Enablis Member Entrepreneurs successfully re-pay loans and grow by sofiaie

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									        Enablis Entrepreneurs successfully re-pay loans, grow their
                businesses and create jobs in South Africa

<Embargo: 29 October 2008>
The Enablis Khula Loan Fund was created in 2004 by Enablis Entrepreneurial Network, Khula Enterprise
Finance and First National Bank to enable early-stage businesses. Thanks to a 90% loan guarantee,
Enablis members can capitalize on growth opportunities in their respective sectors through timely access
to funding delivered by First National Bank.

The partners in the Fund and loan recipients celebrated the fourth anniversary of this innovative financing
tool at a ceremony in Johannesburg honoring the first 5 entrepreneurs to retire their loans over the past
year. Entrepreneurs have to fulfill certain criteria in order to take advantage of the loan guarantee. This
includes Enablis membership and a viable business plan. To date, R 5.1 million in small loans have
already been re-paid by entrepreneurs and the Fund’s default rate remains at 0%. Part of these proceeds
have already been re-deployed for similar purposes. Success is due to Enablis’ unique model combining
networking and capacity-building initiatives to its funding.

Nathaniel Sebolei, an Enablis member from BCIT Technologies, says “The R200 000 Fast Track Loan
that BCIT had taken through the Enablis Khula Loan Fund, has been extremely useful at a time in my
business that was critical - as one of my biggest customers, government, had not paid on services
rendered for a number of months, and although we knew the money would come through, the loan
assisted in sustaining the company’s cash flow, until such as time as the monies came through. We were
very thankful for this timeous loan structure, as we have also managed to continue growing the business
successfully during this time, and are pleased to say that we are bigger now, than we were at the time of
the loan request.”

Enablis funded entrepreneurs gathered over the weekend for the Enablis Academy presented by the
Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School. The two-day program was designed to fine-tune
business skills and focus on collaborative work methodologies for addressing business challenges.
Enablis members networked together and, benefited from Wits’ world-class faculty and learning modules.

Says Xola Sithole, Chief Executive Officer of Khula Enterprise Finance, established by the DTI to facilitate
access to finance for SMMEs, “The challenges that entrepreneurs face, both locally and globally, are
enormous, but certainly much easier within such a framework as the Enablis funding and peer-to-peer
problem-solving, role-modeling and support framework.”

It is common knowledge that many early-stage businesses flounder due to cash flow constraints and the
inability to access funds to springboard their businesses to greater and more successful heights. It is
precisely these problems that Enablis is pro-actively tackling, through such financial vehicles as the
Enablis Khula Loan Fund, in order to effect the most positive impact for South African entrepreneurs.

Says David Milligan, Head of Growth and New Markets from First National Bank, “FNB is thrilled to be
associated with such an innovative financing instrument that has proven extremely effective. We are
committed to providing entrepreneurs with improved access to funding and know-how through Enablis’
unique model”.

An independent study conducted by Research in Action in South Africa in the early part of 2008, found
that 56% of Enablis’ members have reported an increase in revenue in the past year and that 66% of the
members increased their customer base. Respondents also reported they had created over 1,000 new
full- and part-time jobs last year. The job-creation trend within the Enablis network has been very strong
for the past three years with over 1750 newly created jobs counted.

Says Paul Lamontagne, Chief Executive Officer, Enablis Financial Corporation, “The Enablis Khula Loan
Fund has made it possible for Enablis members to sustain their businesses in a way that meets and
exceeds their growth expectations, thereby assisting in stimulating both job creation and the economy.
This is critical to South Africa at a time when a financial crunch is being felt globally.”


ABOUT ENABLIS

Enablis Entrepreneurial Network is a Canadian-based private-public partnership that supports
entrepreneurs in the developing world through its member-driven network. It is an organised and
interactive network of hundreds of entrepreneurs who share similar values and who believe in the
importance of small-to-medium enterprises for poverty reduction and sustainable development. The result
is a grouping of like-minded people drawn together by their capacity for entrepreneurship; a powerful and
indigenous force for change in the developing world.

Enablis was successfully conceived at the G8 Summit of 2002 backed by the Government of Canada,
Accenture and Telesystem. The Enablis model is to identify potential entrepreneurs in the developing
world – both those with and without existing enterprises – at an early stage, and provide them with a
blend of tailored coaching, mentoring and networking, as well as an innovative form of funding designed
to fill the “financing gap” between the micro-credit and venture capital thresholds.

In South Africa, Enablis sponsors the FNB Enablis Business LaunchPad competition. Since 2005, Enablis
entrepreneurs have created 20,610 direct and indirect jobs. The Enablis network is also present in
Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania. As it continues to grow, the organisation expects to expand its reach
even further.


Issued by Enablis & Core Concepts cc
Denvor Phokaners
Knowledge and Communications Manager – Enablis Africa
Cell: 27 (0) 83 377 5078,
denvor@enablis.org, www.enablis.org

								
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