance. The mobile network operator says “this digital proposition will ensure that SMEs have access to the funding they need to grow”.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of South Africa’s economy and contribute significantly to employment in the country as well as the gross domestic product (GDP) which is why ensuring their growth and success is vitally important,” says Vodacom Financial Services Chief Officer, Mariam Cassim. “Providing access to SME funding not only benefits the business owner by allowing them to grow their business but also creates job opportunities and positively impacts the economy as a whole.”

Vodacom points out that access to funding has been identified as a major stumbling block for SMEs, who are often forced to source funding in their personal capacity from friends or family. 

VodaLend Business Advance’s qualifying criteria requires SMEs to be registered and operational for at least 12 months, with an annual revenue of over R500,000 and a good credit standing. The size of the advance varies from R10,000 to R1.5-million and is repayable over 6-12 months. The application process is fully digital, and could take a business owner less than 10 minutes to complete. This means no need for printing out long application forms or taking time out to go into lending institutions with the hope of obtaining a business advance. Once the application is submitted with all the required information, a decision is immediate and, if successful, the money is transferred into the business account within a day.

Over and above the short-term finance, qualifying SMEs will also receive Business Legal Assist, at no further cost, to support the companies in day-to-day business legal questions, for the duration of the advance term.

“Vodacom Financial Services intends to go beyond just providing funding and is looking to be a partner in growth for SMEs,” says Cassim. 

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