The knock-on effect of the hard lockdown continues to impact small and medium businesses in South Africa. As a result, small business owners need assistance to make it through this difficult and uncertain time; luckily, COBRA and SMEgo have joined forces to offer assistance.
The perfect partnership
In their capacities, COBRA and SMEgo both assist small and medium businesses, helping them secure business funding to sustain operations and help them grow. By joining forces, the two entities will now be able to connect even more business owners to a wider range of funding opportunities.
COBRA (Covid-19 Business Rescue Assistance) was established in March 2020 as a direct response to the immediate and immense need to support distressed businesses that were impacted by the economic lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The objective of the organisation is to give businesses in distress the tools they need to make it through difficult times. This assistance comes in the form of legal advice, funding, staff, technology, and expertise in all business areas whenever necessary.
SMEgo provides a single platform and application system that makes it easier for businesses to apply for funding from multiple partners. This reduces the time businesses need to spend researching and applying for funding on each site. The company shares the same beliefs as COBRA, namely, that community, partnership, transparency, and shared values will drive growth in the economy. Through this partnership, COBRA will be able to further assist distressed businesses by harnessing SMEgo’s network of partners.
“Finding a partner that shares our values and ideals has made such a difference to the COBRA initiative,” said Adam Craker, CEO of IQbusiness. “Not only has this simplified the funding process for distressed businesses, but it also gives us access to a wider range of tools to ensure that businesses get the help they need to keep going,” he added.
Making funding easier for small businesses
By leveraging SMEgo’s network, COBRA will be able to refer businesses to the site and allow them to apply for funding – and follow the entire process – all from one convenient platform. The approach provides options that would’ve otherwise been impossible for small businesses to access. This centralised approach to funding makes it easy to monitor the process of the application and makes handling the admin of it all a breeze.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with COBRA as our vision and mission align so closely. Finding support in the form of funding needs to be simplified to get SMMEs back on their feet,” said Rowan Spazzoli, founding team member of SMEgo. “Running a business in these times is difficult enough, finding support should not be,” he added.
SMEgo will also be giving COBRA’s clients the ability to upload and save important business documents and share weekly newsletters with the latest industry news and developments.
The future of the South African economy hinges on the success of small and medium businesses. By facilitating an ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs to access funding and resources, SMEgo and COBRA hope to nurture the development of new businesses and make sure that they can navigate their way through any challenges they may face.
COBRA (Covid-19 Business Rescue Assistance) was established in March 2020 as a direct response to the immediate and immense need to support distressed businesses that were impacted by the economic lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, it has assisted close to 300 businesses in various ways. This includes restructuring, refinancing, accessing unemployment insurance for staff, pivoting core offerings, moving onto digital platforms, business rescue and business turnaround.
Currently, although the most restrictive economic lockdown levels have been alleviated, the need for assistance by businesses large and small across South Africa has never been greater. Unemployment levels are at their highest ever levels, and it appears that basic services are slated to be further cut in favour of government bail-outs of bankrupt state-owned enterprises.
COBRA provides businesses in distress with the assistance they need to navigate these unprecedented times. The recent launch of the newly curated COBRA Knowledge Hub has now made COBRA insights and knowledge easily accessible to all South Africans who are using their businesses to rebuild our economy and livelihoods across the country.
SMEgo is a Fintech platform aimed at helping South African SMMEs find and apply for funding.
Article: Themba Msimango
Main Image: VenturBurn